Velib Rentals in Paris with Your Visa
Renting a bike is the ideal mode of transportation in Paris, especially since bike rental stations have appeared virtually everywhere. Vélib’ bike rental is available for everyone 14 years and older. Taking a bike tour around Paris can be cheap as these rental stations are conveniently placed every 300 meters (less than 0.2 mile!). You also have the option to rent a bike at bike rental locations if you want a longer rental term. We will look at those after we discuss the Velib' system.
How Does Velib' Work?
The first 30 minutes of rental is FREE. If you return the bike to a Vélib’ station (not necessarily the one from which you rented the bike) within the first 30 minutes you pay nothing. After that first free 30 minutes you pay 1 Euro for the second 1/2 hour, 2 Euros for the third 1/2 hour and 4 Euros for each additional 1/2 hour. Be careful – a 10 hour day could easily cost you 35 euros if you do not return the bike until the end of the day!
Save money by selecting the option of a 1-day ticket or a 7-day ticket if you will be riding frequently!
How does it work? Simply log in to the terminal - Rental stands function in the language of your choice- access the menu and follow the directions. The Vélib’ machine takes VISA, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, MasterCard Maestro and Visa Electron. YES, that means it takes an American credit card which may have a chip but no pin!
Where Do You Find a Velib' Station?
Vélib’s are available 24/7 to anyone 14 years of age and older. You can choose a 1 day ticket or a 1 week ticket. This means you do not have to register each time during the day that you want to use a bike. It also means that you have an unlimited number of journeys throughout the day/week with the first 30 minutes of each journey being free. You also have the option for a Vélib’ pass if you are staying for longer than a month. You can purchase a Carte Velib’ on their website, www.velib.paris.fr/, which is valid for one year. You will have 45 days to activate your code once you purchase online so do not purchase the code to far in advance of your trip!
There is no need for a bike map as the stations have a convenient map to show you your immediate area and the location of other stations. You can also download an app for your smart-phone that will show you the location of the nearest Velib'. Since the stations are only 300 meters apart, you can cover a lot of territory for free. All you have to do is get off within 30 minutes, maybe do a little shopping and then back to the bike! If you prefer, you can download a map from their website which shows the location of the Velib’ stations.
What to do in Paris? Rent a bike and enjoy the 371km of cycle lanes in Paris!
Other Rental Options
If you want to rent a bike for "long term", more than a couple of hours, then I would suggest going to a rental location where you can rent by the day. It will be a more economical choice.
Paris Bike Tours not only does guided city tours but they also rent out bikes in increments of 4hrs, 8hrs, 24hrs, with add-on charges for additional days/hours. They also have a special rate for weekends. They recommend you reserve in advance.
Fat Tire Bike Tours does not rent out bikes individually but they do offer some great tours so you should check them out if you want a group tour.
Gepettos Velos offers rentals for individuals, groups, with or without a guide.
Allo Velo will even deliver the bike to you!
Motorail is located in the rental car section at Gare de Lyon. This is wonderfully convenient if you are arriving in Paris via train!
Some of these bike rentals have websites that are only in French. If you are wanting to verify prices, look for the word "louer" which means "to rent" or "location" which means "renting". These websites also have parts and repair if you have traveled to Paris with your own bike or a bike you have rented in another town.