Renting a car in Paris seems to be a good idea until visitors understand what it means to be driving in Paris. Renting a car in Paris may seem to grant you ultimate freedom, but in reality driving in Paris is a nightmare. Traffic and congestion in Paris is horrific. Dealing with Parisians while driving in Paris is a scary experience and finding a parking spot proves to be almost impossible. Like most cities, the municipality of Paris did everything to discourage the use of cars.
Parking is strictly regulated. Your car will be towed within minutes if parked illegally. If you are lucky enough to find a street parking spot, you will have to go back to the car every 2 hours to add more money to the meter. Otherwise, you will arrive at your car to find a parking violation ticket or two. Parking violations provide a big source of revenue for the city of Paris. Most street parking consists of meters. Use a prepaid card that can only be purchased in Bar Tabac, bars that are licensed to sell cigarettes. Paris residents get priority and may purchase a resident permit which offers great discounts and allows them to keep their spots for weeks or as long as they pay. Those parking spots are pretty much unavailable for visitors and minimize the number of available parking spots even more. If you still end up renting a car in Paris and decide to make use of public parking you need to make sure that you find space and are aware that costs could run up to $25 per day. We strongly suggest that you drop the idea of renting a car in Paris and use public transportation, a taxi, bicycle or your feet.