Monday, 15 May 2017

An essential checklist to driving in France

With the release of 'France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts – New Edition' by Julian Parish there will no doubt be a lot of budding explorers ready to dive into the automotive world of France, but are you prepared? I have picked out a number of key points to remember when traversing the wonderful landscape of one our closet allies.

Drive on the RIGHT hand side:

Bit of a simple one, if not blindingly obvious, but you would be surprised how many people forget this key point when zooming off the ferry to start one's journey.

Have ALL your driving documentation to hand:

The French police will be a lot happier if you have all of your relevant paperwork to hand if your unlucky enough to be pulled over for whatever reason. This includes; driving licence, insurance documents, MOT and the V5 Log Book.

Essential Items:

There are also a few items that drivers in France are required to carry which include; Warning Triangle, Hi-Vis Vest, GB Sticker, Spare Bulbs, Breathalysers.

Legal driving age:
An important thing to note for any of you younger readers newly passing their test is that the legal driving age in France is 18, not 17 like in the UK.

Drink drive limit:

While its probably tempting to stop at one of those scenic restaurants to enjoy a glass of red wine, the legal drink drive limit in France is a lot lower than over here and one cheeky drink could put you over the limit and run you a fine of €4,500

Know the road types:

  • “A” White Text/Numbers & Blue Background = Autoroute (Motorway)
  • “N” White Text/Numbers & Red Background = National Roads
  • “D” or “RD” Black Text/Numbers & Yellow Background = Departmental Roads
  • "C & R" Black letters on a White Background = Communal/Rural Roads
  • White Signs = Municipal 
  • Green Signs = Forestry

Speed camera alerts:
While it’s completely normal and legal to have speed camera alerts on our sat-nav systems in France it’s quite the opposite, you could be fined up to €1,500 and even risk having your vehicle taken away. You may need to contact your sat-nav manufacturer for a software or database update to remove French camera data.

Low emission zones:

Much like our own country, France has its own low emission zones in the following cities; Paris, Lyon and Grenoble.

Hopefully this small guide will be helpful to all those planning on hunting through Julians expert guide.

To purchase France: The Essential Guide for Car Enthusiasts – New Edition (£14.99 + P&P) please visit: