Guide to Driving in France

France is a good example for how the streets should look all over the world. You don’t have to mind about cracks and holes; of course, there are some exceptions, but over 90% of the streets around France are well-maintained. This often leads to speeding, which results in a fine. In order to fight the speeding process, the France government installed a large number of speeding cameras all around the country. Nobody will pull you over if you exceed the limit with 5-10kmh, but anyone who goes above these numbers is a target for the police officers. Traffic in large cities like Paris can be a headache, so, if you can, avoid them. Remember that traffic is on the right-hand side of the road. All overtakes should be performed on the left, except for the tram. In unmarked intersection you must give way to vehicles coming from your right. During the winter some roads in the Alps or in the Pyrenees might be close. You are prompted to have winter tires on all the 4 wheels of your car. We advise you to have some snow chains ready for actions, just in case the weather gets a little rough.

Police in France is easy to recognize especially because it uses Peugeot or Renault cars. These cars are painted in white, with blue stripes and with the word ‘POLICE’ printed on the sides and on the hood. The light beacons are also a feature of these cars. All drivers must have an identification card, like the passport, the car’s registration certificate and the national driver’s license issued by the citizen’s state. Police often stops drivers, especially foreign ones, just to check for these documents. Parking places are usually accompanied by a park-meter and a police officer. Parking in inappropriate places might result in a 100E fine.

Essential Driving Information

  • You are not allowed, under any circumstance, to have a radar detector in your car. The fine goes up to 1.500E and the device will be confiscated.
  • The seatbelts are compulsory for all the seats in the car.
  • You are not allowed to use the phone without a hands-free device attached to it while driving. The fine goes up to 150Euro.
  • Some motorways in France require a tax in order to drive on them. This tax can be paid at any tollbooth located at every entrance and exit.
  • Dipped beam is mandatory while driving in non-built-up areas.
Speed Limits
Town/City: 50kmh (30mph)
Main Road: 90kmh (55mph) or 110kmh (68mph)
Motorway: 130kmh (80mph)
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 17
Ambulance: 15
Firefighters: 18
Other: 112
General Information (as of 2014)
Min Driving Age: 18
Alcohol Limit: 0.05%
Petrol Price: €1.50/litre
Diesel Price: €1.31/litre
Daddy Car Hire, Advantage Business Centre, 132-134 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, M4 6DE