By | 16th January 2018
Do you need a car in Nantes > Should you rent a car in Nantes France > Nantes ( NTE )

Do I need a car in Nantes? The French city of Nantes is one of those places where visitors come back pleasantly surprised about how much there is to see and do. There’s no doubt that the city itself is perfectly easy to get around using local trams and buses. You can also get around by hiring a bike. Yet for heading anywhere outside the city, public transport options start to wear thin, and a hire car really is a good idea. This is especially so for heading deep within Brittany, or for looking towards the east.

Do you need a car in Nantes? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Why should you rent a car in Nantes?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Nantes?

Nantes Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 156 - of which 66 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • A car is useful for anywhere around Nantes, as the area is very rural.
  • Public transport outside the city is not that good.
  • Drive across the impressive Pont de Saint Nazaire on the Loire’s Atlantic Coast.
  • Use Nantes as an alternative access point for the Loire valley. A hire car is your best bet for this.
  • If you are planning to stay in La Baule, then a car will certainly make sense – a one hour drive will take at least three by public transport.

Why not? Visiting Nantes without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Nantes public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score


Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)


  • The city of Nantes has excellent public transport, including a modern tram network.
  • The city of Nantes is often overlooked – it’s worth spending a bit of time here, and no car is needed.
  • Nantes is very cycle friendly – good by French standards and outstanding by UK or American standards!
  • Fast connections to Tours and then onwards to Paris by TGV take just over 2 hours – with a dedicated fast line east of Tours.
  • Make a day trip to the Loire Valley chateaux by taking the train to Tours first – various options from there (see Tours page).

Nantes v Tours?

There are only a relatively limited number of flight options to nearby Tours. Tours is the main gateway to the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Hiring a car in Nantes also might make sense for heading in this direction. However, with a bit of planning, you can visit some of the most impressive castles using a hire bike from Tours. This is one way to beat the summer queues! You can also join guided Loire Valley coach tripsin Tours. These often tend to serve day trip visitors heading out by train from Paris.

So do you need a car in Nantes? It’s far from essential for a city break, but outside the city, transport options start to deteriorate quite rapidly. A city with good local public transport that’s great for commuters isn’t always the same as somewhere that’s great for tourists.


Car rental in - Nantes Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Nantes?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Nantes?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Nantes?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Nantes if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Nantes if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Nantes if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Nantes?

Have you driven in Nantes? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Nantes?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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