Public transportation in Paris is so thorough and efficient that the need for a car in the city for daily use is practically non-existent. In rush hour, and even in off hours, traffic in Paris is painfully slow. The périphérique, the highway that circles Paris, is often at a standstill and the major portes (exits from the périphérique) are usually congested. Traffic jams (bouchons) and bottlenecks (embouteillages) are the norm. In addition, while Parisians loosely follow traffic laws, they can be aggressive and impatient. And, to top it all off, most apartment buildings do not offer free parking, which imposes additional expense, as well as inconvenience.
There is a certain sense of liberty, however, that comes with possessing a car even if you do not plan on using it every day. The option to rent long-term allows you to have constant access to an automobile; however, it can be expensive. If you don’t feel the need to have the freedom to jump in the car at a moment’s notice, renting periodically is a sensible alternative. There is also the option to bring your own car or purchase one upon your arrival in France.