Renting a Car in Strasbourg – The Ultimate Guide

Are you planning on renting a car in Strasbourg? Well, you’re in the right place!

Not only do I live in Strasbourg, but I’ve also rented several cars here!

And, today, I’m going to share with you some important tips that I’ve learned from my many experiences. I’m also going to walk you through the entire rental process to ease any of your concerns. So that by the end of this article, you’ll be comfortable renting a car in Strasbourg, know the best money-saving tips, and how to stay safe on the road.

Renting a Car in Strasbourg - The Ultimate Guide
Renting a Car in Strasbourg – The Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

Renting a Car in Strasbourg – Everything You Need to Know

Why Should You Rent a Car in Strasbourg?

Exploring the Alsace Wine Route and Nearby Towns with a Rental Car
Renting a Car Gives You the Freedom to Explore!

There are a ton of reasons why you should rent a car in Strasbourg. First, you’ll have complete control over your travel itinerary. You’ll be able to stop and visit places that might not be accessible by public transport. And, best of all, you’ll avoid those pesky train strikes that are all too common.

Granted you won’t need a car to visit the city itself, but if Strasbourg is part of your eastern France itinerary or you want to explore nearby towns, renting a car is the best option.

I’ve explored every corner of Strasbourg (and Alsace), by train, car, and bike. And I can tell you, the freedom that comes with a car is unbeatable. Towns like Eguisheim and Kaysersberg are close, but difficult to reach with public transport. If you have a car, however, you can easily visit both.

The Best Car Rental Company in Strasbourg

First, most people want to know the best car rental company in Strasbourg. And, while you could go company by company, the best place to find deals is Discover Cars.

This is the company I always use and recommend when I rent a car in Strasbourg. They search both local and international car rental companies to find you the best deals and the lowest prices.

Useful Tip: Make sure to read car rental reviews. Not all companies are created equal. So, try to pick the one with the LEAST bad reviews.

What Car Rental Agencies are in Strasbourg?

All major car rental agencies, including Sixt, Alamo, National, Enterprise, and Budget are operating in Strasbourg.

How Can I Find Car Rentals in Strasbourg?

So, now, you’re probably wondering how to find car rentals in Strasbourg.

With Discover Cars, the process is easy. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Go to the Discover Cars website.

Step 2: Then, on their homepage, enter Strasbourg as the city.

Step 3: A drop-down menu will appear with all the locations where you can rent a car in Strasbourg. Either select ‘all locations’ or choose the place that works best for you.

Step 4: Enter the pick-up date and the drop-off date.

Step 5: Enter your country of residence and your age.

Step 6: Click Search Now and a list of all the available rental cars will appear.

Rental Car for Discover Cars

Rent a Car in Strasbourg

When booking your Strasbourg car rental online, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They search both international corporations and local French companies, so you get the best deal.

Cost of Renting a Car in Strasbourg

Renting a car in Strasbourg is going to cost you around $42-84 USD (€40-80) a day, depending on the type of car you get and the pick-up and drop-off dates.

Useful Tip: When you rent a car with Discover Cars you will pay the full cost of the car at checkout. So, be sure to choose the correct currency. For the purposes of this article, all prices are in both USD ($) and Euros (€).

Below is a list of other costs that you should take into consideration when renting a car in Strasbourg:

Gas Prices

Gas (or petrol) prices in France appear to be cheap to Americans but remember that the rest of the world displays gas prices in Liters, not Gallons.

Useful Tip: Make sure to have the conversion between Liters and Gallons handy – 1 Gallon = 3.78 Liters.

Currently, gas costs about $1.72 USD (€1.64) per Liter ($6.53 USD or €6.21 per Gallon) in Strasbourg. Diesel cars will often save you some money on gas, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.

Automatic vs Manual

Automatic cars are more expensive to rent than manual cars. That’s because manual cars are more common, so be sure to specify the type you want when booking.

As an example, if a compact 4-door automatic sedan costs $84 USD (€80) per day, then the manual version will be about $73 USD (€70) per day. There’s around a $10.50 USD (€10) per day difference.

Useful Tip: If you’ve never driven a manual car, don’t start in Strasbourg. I always rent an automatic car. For me, it’s worth the extra cost.

One-Way Rentals

There’s an extra fee for one-way car rentals. For example, if you want to rent a car in Strasbourg but drop it off in Paris you’ll pay an extra fee, around $168 USD (€160).

