Car Rental in Lyon
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Lyon?
Lyon is a fascinating city to explore. Full of interesting historic buildings and sites, and not just in its downtown, it is considered very picturesque even for France. Its convenient central location also means that from it you can go on to explore the Alps in the east, the French Riviera in the south, or Paris in the north.
One-Way Car Rentals in Lyon
The most popular one-way rental options for pick up in Lyon and drop off in another city include:
- From Lyon to Paris - 176 offers from $37.09 per day
- From Lyon to Munich - 66 offers from $92.17 per day
- From Lyon to Chambery - 67 offers from $31.78 per day
- From Lyon to Milan - 18 offers from $396.45 per day
- From Lyon to Marseille - 87 offers from $37.09 per day
Top ways to enter Lyon
- Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport: Also known as Lyon-Satolas, the airport hosts flights to and from many destinations in Europe as well as North Africa and Asia. It served more than 12 million travelers in 2022. Lyon Airport is located about 20km (13 miles) southeast of downtown Lyon.
- Grenoble Alpes–Isère Airport: Serving the French city of the same name and the region surrounding it, Grenoble Airport is an important hub for those trying to reach the French Alps. The airport is located 81km (50 miles) southeast of Lyon, a distance that can be driven in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport: Another small airport in south-central France, it hosts a number of domestic flights and also provides air connections to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Morocco. Clermont-Ferrand Airport is 166 km (103 mi) west of Lyon and can be reached in about two hours.
- Montpellier–Méditerranée Airport: The 10th-busiest airport in France serves one of the fastest-growing coastal cities in the country. Served by 13 different airlines, it handles more than 10 million travelers every year. Montpellier Airport is about a three-hour drive south of Lyon.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Lyon by train, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Lyon-Part-Dieu Railway Station or Lyon-Perrache Railway Station.
- Lyon has a semi-continental climate with oceanic influences. Thanks to the moderating influence of the nearby mountains, its summers are warm, but tolerable, with an average high temperature of 27°C (86 °F) in July, the hottest month. Its winters range from cool to mild, with an average temperature of 3.2 °C (37.8 °F) in January. The precipitation is even year-round, with winters months being only slightly more dry than summer.
- Lyon is famous for its delectable food, so much so that the 20th-century culinary guru Curnonsky labeled it “the Gastronomical Capital of the World”. Try to visit a local Bouchon restaurant where you are certain to be offered such delicacies as coq au vin (chicken with wine, lardons, and mushrooms), quenelle (creamed fish, or sometimes meat, with egg binding), and rosette de Lyon (cured French sausage). If you crave something more simple and fast, try the famous Lyon Tacos that were invented in the city less than 20 years ago and remain a top choice of street food among locals.
Top destinations and activities
- St. Jean Cathedral. The foundations for this church were laid in the 12th Century, but it has been constantly improved and renovated over the years resulting in an eclectic mix of Gothic and Romanesque styles. With its many chapels and impressive astronomical tower, it is one of the symbols of Lyon. Combine a visit here with seeing the nearby St. Jean Archaeological Garden which has buildings dating back to the 4th Century A.D.
- Institut Lumière. A unique museum, it celebrates the life and work of Auguste and Louis Lumière, the pioneering French filmmakers who are often called the fathers of cinema. With many items from the very first films ever made, coming here feels like a wonderful trip back in time. That the museum is housed in a beautiful building that still belongs to the Lumière family and was opened by the grandson of Louis only adds to the authenticity of the experience.
- Parc de la Tête d'Or. Large and picturesque, this unique park is considered by many to overshadow the famous gardens of Paris. It is a perfect place to spend a day outdoors or have a picnic. There are also various attractions inside the gardens, including the botanical garden, the greenhouses where exotic non-native plants grow, and the “Africa plain” area where you’ll see plenty of wild animals.
- Roman theaters. Lyon was founded as Lugdunum during the rule of Ancient Rome, and this heritage is best exemplified by the two classical theaters that have survived to this day. Remaining in surprisingly good shape, the theaters continue to host plenty of events and festivals during the summer months. They can be found in the neighborhood of Fourvière, the most elevated part of the city, and are near the Gallo-Roman Museum and the Museum of Religious Art.
- This is just a small sample, be sure to read more about the best things to do in Lyon to find more to do when you're there.
Traffic and parking
- The speed limit in cities is 50km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30km/h. Unlike that of inter-city roads, the urban speed limit is unaffected by the weather.
- Outside cities and as of May 2019, the speed limit depends on the type of the road. Highways are limited to 130km/h, 4-lane expressways to 110km/h, and 2- or 3- lane roads to 80 or 90km/h. When it is raining, the limits are respectively lowered to 110km/h, 100 km/h, and 80km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50km/h during periods of heavy fog or other times when visibility is impaired.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you are driving, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- As of 2019, hands-free mobile phone use is banned in France and the fines are hefty.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for novice drivers.
