During the next few weeks, thousands of holidaymakers will be loading up the car and setting off to France. If you’re taking your car from the UK, check out our great deals for discount ferry crossings on all routes.
Roads in France are generally high quality with little congestion outside big cities so driving can be a real pleasure, but some drivers may be daunted by the journey to reach their destination. Check out our helpful guide to driving in France, where you can also order European breakdown cover, and remember these key points:
• The excellent network of motorways or autoroutes are identified as A roads. Most are toll roads with fees payable by cash, credit card or electronic toll tags. The tags take you automatically through special barriers and can avoid queues. We've made it easy for you to order a Liber-T tag from Sanef in advance of your journey. The company has UK customer service, the tag keeps a record as you go and bills your UK bank account.
• Main non-motorway routes or routes nationales are identified as N roads. A good choice if you want a break from motorway driving or to see more small towns, villages and scenery. Road numbering can be confusing so best to follow destination signs.
• Avoid seasonal congestion at the beginning and end of August when most French people holiday en massse. Also avoid if possible the days around July 14th and August 15th, both big national holidays. HGVs are banned from the roads on Sundays all year round.
• Direction signs starting with Bis indicate bison futé, a holiday route avoiding crowded roads. Worth taking at busy times like summer Saturdays. Maps are available free from garages.
• Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit is 50 kph in built up areas, 90 kph on other roads, (80 in the rain) and 130 kph on autoroutes (110 in the rain).
• Carry your insurance, car log book and driving license with you at all times whilst driving. It is an offence to not to do so. Also carry first aid kit, triangle, visibility jacket and two breathalysers. Be sure to use headlamp adjusters.