Car Accessories

  • Trunk – I recommend renting a car with a sizable trunk so you can hide your luggage from prying eyes. Unfortunately, break-ins are common, and this is a good preventative measure.
  • Navigation – Renting a car with a navigation system can also be useful. Street signs are small and hard to read. And there are a lot of one-way streets. If you plan on doing a lot of day trips from Strasbourg or visiting other towns in Alsace, then it’s a must-have.

Useful Tip: Google Maps will also work. But make sure to have an international phone plan or a local SIM card.

Rental Car for Discover Cars

Rent a Car in Strasbourg

When booking your Strasbourg car rental online, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They search both international corporations and local French companies, so you get the best deal.

How to Save Money When Renting a Car in Strasbourg

Book in Advance

If you want to guarantee cheap rental cars in Strasbourg, you should book at least six months in advance.

Book for a Month (30 days)

The best deals come with longer-term rentals. As an example, renting a car for a month (30 days) costs less per day, often $10.50-15.70 USD (€10-15), than renting a car for three weeks.

Useful Tip: Discover Cars offers free cancellation, so if your plans change you can always cancel. They usually highlight the last date and time you can cancel for free but be sure to check!

Travel During the Off-Season

Finally, if you travel during the off-season and outside French holidays, car rental rates in Strasbourg are much lower. There’s usually a savings of $10.50-15.70 USD (€10-15) per day. It’s also the best time to spend three days in Strasbourg! So, win-win!

FAQs About Renting a Car in Strasbourg

FAQs About Renting a Car in Strasbourg
FAQs About Renting a Car in Strasbourg

Can a Foreigner Rent a Car in Strasbourg?

Yes, a foreigner can rent a car in Strasbourg, but there are some requirements.

For all visitors, a driver’s license and a passport are mandatory.

An international driver’s license in Strasbourg, or in France for that matter, isn’t required by law. But again, there are exceptions.

For, non-EU tourists, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required, IF your driver’s license is NOT in English.

That means an American with a US driver’s license can drive in Strasbourg (and in France) without an International Driving Permit (IDP). A Driver’s license and passport are enough.

If you plan on crossing borders and driving in a neighboring country (like Germany or Switzerland), you might need an IDP.

For Americans, you can get an IDP at the American Automobile Association. It costs about $20 USD plus the cost of two passport photos.

Can I Rent an Automatic Car in Strasbourg?

Yes, you can rent an automatic car in Strasbourg. In fact, I only rent automatic cars because I can’t drive a manual.

Should I Get Insurance When I Rent a Car in Strasbourg?

Yes, you should always get insurance when renting a car in Strasbourg.

If you get stopped, you’ll need to show proof of insurance, your driver’s license, and vehicle registration.

Discover Cars offers coverage (third-party liability insurance) for about $7.30-10.50 USD (€7-10) per day. But be careful because not everything is covered!

While it does meet the requirement for insurance. It does not cover any damage to the driver or the rented car, as is the case with most car rental insurance. You should have the option of purchasing a collision damage waiver (CDW) at the time of renting, but this can be very costly. So, I recommend having travel insurance that covers car rentals. I use my Visa Gold Card, which offers complete protection.

How Old Do You Have to be to Rent a Car in Strasbourg?

To rent a car in Strasbourg, you must be at least 21 years old.

Can I Rent a Car for a Month or Longer in Strasbourg?

Yes, you can rent a car for a month or longer in Strasbourg. Keep in mind that monthly rates are often cheaper than daily and weekly rates.

As an example, if you rent a car for 25 days or 35 days, it will cost more per day than renting a car for 30 days (one month).

What is the Most Popular Rental Car Location in Strasbourg?

There are two popular car rental locations in Strasbourg – the Strasbourg Airport (SXB) and Strasbourg’s Train Station. Both offer a wide range of car rental options.

  • Strasbourg’s Train Station (Gare de Strasbourg) is in the center of the city and easily accessible. (Address: Place de la Gare, 67000 Strasbourg)
  • Strasbourg’s Airport (SXB) is outside the city (20 kilometers, 12 miles). From Strasbourg’s Train Station, trains to and from the airport are frequent and take 25 minutes. (Address: RM 221/Route de l’Aéroport, 67960 Entzheim)

What is the Most Popular Rental Car in Strasbourg?

The most popular rental car in Strasbourg is a compact or economy car. Anything larger and you’ll find yourself struggling to find parking.

