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Why rent a car in Toulouse?

Toulouse in the Mid-Pyrénées region in southern France is best known for its traditional French country cuisine, but it also has plenty of offerings in arts, culture and architecture. The city centre is compact enough to be seen on foot. But by having a Toulouse rental car you can make sure not to miss the charming villages further afield, the châteaux and vineyards as well as the surrounding towns.

How to get to and around Toulouse?

Flights into Toulouse arrive into Toulouse Airport. In less than half an hour on the A621, with a Toulouse hire car, you will reach Toulouse city.

On the way to Saint Gaudens via the A64 motorway, with a Toulouse hire car, there are a number of beautiful villages worth seeing: the medieval town of Rieux-Volvestre, Cazères, Palaminy and Martres-Tolosane, each about 45 minutes away. You could also travel 50 minutes in the opposite direction to the vineyards in Gaillac. Travelling north via the A62, there are more vineyards near Montauban, the Fronton Vineyards, which produce primarily red wine from the exclusive Fronton grape Négrette variety.

For an unusual museum experience try the Musée Européen d’Art Campanaire, the only musuem in France dedicated to bells spanning all periods of history and different civilisations. It is located to the west of Tolouse, a 40-minute drive away. Considering Toulouse was the birthplace of the Concorde, it does not feel incongruent that it should have a space museum, Cité de l’Espace, 15 minutes from Toulouse. The museum offers immersive space travel experiences that will delight children and science geeks of all ages.

What brands are available?

The choice of car hire companies is wide in Toulouse:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Firefly
  • Goldcar rental
  • Hertz
  • Interrent EU
  • Keddy by Europcar
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Thrifty EU
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of Toulouse

    A little over an hour’s drive to the southern France, via the A61, Carcassonne is a hilltop town with a popular medieval cité, which attracts nearly four million visitors a year. Montpellier, a two-and-a-half-hour drive, is well-known for its wines and is the site of the International Vine and Wine Fair. The Promenade du Peyrou, where the Montpellier bourgeoisie used to meet in the 18th century, offers great views of the Mediterranean coastline and the elegant city. An antique and flea market happens here on Sundays.

    Another wine hub that needs to be seen is Bordeaux, a journey of two and a half hours. The chateaux in Bordeaux offer wine tours daily. To learn everything about wine production and admire the architectural beauty of its building, shaped like a decanter, go to La Cité du Vin by the river Garonne. The entire old city of Bordeaux is now a World Heritage Site for its ‘exceptional architectural unity’ of classical and neo-classical. You only need to take a look at the sumptuous Place de la Bourse, overlooking the Miroir D’Eau reflecting pool, for an example of excellence.

    Two hours to the west of Toulouse is Lourdes, which became one of the world’s most visited pilgrimage sites after Virgin Mary appeared to a local peasant girl. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is the area surrounding the grotto where Mary’s first appearance happened. For breathtaking views of the sanctuaries, the city and the Pyrenees, visit the thousand-year-old Château Fort.

    Tips and tricks for driving in France

    You must be over 18 to eligible to drive in France. Driving licences issued in EU and EEA countries are accepted. Drive on the right, overtake on the left. Mobile phones cannot be used while driving, even with headphones. Exception is made for devices used with wireless Bluetooth.

    The speed limit on French motorways (‘autoroutes’) is 80mph, but when it rains, it falls to 68mph. All motorways are prefixed with an A and charge a toll. If you prefer not to pay, find alternatives directions avoiding the autoroutes. ‘Gazole’ is not petrol/gasoline but diesel. Non-leaded petrol is ‘san plomb’.

    French motorways are under private management. If you have a breakdown you cannot call your own breakdown assistance company immediately. Using the orange emergency telephones, which can be found every 2km in motorways and main roads, ask the police or the official local breakdown service for help. If you cannot find an orange phone, dial 112 for emergency services.

    Ready to plan your Toulouse city break?

    Feeling inspired to start exploring Toulouse and other parts of France? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.

    Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!



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