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London to Paris by Car - Sixt Travel Tips

London to Paris by car

The close proximity of Paris to London makes it an ideal road trip destination. In just over 5 hours you could comfortably drive straight from your door to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, having taken in the stunning sights of the French countryside in-between times. Depending on your budget and schedule, there are a number of different options for you to take. A ferry crossing is the cheapest option, while taking the EuroTunnel is the quickest. With the comfort of your own car, you can take as much luggage as you need without having to worry about carrying it on public transportation. Why not do something different this weekend and take a drive from London to Paris? 


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The Route From London to Paris

We currently have over 50 car rental branches in London to ensure that no matter where you are coming from, we can meet your needs. From any one of our various London car rental stations you will be able to find a comprehensive range of vehicles; ranging from economy cars to make the journey keeping fuel costs to a minimum, saloons and estates to transport the whole family without any complaints about space or comfort, and convertibles to cruise along the open road enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. When departing London, you'll want to head towards the M20 southward towards Folkestone.  Its just 67 miles from the South Bank, meaning you could get there from the centre of town in less than an hour and a half! Along the way you will pass the stunning Kent Downs, an acclaimed Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Taking the EuroTunnel from Folkestone to Calais

If you plan on taking the EuroTunnel over to France, then exit the motorway at Junction 11a and you will be clearly guided straight to the check-in booths. For those taking just a short trip for the day or for a weekend, you can find return tickets for less that £50! Be sure to check-in at least 30 minutes before departure, but no more than 2 hours. There are plenty of services and amenities at the Passenger Terminal, meaning you can stop up on drinks and snacks before boarding. Once you have gone through passport control, you will be directed to your allocated slot aboard the train. The journey takes just 35 minutes, during which time you are free to stay in your car or stretch your legs just outside it. Upon arrival, you simply drive off into beautiful France! 

Sixt Roadtrip London to Paris

Taking the Ferry from Dover to Calais

If you plan on taking the ferry across the Channel, then you need to simply continue driving just twenty minutes along the A20 to Dover where the boat ports are located. After passing through passport control you will drive onto the ferry with quick precision. The journey by boat is slightly longer, generally taking just under 90 minutes, so travellers are encouraged to make full use of the lounges, arcade rooms, restaurants, and duty-free shopping available on board. Stand on the open deck and enjoy the fresh sea breeze as you gaze back at the departing white cliffs of Dover, and welcome the sight of France on the horizon. 

Take the Route Straight to Paris and Stop off at Arras

Arc de Triomphe Sixt rent a car

Upon arrival in Calais you are free to continue your journey onwards towards Paris using the A26 road. At the junction between the A26 and A1, why not stop at the stunning town of Arras for some food? Famous for its 14th century twin squares and stunning gabled houses, this Medieval merchant town is still throbbing with the bustle of local markets. While there you must vist the Belfry at the Town Hall, a UNESCO world heritage sight boasting spectacular views across the local area. With the small but excellent Musee des Beaux Arts and a number of Battlefield sites nearby, including the famous Vimy Ridge Memorial, there is no shortage of things to do here. From Arras it is a straight drive along the A1 to Paris, with an estimated travel time of just over 2 hours. The estimated cost of fuel and road tolls for this journey is around £58, meaning its still just a fraction of a single person's train ticket!


Make Use of Your Car While in Paris

Once you've reached the French capital, your adventures in the car don't have to end. There a number of hugely popular sights just outside of Paris which make the perfect day trip and escape from the bustle. 

  • Why not pay a visit to Monet?s home in Giverny? This traditional and achingly beautiful French village is located just an hour and a half northwest of central Paris. In this small place you can take a walk around the house and gardens that were once home to Claude Monet. The setting is perfect for a visit on a warm summer's day, but equally serene in cooler weather. You could even take bikes to explore the local countryside. 
  • Another must-see is of course the Palace of Versailles. If you haven't quite had your fill of the French Baroque buildings in Paris, take the short 45 minute drive out to the Palace of Versailles, where you can gawp to your heart?s content at the lavish and unprecedented splendour of Louis XIV's ?ancien regime? ? and ego. You could easily spend a day roaming the gardens, let alone the various palace houses! 

With your car, all these options are open to you and without the worry of missing your local transport connection! Make the most of your time this summer, and take a road trip from London to Paris! 


Important Information:

  • The speed limit on UK motorways is always 70mph, unless stated otherwise, and once you enter France the maximum speed limit is 80mph, or 130 km/h
  • Please be aware upon disembarking from the train or ferry that you must drive on the right hand side in France!
  • Sixt does not permit one-way rentals between the UK and France
  • For additional important information regarding driving between these countries please visit our driving tips page for the United Kingdom and France