Useful Tip: The streets in Strasbourg and the rest of France are often very narrow, so if your car is too big you risk damaging it.

Where Can I Park My Car in Strasbourg?

Street parking in Strasbourg is limited. So, you’ll likely have to use a parking garage if you’re hotel doesn’t have one.

Below is a list of the parking garages that I use (and don’t use)  in Strasbourg:

  • Parking Sainte Aurélie – This parking garage is next to Strasbourg’s Train Station. It’s, actually, where all the rental companies keep their cars. There are always tons of spots, and the location is very convenient. (Address: 1 Boulevard de Metz)
  • Parking Gutenburg – Located in the center of Strasbourg, across from Strasbourg’s Notre Dame Cathedral. It’s a pain getting in and out, but you can’t beat the location. (Address: Place Gutenburg)
  • Parking Etoile P1 Rivetoile – This is a huge parking garage outside the city center. I don’t recommend parking here. During the day it’s fine, but at night the area attracts kids who are looking for trouble. (Address: 17 Avenue du Rhin)
Rental Car for Discover Cars

Rent a Car in Strasbourg

When booking your Strasbourg car rental online, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They search both international corporations and local French companies, so you get the best deal.

Extra Tips for Renting a Car in Strasbourg

A blue BMW car that Jen rented in Strasbourg
Always Ask for an Upgrade

Choose a Compact/Economy Car

Parking in Strasbourg is often limited. So, having a small car that can squeeze into tiny spots will make a huge difference. The smallest cars that you can rent are mini, compact, and economy cars.

Ask for an Upgrade

Every time I’ve rented a specific type of car in Strasbourg, they’ve given me something else. If you don’t get what you want and it doesn’t suit your needs, ask for an upgrade.

Thoroughly Inspect the Rental Car

Take pictures (AND VIDEO) of every scratch, nick, and smudge on the car. Make sure to capture all the damage BEFORE you leave.

Some companies will try to charge you for damage that was already there. It’s happened to me, and they tried to prevent me from taking pictures! It’s a very common scam so be ready.

Know the Type of Gas (Petrol) Your Car Takes

Some cars will take diesel and other regular gas. Usually, they will tell you beforehand, but ask if they don’t. You don’t want to fill the car with the wrong type of fuel.

Speed Traps

Automatic traffic cameras are used to enforce the speed limits. While there are highway patrol officers, they are few and far between.

These automatic traffic cameras are often hidden so you can’t see them ahead of time. They are rarely announced, and, if they are, there’s usually a big sign that is nowhere near the actual camera.

If you do get caught speeding, you’ll see a huge flash and get a ticket mailed to you. It’s not worth the hassle or the cost, so follow the speed limit.

Speed Limits are in Kilometers per Hour

Speed limits are not in miles per hour; they are in kilometers per hour. And 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers.

But rather than doing the conversion while driving, make sure the number on the speed limit sign matches the number on your speedometer.

Beggars May Approach You at Stop Lights

In Strasbourg, it’s very common for beggars to approach and even tap on your window to ask for money. They are not aggressive. Either shake your head, wave your hand, or don’t respond. They will eventually go to the next car.

One-Way Streets

In Strasbourg, there are a lot of one-way streets. Sometimes there is a sign, other times not. If you’re not sure, look at the direction in which the cars are parked. If they’re facing you (i.e., in the opposite direction that you’re driving), don’t drive down the street.

Tolls are Expensive

Toll roads in France are expensive. As an example, when I drove from Strasbourg to Pairs, I paid about $63 USD (€60) in tolls. If you don’t want to pay, I recommend taking a route that avoids toll roads. It will take longer, but you’ll save money.

Tolls Accept Debit/Credit Cards

There are three ways you can pay tolls. You can pay cash, use your credit/debit card, or use an automatic pass. Chances are your rental car won’t have an automatic pass, so plan to pay with cash or a debit/credit card.

Know the Phone Number of Your Car Rental Company

You should get a document that has all the numbers for roadside assistance. But, if you don’t, make sure to note the number to call in case of a breakdown.

Rental Car for Discover Cars

Rent a Car in Strasbourg

When booking your Strasbourg car rental online, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They search both international corporations and local French companies, so you get the best deal.

Safety Tips for Driving in Strasbourg

Jen Driving in Low Visibility Conditions
Drive Slow when it’s Raining!

Below I’ve listed the most important laws you should know. These apply to both Strasbourg and the rest of France.