- The emergency number is 112.
Most of the main highways in France (autoroute in French) are toll roads. Their names start with a letter A and you can recognize them by their red number sign. The fee for taking a toll road depends on the specific route, distance traveled, as well as the type of vehicle - trailer cars and caravans have to pay more than regular cars. You can pay by credit card or in cash. You’ll be given a ticket that you have to keep while on the toll road.
Some rental cars are equipped with toll road transponders that can be used at the automatic toll road payment booths (Télépéage). Ask your rental car provider to find out if they offer cars with toll road transponders.
Ideas for day trips
- Beaujolais. If you’re traveling with a friend, a partner, or someone else you can share the driving duties with, you simply have to visit the famous Beaujolais wine region. There are many outstanding wine-tasting tours you can take. In the many picturesque villages of local domains, you can also learn about the history of winemaking, different technologies used, and wine’s importance for the local economy. The Beaujolais region is just a short drive north of Lyon.
- Annecy. Located in the foothills of the French Alps and sitting on the northern coast of the lake of the same name, Annecy is one of the most picturesque small towns in Europe. Often labeled the Venice of Savoie for its system of small streams of turquoise blue water, it is also famous for its old churches and many different city festivals that take place here nearly once a month. Annecy is about 146km (91 miles) east of Lyon, a distance that can be traveled by car in less than two hours.
- Chamonix. The Winter Olympics were held here in 1924, and Chamonix still remains the winter sports capital of France and, perhaps, Europe. With even the town’s lowest parts at least 1,000m (3,250ft) above sea level, it is located deep inside the French Alps. There are plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, as well as glaciers, hiking trails, and panoramic viewpoints to explore. The most ambitious of travelers will be happy to find out that Mont Blanc, the highest summit of the EU, is also within reach. Near the border with Switzerland and Italy, Chamonix is about a 2 hour and 30-minute drive east of Lyon.
- Saint-Etienne. Sometimes seen as a rival of Lyon, especially when it comes to football, Saint-Etienne is best known for its former industrial prowess, but can actually be a very classy place to visit. The city is characterized by several large squares, many heritage buildings, and interesting cultural institutions (some of them dedicated to a rather recent history like the Museum of the Mine and the Urban Transportation Museum). Located just an hour’s drive southwest of Lyon, Saint-Etienne is definitely worth a visit.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental cars in Lyon are the Citroen C3, the Opel Corsa, and the Ford Focus. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and intermediate.
- Avignon. With an impressive medieval architecture; ancient, fortified town center; and having played a crucial role in France’s religious and revolutionary history, Avignon is a unique place to visit. History buffs will love the many buildings and museums related to the city’s Papal past, while anyone else will appreciate the special atmosphere of the narrow, labyrinthine streets snaking among the steep gothic buildings. Avignon is slightly less than a three-hour drive south of Lyon.
- The French Riviera. As picturesque as it is glamorous, the French Mediterranean Coast is one of France’s top tourist destinations. Places like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and the tiny principality of Monaco are known for their stunning beaches and lavish lifestyle, but just as much joy can be found in the region’s fish markets, sleepy little villages, and impressive coastal cliffs. Nice, the Riviera’s largest city, is 472km (293 miles) southeast of Lyon and can be reached in less than five hours.
- Geneva. Switzerland’s largest French-speaking city is known as a global diplomatic and financial center, but it is also a fine travel destination. Its picturesque city center, architecture and many museums can be explored for days. And if you ever feel like escaping the city, the shore of Lake Geneva and the nearby Alps offer the perfect getaway. About 150km (93 miles) east of Lyon, Geneva can be reached in only two hours. Keep in mind that you’d be crossing a national border, though, so first, make sure your rental car provider permits it.
- Vanoise National Park. Celebrating its 60th birthday in 2023, Vanoise is the oldest national park in France — and more importantly, it’s also one of the most impressive ones. Characterized by snowy Alpine peaks, the highest of which reaches 3,885 m (12,745 feet), it is near a number of winter sports bases, but also is home to wildlife such as mountain hares, chamois, and bearded vultures. If your car rental supplier permits crossing into Italy, you can also visit the Gran Paradiso National Park that’s just on the other side of the border.
- Clermont-Ferrand. This underrated city in the region of Auvergne is a fantastic place to explore. Visit the beautiful black volcanic-stone cathedral, stroll in Jardin Lecoq, see the main square Place de Jaude, enjoy gorgeous hikes in the surrounding countryside, and discover the fascinating dormant volcano Puy de Dome nearby. Clermont-Ferrand is 168 km (104 mi) from Lyon, which is only about a two-hour drive.
