Rent a car in Nantes with Europcar
Straddling the River Loire, Nantes is the former capital of Brittany, a title now held by Rennes in the north. Its history as the first port in the country and chief industrial centre has given way to an artsy image of cool bistros and unique museum experiences.
Choose Europcar for your car hire in Nantes to fully explore this fascinating city and the beautiful region of Brittany.
The Europcar car rental experience in Nantes
Looking for compact but comfortable car hire? Check out our most popular economy car rentals, including the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Focus. Wanting something bigger? The Volkswagen Passat or Renault Megane are great for transporting families or larger groups of people.
We pride ourselves on our flexibility, which is why with Europcar Nantes you can rent for days, weeks or even months at a time.
Driving in Nantes
In order to rent a car in France with Europcar, you will need a valid EU driver’s licence.
In France, the national speed limits are 130 km/h on motorways, 110 km/h on dual carriageways, 90 km/h on other road types, and 50 km/h in built up areas.
When driving in wet weather conditions, motorway speed limits are reduced by 10 km/h. If your visibility is less than 50 metres in front of you, the speed limit is 50 km/h on all road types.
Parking in the centre of Nantes is divided into two zones. The red zone in the inner city has paid parking stations from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm with a maximum stay of two hours. Outside of the red zone, the yellow zone offers paid parking from Monday to Saturday, 9am to midday and 2pm to 7pm, limited for three hours. In France, 14th July and 15th August are bank holidays and parking is free throughout Nantes on these days.
In France, it is illegal to drive while using headsets or headphones, either for listening to music or making phone calls, and there is an €80 fine if you are caught.
Discover Nantes and the surrounding area by car
The former industrial cityscape of Nantes now houses some of the coolest entertainment in the city. Hang out in the old banana ripening hangar along the river, stacked with trendy bars, eateries and dance spots. For those who like the authentic, there are still plenty of nods to the past with traditional creperies, bistros and shopping arcades.
Interesting day trips in the area surrounding Nantes include Angers with its château and Terra Botanica botanical gardens just over an hour away. There is also the Brière Regional National Park where you can hike, row, bird-watch and enjoy craft-making activities.
Further afield, the region’s capital, Rennes, is 113 kilometres away, La Rochelle is 136 kilometres away and Tours is 216 kilometres away.
Les Machines de l'Île de Nantes is a crazy mix of the imagined lands of the French writer Jules Verne, Leonardo Da Vinci’s mechanical visions, and an old-fashioned fairground. It is unlike anywhere else in France, let alone in Nantes. In this dreamland you can ride a life size mechanical elephant, or fly a heron in Les Galeries des Machines. Even if you are not familiar with the work of Jules Verne, Les Machines is a unique and utterly magical experience for everyone. Only a ten-minute drive across the River Loire, Les Machines de l'Île de Nantes is easily accessible by car.
Things to see in Nantes
With tall ivory coloured buildings and large squares, this arty city on the banks of the River Loire has plenty to fill a weekend. The birthplace of Jules Verne, author of masterpieces Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), Nantes houses a museum dedicated to the great writer. Enjoy some history at the Château des Ducs de Bretagne in the heart of town, or indulge in some chocolate and crêpes in one of the eateries the town has to offer. At sunset, hit Le Lieu Unique, an old biscuit factory that now houses theatre productions, musical events and art exhibitions.