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I have never driven a Citroen 2CV and I fancy trying one but not to the extent of buying one. So, renting seems to be the solution. However, if I am going to rent one then rural France would seem to be the right place to do it. A week of two cruising around gently in a 2CV might be fun.

Does anyone know whether it is possible to rent a 2CV in France?

Primarily, I am interested in France but answers from other countries where 2CVs used to be very popular are welcome.

  • I would observe that you can buy one for 1/10th the cost of renting one for a day! leboncoin.fr/recherche/… – Strawberry Feb 24 at 14:34
  • @Strawberry I vaguely considered that but it is a lot of hassle for a week or two. There are many discussions on the merits of buying v renting in the US. I don't recall that discussion for the EU. It might be a bit easier as I am an EU citizen and I might even be able to borrow an address but it still seems like too much trouble. – badjohn Feb 24 at 17:41
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    @Strawberry you won't find one in a drivable condition at that price, even if it does start it won't run for long without hassle. 2CV in good conditions - which is what OP should be looking after for best experience - are considered collectibles nowadays and are rather expensive. – zakinster Feb 25 at 10:11
  • @zakinster You're probably right - but there's a photo of one at 10 EUR, that does look in remarkably good condition. New emissions rules make them rather impractical for the city – Strawberry Feb 25 at 10:28
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    @Strawberry There is also a tree growing out of the roof. – badjohn Feb 25 at 11:11
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I have driven a 2CV (belonging to a co-worker in the UK), and while they are a lot more fun than driving a "muscle car" unless you are on a race track, you certainly don't want to consider two weeks touring in one. For example the practical top speed is only about 40 mph on the flat, and the 0-40 acceleration time is at least 30 seconds. The brakes are almost (but not quite) as fast acting as the acceleration - except when it is raining, in which case "braking" tends to be a philosophical concept, not a practical one.

They are OK to drive in urban traffic so long as you keep away from fast roads and junctions where you need good acceleration to merge into other busy traffic, but they don't play nice with other road users in normal traffic conditions on non-urban roads.

On the other hand, the amount of body roll you can get while cornering at 15 or 20 mph is a unique experience...

The controls are totally different to any other car you will have driven, as well. For example here's how to change gear - note, the gear lever sticks out horizontally from the dashboard, not vertically from the floor!

Hiring one for a day or half a day would be fun, with or without a chauffeur, but not for longer IMO.

But they do have some unique selling points. I once helped use one to transport an eight foot tall potted plant between two houses about 20 miles apart. After checking for any low bridges en route, this was no problem at all. Just roll back the canvas roof from the 2CV, take out the passenger side front seat, put the plant pot in the foot well, and have someone sitting in the rear seat to keep hold of the plant and stop it falling over. Simples!

  • Thanks. I would not plan to cover many miles / kilometres. Years ago, I went on a cycling holiday in France. That was fun. The 2CV should be a little quicker than that. I have experienced that odd form of gearstick in another small, old French car that an uncle used to have. I forget what it was. – badjohn Feb 23 at 21:45
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    @badjohn Could have been a Renault 4, those were also pretty common. – Relaxed Feb 23 at 22:19
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    I owned & drove a 2CV as my sole vehicle for several years in the UK about 10 years ago and, assuming we're talking about the more "modern" 600cc 2CVs, they'd be perfect for touring away from the autoroutes. Easy cruise of 50-60mph, can reach 70mph in a pinch but it's a bit exciting, super comfortable due to the special suspension, 60mpg or so, disc braked versions (all the 600cc's I think) stop easily. The gearchange is fine once you get used to it, but the handbrake is iffy so always park in gear! As long as you don't expect something like a modern hatchback you'll be fine! – Asher Hoskins Feb 24 at 13:39
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    You missed one feature: safety, which is basically non-existing in cars from that era. They are death traps on wheels. – el.pescado Feb 24 at 20:30
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    Nice story, but doesn't answer the question. I used to be member of a Citroen club and we were doing car meetings troughout Europe. Hundreds of 2cv would show up, some of them driven more then 1000 km. The meeting in Sweden even had the honour of hosting a 2cv which drove from Ghana, Africa. 2cv are fun and adventurous for long tours. And yes, its common to have some road side hours. This just adds to the adventure part. – Tim Feb 25 at 5:53
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4 roues sous 1 parapluie is based in Paris and specializes in guided tours with a chauffeur but they do offer rentals in Paris and Bordeaux. From there, you could drive to the countryside (Bordeaux is probably more interesting for that). It is indeed quite pricey and actually more expensive than the German prices mentioned in another answer.