Right on Red is Illegal

Unlike in the United States, it’s illegal to make a right turn at red lights in Strasbourg and the rest of France. Remember – always stop on red.

Learn the Street Signs

Street signs will undoubtedly be different than in your home country. So, before you start driving, research the meanings of the most common signs so you know what to do.

Know How to Pass

It’s illegal to use the right lane (slower lane) for passing.

If you encounter a slow-moving vehicle, move into the left lane to pass, then back into the right lane once you’ve passed.

Learn How to Use a Roundabout

There are A LOT of roundabouts. In fact, they’re much more common than 4-way and 2-way intersections.

If you’ve never used a roundabout, don’t be scared. Yield to cars inside the roundabout and when there is an opening, enter. Traffic continually flows in a counterclockwise circle around a center island. So, if you don’t know where to exit or you’re hesitant, do a few laps until you feel comfortable.

Useful Tip: This is where a navigation system comes in handy. Even Google Maps will tell you when to exit.

Look for Motorcycles

Motorcyclists can be very aggressive. They have the right to drive between cars, even on the highway. Always keep your eyes peeled and look before changing lanes.

Wear a Seatbelt

Seatbelts are mandatory and should be worn at all times. This goes for both front and rear passengers. If you’re caught not wearing a seat belt, fines can be upwards of $160 USD (€150).

Obey Speed Limits

Below is a list of the speed limits:

Useful Tip: You’ll notice that the speed limit changes when visibility is hindered. Be aware that signs are not always posted to remind you.

  • Highway – 130 km/h in normal conditions, 110 km/h in rain
  • Inner City Highway – 110 km/h in normal conditions, 100 km/h in rain
  • Other Roads – 90 km/h in normal conditions, 80 km/h in rain
  • Urban Areas – 50 km/h in all conditions.
  • School Zones – 30 km/h in all conditions

This list does not include the speed limits for large trucks. Their speed limits are much slower than those listed above. So, if you’re behind a truck and wondering why it’s going so slow be aware that they have separate speed limits.

Use Hands-Free Navigation

If it’s your first time driving in Strasbourg, make sure to have some form of navigation. Either rent a system with the car rental company (these cost more) or use Google Maps on your phone.

Make sure to check if you have an international phone plan or buy a local SIM card to avoid extra fees.

Look for Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles always have priority over other road users. And they are usually driving really fast! If you hear sirens or see flashing lights, move to the right and slow down.

Accident and Breakdown Information

If you have insurance with your car rental and your car breaks down, call your rental company. But, if someone is hurt, contact the authorities.

Below is a list of all the emergency numbers in France:

  • 15 – Emergency Medical Assistance Service
  • 17 – Police
  • 18 – Fireman
  • 114 – Emergency number for the Deaf and Heard-of-Hearing
  • 112 – European Emergency Phone Number

Useful Tip: Not all of these have people who speak English. So, if your French isn’t great, call 112, the European Emergency Phone Number.

Rental Car for Discover Cars

Rent a Car in Strasbourg

When booking your Strasbourg car rental online, I recommend and use Discover Cars. They search both international corporations and local French companies, so you get the best deal.

Common French Driving Phrases

Common French Driving Phrases
Common French Driving Phrases

Below is a list of common French phrases that you’ll need:

  • Driver’s license – Permis de Conduite
  • Highway/Expressway – Autoroute
  • Toll – Péage
  • Insurance Certificate – Carte Verte
  • Rest Stop – Aire de repos
  • No Parking – Stationnement Interdit
  • Construction – Attention travaux
  • Gas (Petrol) – Essence
  • Unleaded – Sans plomb
  • Diesel – Gazole
  • Town Center – Centre Ville
  • Reminder (written under the speed limit to remind you of the speed limit) – Rappel
  • Exit – Sortie
  • One-way – Sens unique
  • Closed – Ferme
  • Parking Garage – Parking

Want to improve your French before your trip? I recommend iTalki! It’s private tutoring without the cost. And, of all the things I tried (apps and classes), it was the only way I was able to learn French. Click here to get $10 USD in iTalki Credits when you purchase more than $20.

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Renting a car in Strasbourg is a simple and hassle-free process. But picking the right rental company can make the difference between a fun vacation and a headache. As always, I use and recommend Discover Cars. Then, if you follow the tips and suggestions in this guide, you’ll be sure to have an amazing road trip.


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I hope you enjoyed my article about renting a car in Strasbourg and found it useful. Here are some other articles that I think you might like.


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