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    Choosing your route to the south of France

    Hiring a car and driving to the south of France is a fantastic way to start your holiday, as it gives you the chance to enjoy all the fun of a road trip, as well as this part of the country's characteristic sunny weather. Plus, you can choose whether you hire your car in the UK or France, in addition to whether you travel by Eurotunnel, ferry or, if you're picking up your car after you arrive, air. Choosing your route from somewhere like Calais to the south of France can be tricky. Most people opt to take the autoroutes (French motorways that typically incur tolls), as these offer the fastest and most direct journeys. However, you could buck the trend and travel on the routes nationales, which are the equivalent of the UK's A-roads, instead.Here are a few of the things you should consider in order to choose between the two.

    How much time do you have to spare?

    The first question to ask yourself is how much time you have to spend on travel. Obviously, the longer you spend on the road, the less time you will have in the south of France - but equally, if you pick a longer route, it is likely to be more scenic. As a rule of thumb, those in a hurry should stick to the autoroutes, as these will get you to your destination much faster, while those who want a more enjoyable and interesting drive are generally better off on the routes nationales.

    Are you watching the pennies?

    By avoiding the autoroutes, you also avoid paying tolls. So, if you are keen to save some money, it can be more sensible to take the route nationales. However, it's important to factor in the cost of the extra petrol you'll need on the A-roads - as you'll be travelling a greater distance - and weigh up whether the real price difference is significant enough to sway your decision.

    Are you happy to have an overnight stop?

    It is usually sensible to plan an overnight stop when driving to the south of France whatever route you choose, especially if you'll be driving in the UK first. However, if you decide to travel on the routes nationales, this will be a necessity rather than a recommended option, so you need to think about whether you're happy to do this

    Are you keen to travel a scenic route?

    Generally speaking, the autoroutes are much more monotonous than the routes nationales. So, if you're keen to have a fun road trip experience that offers better views than long stretches of motorway, the routes nationales are for you.

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