About Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE)
Address: Nice Cote D Azur Airport Car Rental Center Av Didier Daurat, Car Rental Center Av Didier Daurat, Nice, 06281
Nice Côte d'Azur Airport (NCE) is located 6 km (3.7 mi) southwest of Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes départment of France, and serves as the gateway to the Côte d'Azur as well as the Principality of Monaco. (NCE) airport car rentals are provided by most of Europe’s major brands, including Advantage, Budget, Enterprise, and Sixt. You’ll check-in at the car hire desks in the arrivals area of Terminal 2, and take a short shuttle bus to the Car Rental Center to pick-up your car.
Brace yourself: when it comes to getting around, Nice has a reputation for being, well, not very nice. The city has consistently topped national polls for having the rudest and most reckless drivers in France. Pedestrians are particularly at risk of being run down in crosswalks. Meanwhile, Nice is laid out on a poorly marked grid of one-ways streets, where lane indicators are considered optional and turn signals are a nuisance. Oh, and did we mention detours that confound your GPS system? It seems that driving in central Nice is definitively not a pleasant experience for everybody involved.
Perhaps the most beguiling aspect of navigation in Nice: traffic lights are located at chest level on the sidewalk, rather than above the intersection — and very easy to miss. Speed traps are everywhere, and parking? Locals say, “Bonne chance ” (good luck).
That said, once you escape the chaos of the city center, and familiarize yourself with basic French driving rules and practices, your car hire gives you the freedom to explore the French Riviera will minimal hassle.
Choosing your car
Despite the hazards of driving in central Nice, you’ll need a car to travel further afield to Cannes (33 km / 20 mi) or Saint Tropez (119 km / 74 mi). Choosing the right car is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Let’s break it down by necessity. A Fiat minicar is ideal for solo travelers, while a compact Renault is a little better for couples with a suitcase or two. A Volkswagen economy 4-door is surprisingly roomy, while stingy on fuel. Families of four or more should look into a Peugeot intermediate, or an Audi estate wagon. Now, if you’re simply looking to cruise around in style, then the Mercedes-Benz convertible is the definition of style and luxury. And finally, if you’re the chaperone of a larger group, the 7-9 seater Nissan is perfect for carrying people and luggage.
Tips and advice
The A8 autoroute is your ticket in and around Nice and surrounding areas.
Double-parking in the city center is frustratingly common, and those who do get lucky enough to find street parking, often return to find their cars blocked in.
Before you rent a car in Nice, be forewarned. There is an incredibly good chance that it’s going to get dinged or scratched or worse. And it has nothing to do with bad luck. At any rate, make sure you have collision insurance, and do a thorough spot check of the vehicle for existing damage.
Speed cameras are a massive moneymaker in France, but they’ve taken it to a new level in Nice. Over 200 cars per day are ticketed entering and exiting the tunnel under the Promenade du Paillon.
No right turns on red — anywhere.
Traffic on the right always — always — has the right of way.