How do I rent a van in France?

Van ou fourgon aménagé, Camping-car

Are you planning a road trip through France? Here’s our mini-guide to renting a van in France!

Rent a van in France – but which one? France is rich in must-see sites, landscapes and historic monuments. Discover the priceless treasures of French culture and natural landscapes. You won’t have enough time in one trip to see it all. A road-trip in a van lets you avoid hotels and travel in freedom.

Here’s our guide to renting a van in France! Our advice will make renting a van a breeze.

How to choose a van?

Renting a van allows you to travel the roads in greater comfort than camping in a tent or sedan. A van is also easier to handle and more discreet than a motorhome. The « vanlife » gives you a lot of freedom, but comfort is nevertheless more rudimentary: there’s not always a shower, toilet or fitted kitchen.

The choice of van depends on your budget and also on the services you require (size of van, age of van, number of berths, fitted kitchen or not, electricity or not, autonomy or camping, length of trip, etc.). Once you’ve identified your needs, you can choose from several types of van.

Rent a van in France with Yescapa

Compact vans

Le mythique Combi de Volkswagen

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Andrew Balcombe

Compact vans are those no more than two meters high. Compact vans are true descendants of the flowered Volkswagen combi of the hippie era. Their compact size allows them to pass under the gantries surrounding parking lot entrances.

What’s more, you stay in category 1 for freeway tolls, just like all cars. These are commercial vehicles, the most emblematic of which is Volkswagen’s Transporteur (generations T3 to T6). Others (Renault, Ford, Peugeot, Mercedes) also offer this type of van. Most of these vans feature a lift-up roof, allowing you to stand upright on board. This is ideal for cooking, for example, if the vehicle is so equipped. You can insert a double bed to sleep on the roof, and travel up to 5 people thanks to the reversible rear bench seats.

Finally, most converted vans include a kitchenette with fridge, sink and water supply.) Some vans also have a sanitary area with toilet and shower.

Fitted vans

Louer un van en France ou un fourgon

Photo credit: Shutterstock – De Repente

If you want even more comfort, you can also opt for a van. This vehicle is somewhere between a motorhome and a compact van. More discreet than the motorhome and more spacious than the van, the van is a great option if you want to take advantage of space without having to manipulate seats or benches.

On board, you’ll find a fixed bed (sometimes two bunk beds), a toilet cubicle (WC, washbasin, shower), a kitchenette and a small lounge. The advantage is that the seats can be turned over to increase the living space during the day. At night, the living room is transformed back into a bedroom.

Vans and camper vans

Louer un van en France : van tout terrain

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Art Konovalov

Would you like to venture off the beaten track and explore France on less accessible roads? You need to be able to drive on unsealed surfaces (sand, earth, mud, snow…). So-called « baroudeurs » or all-terrain vans are fitted with adapted tires and a limited-slip differential. What’s more, some even have a raised chassis with a bull bar, to overcome bumps and obstacles that would be inaccessible at the wheel of a compact van.

These 4×4 vans offer the added comfort of travelling in an all-purpose vehicle!

Top-of-the-range vans

Fourgon Haut de Gamme

Photo credit: Instagram – campingtrend

More expensive than all other vans, top-of-the-range vans offer exemplary quality. Highly equipped, they can cope with all seasons and extreme temperatures.

Where can I find a van rental in France?

To rent a van in France, the best way these days is to book your rental online. There are several online booking platforms for this purpose. Alternatively, you can go through a van rental agency. To book a converted van online, the Yescapa platform has established itself as a reference in the field. And the search process is simple:

  • Enter the area where you wish to rent your vehicle,
  • Define your preferences: sleeping accommodation, mileage, daily rate, pets allowed or not, etc,
  • Choose your services: toilet, kitchen, refrigerator, roof lift.

For comparison, there are other providers on the market: Wikicampers, Outdoorsy, Drivy, Vanloc, Hapee, Campanda.

Rent a van in France with Yescapa

How much does a van rental cost in France?

Let’s face it: just because a van is smaller than a motorhome doesn’t mean it’s any cheaper to rent. Renting a van in France is relatively expensive. On the Yescapa platform, renting a van in France costs an average of €103 per day. We have chosen the fictitious date of May 15 to 16, 2020, as an estimate.

To rent a good-quality vehicle, expect to pay around €150 to €200 per day. It may seem paradoxical, but compact vans are more expensive than panel vans. Finally, the price will logically fluctuate according to the type of van, the number of beds, the mileage to be covered, and the age of the vehicle.

Rent a van in France with Yescapa

Where to travel by van from France?

Visiter le Pays basque français en camping-car

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Delpixel

Now there’s a fundamental question: renting a van in France, yes, but where to travel? France offers an incredible diversity of must-see places to go. Here are a few ideas for itineraries to explore by van.

Staying in France

  • Visit the north of France in a month: Paris, Caen, the D-Day beaches, the Cotentin peninsula, Mont-Saint-Michel, Rennes, the Breton coast, Brest, Nantes, the Loire castles, Tours, Orléans, the Forêt d’Orient park,Alsace and the Vosges mountains,
  • Visit the south of France in a month: Bordeaux, Ile de Ré, Ile d’Oléron, Basque coast, Pyrenees, Toulouse, Haut-Languedoc park, Cathar castles, Canal du Midi, Sète, Montpellier, Hérault gorges,Ardèche gorges, Cévennes, Auvergne volcanoes, Lyon, Vercors, Grenoble, Drôme Provençale, Lubéron, Var coast.

Discover Europe

Llangollen, Pays de Galles

Photo credit: Shutterstock – asiastock

France opens the door to some of Europe’s most beautiful destinations. Here’s where to go by van from France:

  • From Toulouse: the Albères mountain range, the Vermeille coast (Collioure, Banyuls and wines), Cadaqués, Catalonia, Valencia, Chulilla and the Chera-Sot de Chera natural park, Murcia, Cartagena, the Sierra de la Muela Cabo Tiñoso y Roldan park, Granada and the Costa del Sol,
  • From Lyon: Grenoble, Chambéry, Annecy, Geneva, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, Turin, Milan, northern Italian lakes (Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Como), Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples,
  • From Nice: Genoa, Venice, Ljubljana, Budapest, Belgrade, Podgorica, Kotor, Tirana, Ohrid, Thessalonica, Athens,
  • From Strasbourg: Lake Constance, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm.

Do you now have all the information you need to rent a van in France? The roads are waiting for you!