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Renting an electric car in France: where, how and how much?

With fuel shortages around the country, more people are turning to renting electric cars – we look into different ways you can do the same

Electric cars have had a boost in popularity since France’s fuel shortage issues began this month Pic: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock

With fuel shortages currently being seen around France due to ongoing refinery strikes, we look into the possibilities of renting electric vehicles for a day or on a short-term basis. 

Read more: Around a week for French fuel shortages to end, Macron estimates

Read more: French fuel shortages: Union calls for wider national strike next week

The fuel shortages have already led to a boom in electric car rentals.

On car rental company, Roadstr, reported that the number of people renting out electric cars had increased by four in the past couple of weeks, since the shortages began, BFMTV reports

Read also: Thinking of buying an electric car in France? Now may be a good time

Go through usual rental companies

There are many major car rental companies operating all around France and the majority of them have a fleet of electric cars. 

For people living in more rural areas, these big companies are most likely your best bet to get an electric car.

Roadstr offers the possibility to rent an electric car in locations all around France, with prices from around €70 and upwards per day. 

The company Sixt currently has a discount of up to 15% on electric cars, with the offer running until November 13. It covers rentals of between one and 27 days. 

Companies such as Hertz and Europcar also have a fleet of electric vehicles available to rent with prices dependent on the rental day, period and type of car. 

To rent an electric Fiat 500 through Hertz in Paris between 08:00 and 18:00 on Saturday, October 22, it currently costs €145.20, for example, while to rent an electric Kia Kona via Europcar in Bordeaux on the same day and for the same period it currently costs €105.80. 

Use apps and city deals

Some cities in France, such as Nice, offer a system whereby you can rent small electric cars by the hour. The prices vary depending on if you rent by the hour – which is more expensive – or book it out for a set period of time. The cars are usually located at the city’s train stations. 

In many other cities, private companies offer services to hire out small, city-friendly electric cars, either by the hour or by day. 

A service called Shaary is available in Nice, Marseille and Strasbourg. It works a bit like Uber but instead of the driver coming to you, you go to the nearest electric vehicle and use a phone application to unlock it and track your distance. The vehicles in Nice and Marseille are tiny cars, with the ones in Strasbourg bigger cars. 

Read more: 2, 3, or 4 per parking space?: Tiny electric car now on sale in France

A similar service called Iodines is available in Toulouse. A 60-minute ride in an electric car costs €8.99, while a full day costs €54.99. There are flexible time slots of several hours that you can book cars for.

Leo&Go is similar and operates in Lyon, Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport and the surrounding towns of Villeurbanne, Ecully and Caluire-et-Cuire. 

Finally, Free2Move France operates in Paris and the surrounding area, with around 500 electric cars available to hire through the company’s phone app. 

There are undoubtedly more services similar to this in various other cities in France. More information can be found by searching the internet with the phrase, ‘louer une voiture électrique à [insert city name]’. 

These private services and apps are most commonly available in cities and people living rurally may not have similar access to them. 

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