If you’re planning to drive in France, make sure you know the road rules and have the right equipment in your car.
What you need to have in your car when driving in France
1 High Visibility vest
There should be one for all passengers since it’s a requirement to wear a high-viz vest if you breakdown on the motorway and have to get out of the vehicle. You should carry them in the front of the car where they’re easily accessible. This is a legal requirement (including motor bikes).
2 Warning Triangle
By law, you need to have a warning triangle in the car in France which must be used, placed a minimum of 30m from the car, in case of breakdown or accident.
3 Spare bulbs
You can be fined for having a broken bulb in France so if one breaks, you need to have a kit in the car for immediate replacement.
4 Headlight beam adjusters
If your car doesn’t have adjustable headlights to make them compliant for driving on the left-hand side of the road, you’ll need to fit adjusters.
Drink-Drive limits in France
The limit for consuming alcohol and driving are lower in France than in the UK by almost half.
Speed limits in France
Fines are on the rise in France for breaking the speed rules.
As of midnight 30 June 2018, the speed limit on all two-lane roads in France, was reduced from 90 kilometres per hour (55 miles per hour) to 80 kilometres per hour (50 miles per hour).
Motorway: 130 kilometres per hour, 110 kilometres per hour in wet weather (80 miles per hour, 68 miles per hour in wet weather)
Dual Carriageway (Major Roads): 110 kilometres per hour; 100 kilometres per hour in wet weather (68 miles per hour (62 miles per hour in wet weather)
Two-lane roads outside built-up areas: 80 kilometres per hour; 70 kilometres per hour in wet weather (50 miles per hour; 43 miles per hour in wet weather)
Built up areas (towns and villages): 50 kilometres per hour (31 miles per hour). Sometimes reductions are in place for 30kph but this will be signed.
Child on board
Children under the age of ten must travel in the back of cars with child seats/restraints unless there is no rear seat or the seats are full (with other children under the age of 10). Babies up to 10kf months in a rear facing child carrier may occupy a front seat (if the airbag is turned off), carry cots must be in the rear of the vehicle.
It’s illegal to carry or use a speed camera detector – doing so carries a heavy fine. You need to disable Satnav speed camera alerts before you travel in France.
Priority from the right
Be aware that some roads in France give priority to motorists approaching from the right. This is indicated by a red triangle with a black cross.
Low emission zones
In some cities in France you must carry a CRIT’Air sticker in the car, an Air Quality Certificate. Currently this rule applies to 28 zones including Paris, Lyon, Lille, Strasbourg and Grenoble. Find out where the ruling applies and get a badge online at: https://www.crit-air.fr/en.html (English language).