Europe > France > Tours
See: Why rent a car in Tours ? | Why not? | Ratings | Summary | Comments
(All of these pages will look a lot nicer when they are tidied up later in the spring)
Your key questions for any destination:
Do I need a car in Tours?
Strictly speaking, there are very few travel destinations anywhere in the world where it's absolutely essential to rent a car in order to see the main points of interest.
That's why we give you loads of ratings scales from 1 to 10, rather than just yes or no answers!
- The need question is generally answered by looking at public transport (transit) options. Is it good enough for visitors who are happy to consider using it?
- How many public transport routes are there, and are they mainly rail or road (bus) based?
- Is public transport fast, frequent, safe, reliable and cheap?
- Does public transport actually take you to the places you'll probably want to see?
Is it worth hiring a car in Tours?
This question is usually more about value for money. For this, we look at Tours car hire options, and consider how rental costs compare with using transit.
How far are you likely to drive anyway, and how much might you expect to spend on fuel, road tolls, parking and any other charges. We compare Tours with other destinations locally and around the world.
This is obviously much more of an issue if you are planning a longer road trip than it is on a small island.
Should I rent a car in Tours?
This is basically a merging of the two questions. Everything else might be about giving certain facts about the costs of car rental or using public transport in Tours, but answering this question is very much a matter of opinion.
Please note that Carornocar.com is currently being revised and updated in preparation for the Summer 2022 (northern hemisphere) tourist season.
We do not intent to include detailed covid information, nor do we intend to suggest hiring a car, just because public transport might still have a mask requirement. Our advice will be based on the same criteria we've always used, ie whether or not you can get a better travel experience, or at least a better value one, by choosing not to hire a car.
Tours is in car rental price band: 4/10 (1 = cheapest car rental location)
General comment - based on price alone, is it worth renting a car in Tours?
Sometimes. Car rental is slightly cheaper than global averages.
Can you expect big swings in car rental prices in Tours between the peak and the off peak season?
5/10 (0 = stable prices)
Driving score: 7/10
Non car score:2/10
(0 = car hire not advised / 10 = rental car essential)
General comment -
Tours is the natural gateway to the Loire Valley, and given the huge number of châteaux which are spread around this region, you will probably find it easier to get around in a hire car.
Having said that, it’s actually surprisingly easy to visit some of the Loire Valley châteaux using scheduled public transport, with several castles quite literally having their own railway stations. This may seem quaint, but it’s often a natural result of the castles being the focal point for towns being built around them, and those towns in turn being served by the coming of the railways.
Why? Visiting Tours using a hire car
Why do you need a car in Tours ?
- A hire car is generally advisable for heading anywhere else in the region around Tours, including castles which are often the regular beaten trail, and of course any of the scenic areas, such as the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional park. Although TGV service in and out of Tours itself is good, regional trains and buses tend to be much slower, and few and far between.
- Regional public transport beyond the city of Tours is relatively limited. Although it looks like a busy railway junction, the number of actual routes is quite limited – and most TGV services don’t actually serve the city of Tours, instead stopping at nearby St Pierre-des-Corps.
Why not? Visiting Tours without a car
Why don't you need a car in Tours ?
- Numerous guided tours are also available, and these will typically pick visitors up from the main railway station in Tours.
- Note that if you are heading out from Paris, or if you are arriving in Tours from destinations like Bordeaux in the south, the fast TGV train services often only call at St Pierre-des-Corps. Hire car facilities are available at both stations, and of course at the airport, but prices can vary considerably, especially between different operators at the station hire points.
- Note that many of these Loire Valley castles can get extremely busy during the peak summer season, but they have all had to develop large car parks to cater for tourists. It’s possible also to visit some of the châteaux by bicycle, and guided bicycle tours are another option.
- Start your ownward rail journey in the magnificent Tours station, a listed historic monument. Designed by Victor Laloux, this station features statues characterising four major French cities – Bordeaux, Toulouse, Limoges and Nantes.
Ratings: How does Tours compare?
Is it worth hiring a car in Tours? TBC
This is based on a rough consideration of the costs of renting a car in Tours, and how this compares with the costs of using public transport. The answer to this varies hugely from one destination to the next, based on a wide range of factors. It's based on renting a car at the airport (TBC), and driving for an average of 2-3 hours on open roads on most days.
How does this compare if:
You are travelling:
Solo / As couple / small family / larger family / senior couple etc
Does car rental make sense on different budgets?
Do you need to hire a car in Tours? TBC
This is based strictly on whether or no we think it's possible to visit Tours (and the surrounding area) without using a car. Of the three key questions, this one is the most likely to be a "no".
Should you rent a car in Tours? TBC
This is a balance of all factors. Remember this is an answer to the question for people who are already asking it. That's why the answer might still be a "yes", even when public transport is good.
See global comparisons
Hiring | Driving | Parking
Trains | Buses | Local travel
Car hire basics:
Public transportation basics:
Regular bus services: YES
Coach (inter-city): YES
High Speed Rail:
Rail type (end stub / through / junction / hub):
As you start ....
Does Tours airport have a direct rail link?
(Yes - within terminal / adjacent / short walk) (Yes - bus transfer / other) No
Has our advice for Tours car rental changed over time, or has it been pretty constant?
2017 - 3
2019 - 4
2021 - 3
Average score - 3
Tours car hire summary – generally, we think getting a hire car here will give you a lot more flexibility to see the castles at your own pace.
Do you or don't you need a car in Tours ?