#11 – Driving in France

Published on July 18th, 2018

We decided to rent a car when we went to Bordeaux – this was a good idea, as the transportation to the places we wanted to go (Saint Emilion and Arcachon) is lacking, and once you’re in each of those places, it’s hard to get around without a car. So when we rented a car, we had a choice – manual or automatic. I’ve driven manual cars before, but just to make my life a whole lot easier (especially when going through city traffic), we went with an automatic. This was also a good idea.

2018-06-23 14.03.12
Bordeaux is an old city – which means there is not much parking, some streets are very tight or have weird turns/intersections, and some streets end unexpectedly. We almost got stuck twice trying to make turns into or out of streets – I can only imagine how frustrating the experience would have been with a manual.
Before we returned the car, we had to make a trip to the gas station to fill up the tank. After some issues with my card/the pump, I was able to fill up the car. The price was about 1.53 Euro/liter, and I got about 20 Liters of fuel (for 30.68 Euro). That doesn’t sound that bad, until you start doing the math – first, 30.68 Euro is really $35.59 (at least today). But the real hit is when you convert liters to gallons – there are 4.546 Liters in a Gallon – meaning I paid $35.59 for 4.4 gallons of fuel – an effective price of $8.09 / gallon!!That said, it was a diesel, and a very efficient car at that  – between Bordeaux, Saint Emilion & the Chateaus, and the Arcachon & the beaches, we drove about 300 km (186.5 miles) and got about 42.4 miles per gallon (better fuel mileage than my Honda Civic). Even with the better fuel mileage though, because of the high cost of fuel, the price to drive per mile is still more than twice as high as driving my Civic in the US (at $3.00 / gallon).

So, definitely an interesting experience, but I think we’re going to stick to mass transit wherever we can when we travel!

One thought on “#11 – Driving in France

  1. Great insights — public transit in Europe is so much more functional than the states. Most of our country is built around the car: Long Island train station with parking lots but no real connecting buses or local transit to rely on/work with. I think you may know the history of Robert Moses having the overpasses on Southern State and other parkways deliberately built at a height that mass transit buses could not drive under – all about the car and controlling the masses. US airports have little or no mass transit connections – JFK’s AirTran is a recent connection and some bigger cities have workable connections but by and large its parking lots and rental car agencies… or a major schlep to get to a train — while we have some great train options (love Amtrak) they are more long haul not local — we are basically built for the car —
    Thanks for sharing all this Nick — it’s wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

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