I suppose driving In France is much like driving in any country. However, if you are from the UK like us then driving on the “wrong side” of the road can be a little daunting! Normally driving abroad is left up to my husband, however on our last visit to France I drove up Mont Ventoux to cheer on my husband and dad to the top (they were cycling up!). I was pretty nervous at first as I was driving my dad’s car which is a lot bigger than my current car but I soon got use to driving.
Tips for Driving in France
Drive on the Right!
Okay, I’m sure you know that driving in France is different to the UK. However, if you have never been before then this obvious tip may actually be of help. It does take a while to get use to driving on the right hand side but after a while it becomes the norm and you feel right at home (just don’t go home to the UK and drive off the ferry onto the right hand side!)
Remember to take…
In France you need to remember to take the following in your car:
- high visibility jackets for each passenger in the car in case of a breakdown
- A warning triangle is a legal requirement to have in your car, so if you don’t have one go buy one.
- Spare bulbs in case you have a light go out, French police seem to like you to replace bulbs straight away if one goes out.
- You will also need to carry a Breathalyzer in your car, if you don’t carry one you could get an on the spot fine.
Speed Limits on Motorways
Motorways in France are 130kph for dry conditions and 110kph for wet conditions (unless stated elsewhere), please abide by these as police are about on the motorways watching out for speeding cars.
It is illegal to have radar detection devices in your car, so make sure you don’t carry any. Turn off the speed camera notifications on your Sat Nav if you have them set up, otherwise you could loose your licence and your car if you get caught!
Most motorways are toll roads which means you will have to pay to use them. Normally you enter the tollgate and collect a ticket then when you meet the next tollgate you will pay. You can pay by card or cash so make sure you look at the top and check which lanes are cash and which ones are card so you get in the correct lane. Take care when leaving the tollgates as it is like a scene from the formula one. Everyone speeds out of their gate to go from 10+ lanes down to the 3 lane motorway. My husband seems to enjoy this part of the tollgate but it scares me to death every time.
If you are looking for more information on driving in France, then the AA have a comprehensive guide to driving in France. Have you ever driven in France before? If so, do you have any tips that you would like the share with everyone?