Nice Airport Car Hire

Old Mar 15, 19, 7:20 am
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Nice Airport Car Hire

Hello all,

I wonder if anyone with regular experience can help me out here. I'm off to Nice (with a toddler in tow) in April - just outside the UK and most of France's Easter holidays, for a Thu-Sun trip. I booked car hire through Europcar, on the basis that I'm a regular renter there, and get an industry discount. Car hire's fairly booked out through other providers, with rates being 3-4x more expensive than with Europcar.

Now, I'm not normally one to fall for hyperbolic online reviews, but there's a worrying theme that crops up with Europcar, and that is extreme wait times (3h+), even outside high peak. This isn't helped by being an easyJet partner (and that's who I'll be flying with).

So, I looked around, and found another good offer. This time with Alamo. Ah. Another theme here, which is closing early, or turning people away who arrive more than 1h after their flight arrival.

My only previous experience of Nice Airport, also with an April visit, was of horrendous queues - however, as I had Avis Preferred, I was able to skip them. While I could theoretically do this for Europcar, reports also tell of people who booked using an easyJet code being turned away from priority counters.

I know that car hire gets its fair share of dodgy reviews, a lot of which can be disregarded. However, the volume of complaints against Europcar rather concerns me. Am I right to be concerned? A change to Hertz or Avis is a significant investment...
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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:44 am
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Just come back, so I'll post my experience. I managed to find a decent rate with Hertz, and booked it so it was Gold Counter booking. At NCE, this meant going directly to the parking section of the car hire centre where someone immediately met me and took me to the car. The queues at the counters downstairs were fairly substantial, though certainly not the peak season horror queues that have been described in multiple forums.

It was a Jeep Compass in lieu of a Peugeot 2008 (group C). Bigger than I would have chosen for this part of the world, but still managed to make it through underground car parks without a scrape. It had Android Auto, which meant my 2-year-old had great fun when he figured out he could should "OK Google" and set it off...
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Old Aug 23, 19, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Just come back, so I'll post my experience. I managed to find a decent rate with Hertz, and booked it so it was Gold Counter booking. At NCE, this meant going directly to the parking section of the car hire centre where someone immediately met me and took me to the car. The queues at the counters downstairs were fairly substantial, though certainly not the peak season horror queues that have been described in multiple forums.

It was a Jeep Compass in lieu of a Peugeot 2008 (group C). Bigger than I would have chosen for this part of the world, but still managed to make it through underground car parks without a scrape. It had Android Auto, which meant my 2-year-old had great fun when he figured out he could should "OK Google" and set it off...
Thanks for sharing your experience - I'm taking the family to Nice in a few weeks and decided to go with Hertz Gold Counter as well. I'll be flying into Terminal 1 (LH from Frankfurt) - any tips on finding/getting to the Gold Counter - or is the signage/wayfinding pretty clear? Looks like a bus might be involved from T1?

Also - when returning the car - should I build in extra time at the airport - or is it as straightforward as back in the States?

Last edited by PHLondoner; Aug 23, 19 at 10:17 am
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Old Aug 27, 19, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by PHLondoner View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience - I'm taking the family to Nice in a few weeks and decided to go with Hertz Gold Counter as well. I'll be flying into Terminal 1 (LH from Frankfurt) - any tips on finding/getting to the Gold Counter - or is the signage/wayfinding pretty clear? Looks like a bus might be involved from T1?

Also - when returning the car - should I build in extra time at the airport - or is it as straightforward as back in the States?
Yes, you need to get to T2 to pick up your car (unless you want to pay the premium for a T1 meet-and-greet). Actually, now the tram's up and running, it's a pretty decent transfer - just get on any T2-bound tram (it's free within the airport) and use the pedestrian crossing from the platform away from the terminal. There are some signs, but basically you're going down one of two gaps between multi-storey car park blocks. There's an especially annoying kissing gate halfway down each, so be warned if you have a lot of bags with you. You then cross another road (and start to doubt yourself a little) and you turn left or right and you're at the car hire centre. If you've got Gold Counter service, ignore the main hall, just go straight up to the top floor, you'll find the dedicated counter there in the Hertz section.

The return is (unusually) quite US-style, in that you drive into a drop-off lane (after a painful u-turn) and have someone with a tablet check things over and see you on your way. You then have to repeat the transfer in reverse. It can be a bit of a hassle to find a trolley, ISTR, but they are there.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
Yes, you need to get to T2 to pick up your car (unless you want to pay the premium for a T1 meet-and-greet). Actually, now the tram's up and running, it's a pretty decent transfer - just get on any T2-bound tram (it's free within the airport) and use the pedestrian crossing from the platform away from the terminal. There are some signs, but basically you're going down one of two gaps between multi-storey car park blocks. There's an especially annoying kissing gate halfway down each, so be warned if you have a lot of bags with you. You then cross another road (and start to doubt yourself a little) and you turn left or right and you're at the car hire centre. If you've got Gold Counter service, ignore the main hall, just go straight up to the top floor, you'll find the dedicated counter there in the Hertz section.

The return is (unusually) quite US-style, in that you drive into a drop-off lane (after a painful u-turn) and have someone with a tablet check things over and see you on your way. You then have to repeat the transfer in reverse. It can be a bit of a hassle to find a trolley, ISTR, but they are there.
Thanks for the insight - it was very helpful.

Of course we landed and it was pouring rain, making the transition to Terminal 2 a bit uncomfortable. We hopped on the light rail line after some confusion and found our way there. Such a bizarrely long walk to the Car Rental Centre. Seems so odd that they don't have some sort of a courtesy shuttle system to run passengers back and forth between terminals and the rental center? Hertz Gold Counter was great though- just walked straight to the car, out in about 3 minutes after loading up.

Do you recall, is there a petrol station near the Car Rental Centre to top up before dropping off?
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Old Sep 19, 19, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by PHLondoner View Post
Thanks for the insight - it was very helpful.

Of course we landed and it was pouring rain, making the transition to Terminal 2 a bit uncomfortable. We hopped on the light rail line after some confusion and found our way there. Such a bizarrely long walk to the Car Rental Centre. Seems so odd that they don't have some sort of a courtesy shuttle system to run passengers back and forth between terminals and the rental center? Hertz Gold Counter was great though- just walked straight to the car, out in about 3 minutes after loading up.

Do you recall, is there a petrol station near the Car Rental Centre to top up before dropping off?
Yes, it is quite a long walk. Even before the tram, the shuttle bus only took you to T2, you still had to walk the rest. The Cote d'Azur does seem, sometimes, to suffer from the delusion that it is always hot and sunny there - which, of course, it is not. If I were being cynical, I'd suggest that they wouldn't want to cannibalise their lucrative "premium in-terminal drop-off service" in a region welcoming people with a lot of money to burn.

There is a petrol station on the airport site. Hard to describe exactly how to get there, as the hemmed in geography of the airport site means there are so many different ways of accessing it! It's on the T2 access road, just as you go round the outside of the car park (just past the La Poste centre). You have to drive past it to get to the rental centre. It's not the cheapest petrol around, of course, but I've seen far worse markups on motorways.
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