Car Rental Prices in Lyon
- Station wagons - from $91 per day
- Large cars - from $43 per day
- Medium cars - from $34 per day
- Vans - from $52 per day
- Premium cars - from $91 per day
- Small cars - from $32 per day
- SUVs - from $68 per day
Follow these tips to get a good car rental deal in Lyon:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Lyon is the cheapest in September when renting a car is about 23% cheaper than the yearly average and an entire 50% cheaper than visiting in March. Come enjoy the end of summer in Lyon!
Top 20 Cities near Lyon
Chambery Car Rentals from $44.81 per day62.8 km / 39.0 miles away
Grenoble Car Rentals from $36.20 per day77.2 km / 48.0 miles away
Annecy Car Rentals from $44.81 per day82.8 km / 51.4 miles away
Ferney-Voltaire Car Rentals from $13.77 per day97.7 km / 60.7 miles away
Moûtiers Car Rentals from $67.37 per day115.9 km / 72.0 miles away
Beaune Car Rentals from $41.21 per day145.4 km / 90.3 miles away
Clermont-Ferrand Car Rentals from $40.68 per day152.6 km / 94.8 miles away
Dijon Car Rentals from $31.15 per day177.7 km / 110.4 miles away
Avignon Car Rentals from $34.21 per day202.0 km / 125.5 miles away
Nimes Car Rentals from $51.90 per day217.9 km / 135.4 miles away
Arles Car Rentals from $78.29 per day229.5 km / 142.6 miles away
Aix-en-Provence Car Rentals from $71.66 per day253.1 km / 157.3 miles away
Montpellier Car Rentals from $34.21 per day254.1 km / 157.9 miles away
Marseille Car Rentals from $57.71 per day254.7 km / 158.3 miles away
Mulhouse Car Rentals from $28.76 per day279.1 km / 173.4 miles away
Nice Car Rentals from $57.33 per day284.5 km / 176.8 miles away
Cannes Car Rentals from $81.77 per day286.0 km / 177.7 miles away
Brive Car Rentals from $57.01 per day288.6 km / 179.3 miles away
Troyes Car Rentals from $31.33 per day296.0 km / 183.9 miles away
Toulon Car Rentals from $39.62 per day296.5 km / 184.2 miles away
Top 20 Locations near Lyon
Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport Car Rentals from $34.34 per day
44.8 km / 27.8 miles away
Grenoble Train Station Car Rentals from $36.20 per day77.2 km / 48.0 miles away
Annecy Train Station Car Rentals from $59.05 per day82.9 km / 51.5 miles away
Geneva Airport French sector Car Rentals from $13.77 per day97.7 km / 60.7 miles away
Moûtiers-Salins-Brides-les-Bains Train Station Car Rentals from $67.37 per day115.9 km / 72.0 miles away
Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport Car Rentals from $46.95 per day149.0 km / 92.6 miles away
Dijon Train Station Car Rentals from $31.15 per day177.7 km / 110.4 miles away
Avignon Train Station Car Rentals from $73.14 per day202.0 km / 125.5 miles away
Nimes Airport Car Rentals from $58.91 per day225.0 km / 139.8 miles away
Aix-en-Provence Train Station Car Rentals from $76.20 per day253.1 km / 157.3 miles away
Montpellier Sud de France Car Rentals from $73.58 per day253.9 km / 157.8 miles away
Montpellier-Méditerranée Airport Car Rentals from $76.75 per day254.1 km / 157.9 miles away
Marseille Provence Airport Car Rentals from $58.08 per day254.7 km / 158.3 miles away
Marseille-Saint-Charles Train Station Car Rentals from $57.71 per day270.5 km / 168.1 miles away
Airport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Car Rentals from $28.76 per day279.1 km / 173.4 miles away
Cannes - Mandelieu Airport Car Rentals from $86.00 per day284.4 km / 176.7 miles away
Nice Airport Car Rentals from $57.33 per day284.5 km / 176.8 miles away
288.6 km / 179.3 miles away
Beziers Airport Car Rentals from $45.75 per day300.2 km / 186.5 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Lyon?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the usual rental length in Lyon?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Lyon?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||11|
|Popular suppliers||RentScape, Keddy, Alamo, SIXT, Enterprise|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, Large cars, SUVs|
|Lowest price||$32 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|RentScape||Peugeot 208||5||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500X||4||2||Medium cars|
|RentScape||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Hyundai Tucson||4||3||Large cars|
|Alamo||Peugeot 308||4||2||Medium cars|
|Keddy||Toyota Yaris||4||1||Small cars|
|Alamo||Renault Twingo||3||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|RentScape||Peugeot 2008||5||2||Medium cars|
|RentScape||Ford Focus||5||1||Medium cars|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental car. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.