  • Thanks. This confirms my feeling that I need a different holiday idea. – badjohn Feb 23 at 19:26
  • I have seen the chauffeur 2CV rides in Paris but they don't appeal at all. City driving in a 2CV does not seem very appealing either. My dream was sauntering along quiet country roads and stopping at cafes. – badjohn Feb 24 at 11:21
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A quick search on Le bon coin (popular classified advertising website in France) for "location 2 CV" (french for "2 CV hire") gives a few results.

You may find better prices there, especially if you deal directly with individuals rather than car rental companies. I found a few offers for 80-140€ (for a day, I suppose).

Looks like people typically rent these for weddings.

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The 2CV, or "Ente" (duck) was pretty famous in Germany. However, to find such a rental it helps to know the right search terms.
We're calling older cars "Oldtimers" and a search for Oldtimer Vermietung 2CV brings up several hits.

It seems you should calculate around 150-250 EUR for a day of cruising.

  • Thanks. I did a little Googling and I was a bit shocked by the prices. I naively thought that they might be quite cheap. Over in the US, I could rent a muscle car for less than that. – badjohn Feb 23 at 17:30
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    Usually it takes a lot of time and money to keep these older cars running. They're seen more as collectibles, I guess. – npst Feb 23 at 17:33
  • Well, I certainly won't be renting one for a week after all. Possibly just a day but that would not allow the same easy going attitude that I had hoped for. – badjohn Feb 23 at 17:41
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    You might have had enough within an hour. – Weather Vane Feb 23 at 19:07
  • @WeatherVane Thanks. I hope that I would cope; after living in Asia, I have quite a bit of experience driving strange and uncomfortable vehicles. – badjohn Feb 23 at 19:28
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A nice option if you’re interesting in getting a feel for driving a 2CV is to participate in a “rallye 2CV”: these are organised tours of parts of the French countryside, usually in picturesque areas, in groups of 2CVs. The advantages are that the itineraries are “2CV-compatible”, you’d be travelling in a group (which could be a disadvantage, depending on your point of view), and you’d benefit from the explanations of a 2CV expert, all of which help alleviate the difficulties mentioned in the other answers. The “2CV-compatible” aspect might make this sound boring, but in my experience part of the point of these tours is to discover a wide range of 2CV handling characteristics.

Admittedly this works best in a large group; these tours are used for example as team-building exercises in companies, so everyone involved knows each other to some extent. Obviously this isn’t your case; the second best option then is to take part with one or two friends, and switch drivers during the day or two the tour will take.

A web search for “rallye 2CV” in France will turn up a large number of options; pick a region which interests you to limit things. Then pick up the phone and see what the organisers say — if you find a tour organised by 2CV enthusiasts they’ll probably try to work something out with you which meets your requirements!

  • Thanks. That sounds as if it could be a good solution. – badjohn Feb 25 at 9:31
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Peer-to-peer carsharing website Drivy has some ads offering 2CVs for rent. It's what I use when I need a car for a few days.

In case the above link breaks, here is a starting point. Then select dates and location, and "Classic" as the car type.

Hope you'll enjoy your stay in France! :)

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In Madagascar, we extensively still use them today 2019 as taxi (including 4L Renault, and Pegeuot 205)

  • Good point! I understand there are still many more 2cv in use in Africa, or in Eastern Europe, than in France. Besides its driving quirks, these are very repairable cars, and that's a huge advantage in an environment where getting somewhere at all is more important than any notion of speed. – George M Feb 25 at 23:07

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