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Driving in France

Driving Guide FranceAs well as driving on the right side of the road, there are also certain regulations and laws of driving which differ from the UK. These should be understood and complied with in order to make your journey simple and without complications.

Checklist for hiring a car and driving in France:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Photocopies (or originals) of Vehicle Insurance, Vehicle Registration and a Current MOT certificate
  • Florescent Jacket or Vest. These must be stored in the car, not the boot, and worn at all times outside the vehicle on a public highway. There must a minimum of one jacket in the car at all times, yet it is advisable to have vests for all passengers in case everyone needs to exit.
  • A warning triangle. These must be placed 50-100 metres behind a broken down vehicle.
  • It is recommended you carry spare bulbs and fuses for all bulbs in your car.
  • Speed limit stickers must be fitted to caravans and trailers over 3.5 GTM; this is now a law in France.

Speed Limits in France

  • Speed limit in Towns: 50km/h
  • Speed limit on Major roads: 110km/h
  • Speed limit on Motorway: 130km/h

The speed limits differ when the weather conditions are wet. These are;

  • 80 km/h outside Built-up areas
  • 100 km/h on Dual Carriageways
  • 110 km/h on Motorways

Toll Roads

Many motorways within France are toll roads and can be identified by their blue sign. Roads which do not use a toll booth are identified by green signs. When entering a toll road, you receive a ticket which you must keep with you until your distance is travelled as at the end of your journey, you must produce the ticket again. Tickets range in price depending on your distance, so make sure you have plenty of loose change in your vehicle.

Seat Belt Regulations

Seat belts must be worn at all times in the front and rear of the vehicle. All children under ten must be seated in the back of the car. If you do not adhere to these laws you could be heavily fined.

Drinking and Driving laws

In France, the laws are stricter than in the UK so it is best to steer clear of alcohol when driving to avoid any complications. If you exceed over 0.05% of alcohol in the blood stream you could face such penalties as fines, imprisonment and/or confiscation of your driving license.