*Based on an individual aged 31 with no pre-existing medical conditions taking single trip cover for 7 days to Spain. Cover starts on October 1, 2022 and ends on October 7, 2022. Price correct as of September 30, 2022.
We compare a huge range of one-way and return car hire deals from over 20 leading rental companies
With sea views, an atmospheric old town and a still-active fishing industry, Marseille is one of France's most compelling coastal cities. Enjoy people-watching and fresh seafood at the Old Port, shop in the gritty Noailles district, and hire a car for day trips into Provence and the Camargue.
Language: French | Currency: Euro (€) | Avg. Flight time: 1 hr 55 mins
Many of the big-name car hire companies offer cheap rental deals at Marseille Provence Airport (MRS), including Avis, Europcar and Hertz. The drive to Marseille itself from the airport should take around 25 minutes in good traffic. If you're heading inland, you can reach Aix-en-Provence in around 45 minutes.
The car hire desks in Marseille Airport are either at the front of Terminal 1, after passport control and baggage reclaim, or just outside in the car park.
Car hire companies that have desks at Marseille Airport in 2023 include:
Avis and Budget (Tel: +33 0820 61 16 39)
Enterprise (Tel: +33 0442 14 24 90)
Europcar (Tel: +33 0825 35 93 59)
Hertz (Tel: +33 0442 14 34 66)
Sixt: (Tel: +33 0484 07 00 62)
If you don't need a hire car from the start of your trip, it's easy to pick one up later in central Marseille. Shop around for deals with big international brands such as Avis, Hertz, Alamo and Europcar, whose offices are clustered near Marseille-Saint-Charles railway station. You’ll also find a few options further out in Rouet along Boulevard Rabatau.
Marseille is a large, busy city that can be daunting to drive around at first. However, much of the 1st arrondissement is laid out in a relatively easy to understand grid, and the roads are well maintained and signposted. Things get trickier in the historic Hotel de Ville area north of the port – it's a classic old town scenario, with lots of narrow, interconnecting one-way streets. Luckily that's a small part of the city, and can easily be done on foot.
As with any city, it’s best to avoid driving around the centre in the early morning and late afternoon. It’s also worth noting that the main road running around the Old Port is one-way, with traffic flowing anticlockwise around the harbour.
Street parking can be very difficult to find in Marseille, especially around Hotel de Ville. You will, however, find several car parks near the city’s popular attractions, offering hourly as well as day rates. If you’re looking to save money, try parking further out or leaving your hire car at your accommodation and using public transport in the city centre.
Driving time: 45 minutes
Marseille is in the region of Provence, famed for its stunning scenery and fields of fragrant blooms. Scattered throughout are idyllic towns and cities such as Aix-en-Provence. It has a compact yet charming historical centre filled with meandering alleyways and quaint squares ideal for a day of strolling and discovering.
Calanques National Park
Driving time: 45 minutes
For a unique day by the coast, head to the Calanques National Park. Here it's all about the coves (which, for non French speakers, is what calanque means). Limestone headlands jut out into the clear blue waters of the Med, creating a series of sheltered beaches and rocky swimming spots. Some, such as Calanque de Sormiou, come with small villages attached, allowing you to grab some lunch. Hop between them and finish up at the coastal town of Cassis.
Driving time: One hour 15 minutes
It’s well worth a 75-minute drive to see the Camargue Natural Park region, one of southern France's great wild places, with windswept walks and incredible wetland scenery. Wander across remote dune-backed beaches, or take a guided cruise from gateway towns such as Aigues-Mortes and Le Grau-du-Roi. Keep an eye out for the region's legendary wildlife, which ranges from wild horses to flamingos.
You’re required to pay a small fee to enter some of the roads and tunnels in Marseille, including Prado Carénage. Card payments are widespread, but keep some change with you just in case.
Avoid driving during rush hour. Marseille’s streets can become gridlocked during commuter times in the early morning and late afternoon.
If you're going to the Calanques, allow plenty of time to get around. Getting from one cove to another means retracing your steps quite a way inland. Morgiou and Sormiou are just a kilometre apart, but driving between them takes 30 minutes.
All rental deals compared on TravelSupermarket include mandatory fees (for example, one-way and young driver surcharges) in your rental quote at the time of booking, meaning you’ll know the full price of your car hire upfront.
What age do I need to be to hire a vehicle in Marseille?
The minimum age requirement for renting a car in Marseille varies from one car hire company to the next, but many generally ask drivers to be at least 21. It’s possible to hire a car if you’re younger, but your options will be limited and the conditions more stringent. To know for sure, consult with your provider in advance.
What do I need to hire a vehicle in Marseille?
The absolute minimum requirements include a full driving licence, another form of ID – such as a passport – and a credit or debit card. You don’t need to present an International Driving Permit if you hold a UK licence. It’s also handy to have with you your Certificate of Motor Insurance. If you’re unsure, contact your provider in advance.
Do I need car hire excess insurance in Marseille?
You are not legally required to take out car hire excess insurance in Marseille when you rent a car. That’s because when you do book a rental, the cost usually includes a basic level of protection, such as a collision damage waiver. However, if you have an accident, you will have to pay the excess (this is mandatory). Car hire excess insurance covers this cost if the event of a claim. Try a standalone policy – it’s cheaper than purchasing it at the desk.
Can I rent a car with a debit card in Marseille?
In Marseille, many car hire companies will allow you to pay for a rental with a debit card. However, they usually only accept certain debit cards, such as Visa or Mastercard. You’ll also find that certain car categories will be restricted – premium vehicles are often only possible with a credit card.
Which rental companies are available at Marseille Provence Airport?
You can rent a car from some of the best-known car hire companies in the world at Marseille Provence Airport. These include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Goldcar, Hertz, InterRent, National and Sixt.
Is it cheaper to rent a car at the airport or off site in Marseille?
An ‘airport surcharge’ can be added to the cost of hiring a car at an airport, so it can be cheaper to rent off site. Compare your options online in advance to be sure.
Can you rent a car in Marseille and drop it off in another city?
Yes. Many car hire companies in Marseille offer one-way rentals, so you can pick up a hire car in the city and drop it off in another one. Check with your provider to confirm that your desired drop-off destination is included.
Can you rent a car the same day in Marseille?
You can absolutely hire a car on the same day in Marseille. It’s worth checking in advance whether the car hire firm’s offices will be open by the time you arrive there.
Can I hire a vehicle at 21 years of age in Marseille?
Yes, you can hire a car in Marseille if you are 21. You generally will need to have held your licence for at least one year (sometimes two) and will likely have to pay a ‘young driver surcharge’. Also, You may be restricted to certain vehicle categories.