Renting a car and driving is easily the best way to see France. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about driving in France. That way, you can rent a car and enjoy your holiday traveling around France with maximum peace of mind.
To keep things simple, we’ve divided this guide into the following sections:
Simply because you are a tourist does not mean you should drive recklessly. Respecting traffic laws applies to both citizens and tourists, and understanding the various legal requirements will save you from a lot of trouble in France.
First, in France, the driver and steering wheel is on the left side, but people drive on the right side of the road. So if in your country drivers keep right, this will be the first confusing part of driving in France.
No! You can use your home country license to drive in France as long as you are a tourist and thus don’t intend to stay for a long time in France. Additionally, you must be over 18 years, and the license must be in the Roman alphabet. So if your country issues driving licenses to people under the age of 18, you cannot drive a car in France, but you are allowed to drive a scooter or a small motorbike.
Here are other legal requirements you need to observe when driving in France.
|Type of Road||Maximum Speed (km/h)|
|Main Roads within city limits||50|
|Main Roads outside city limits||80|
In France, you are arrested with a BAC of 0.05% or o.5g/l.
If you are a new driver i.e. you have had your license for less than three years, the limit is 0.2g/l.
Never drink and drive.
Here are penalties you can face for breaking driving laws in France:
A valid driving license is a must-have, no matter the country you’re in. However, there are other things you must have when driving in France, which are not all standard requirements in other countries:
Check your rental car, it should be equipped with all the necessary items listed above.
If you are on a road trip and intend to enter France by car, you can not carry meat, milk, or other dairy products brought in from outside the European Union.
In general, France is perfectly safe to be discovered by car. Remember to stay alert and vigilant, just as you would in any other place around the world.
Remember to follow the traffic laws so that you don’t risk ruining your vacation with a hefty speeding ticket.
Holidays are for fun and creating beautiful memories, whether you are alone with friends or family. Nothing dampens the holiday spirit like being pulled over by police, arrested, or fined.
So here are essential things you should know before renting a car in France.
France has banned the use of mobile phones, Bluetooth, and hands-free devices. Keep your mobile phone away as you drive.
If you intend to stick to city limits, you are safe. However, once you are out of the city limits, the major highways are toll roads, and they are marked by blue and white signs.
You pick a toll ticket when you enter the toll portion of the highway, and you will pay at the exit. Toll roads are paid by the kilometer so make sure you include these when budgeting your road trip.
Speed camera detectors alert you when you are speeding so that you can slow down. But you will have to do without them when driving on French roads. If your navigation system comes with speed camera detectors, you will have to disable them unless you are ready to pay a €1500 fine.
Each country has set its own rules and regulations on pollution, and French is no different. Some French cities have adopted clean air zones, and unless your car displays a clean air sticker, you may not be allowed to drive through these cities. If you are caught inside the zone without one, you will pay a fine of 64 euros.
To drive freely through the clean air zone, ensure you get a clean air sticker online by entering your vehicle’s details. The categories of vehicles that can enter clean air zones vary from city to city, so make sure you start this process before your holiday starts. That way you will organize your trip and sightseeing based on the cities you can enter with your car.
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