Things Automotive

A few years ago I wrote about parking in France. It has not changed. My conclusion about parking in France is that a driver can park a car anywhere as long as 1) the car doesn’t block traffic or a pedestrian crosswalk; and 2) the driver puts the blinkers on. In fact, I think in many cases the driver can ignore rule 1 if he or she obeys rule 2.

I will post pictures of cars illustrating one or both rules as I see them. For now, the subject is the parking lot at the Bois-le-Roi train station.

Parking is, oh, “limited” here. In fact, some drivers park a mile away and walk to the station; always a pleasure in the weather we’ve been having. So any tiny patch of open ground in the actual parking lot is fair game, as shown in the pictures below.


This driver would have to back up about 200 yards from this spot before he or she could turn around.


Before I took this picture, there was surely a car to the left of the white car; otherwise, the white car would have taken the whole open area.

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On another subject, here’s our ride for this trip:


This is a Renault Clio 4, the same as we’ve had the last couple trips; this time we even got it in our favorite car color. We really like this car and wish Renault would export it to the United States. If anyone is interested in the nitty-gritty, we do a short-term lease with Renault. On a short-term lease, the cost is pretty high for the first 21 days (something like $49 per day), then drops to $15 per day after. Our average cost for the 91 days we’re here: $22.09 per day. That’s for a brand-new (4 km at delivery) car with GPS, fully insured, including roadside assistance. Pretty hard to beat that deal, I can tell you. If you ever need a car for more than three or four weeks, this is the way to go. We get the car through RenaultUSA ( It is absolutely painless, but if you run into a problem during the leasing process, the RenaultUSA folks are great to work with. Their office is in Elmsford, New York, the small town where Craig and Annie live, and we stopped in to see them when we were in New York. Great folks.

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