Driving in France

All the rules to respect when driving a car in France: speed limits, permitted blood alcohol level and types of roads.
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Before you leave for your trip to France, remember to take the following documents with you to avoid incurring heavy fines in the event of a police check:

Unlimited third-party liability insurance is compulsory. European travellers are recognised as having third-party liability insurance taken out in our country and therefore do not need to obtain a green card, although it may be useful to do so in order to ensure more comprehensive insurance cover.

Traffic regulations

Driving in France is governed by the following rules:

Speed limits

We advise you to pay particular attention to speed limits: the traffic police are extremely strict in respecting the rules and it is enough to exceed the limit by even 10 km/h to incur heavy fines.

Let’s look at the current limits in detail:

French roads and motorways

Driving in France is very easy and the risk of traffic jams and queues is practically non-existent except when approaching large cities and the coastal areas of the south that are very popular with tourists during the summer months.

There are 4 types of interurban roads

  1. Autoroutes (A): these are similar to our motorways, i.e. multi-lane fast-flowing roads where you almost have to pay a toll.
    On autoroutes, there are no entrance tickets but barriers every few kilometres where you are asked to pay a flat-rate toll. We advise you to carry coins or payment cards as, of course, our telepass is not accepted. Beware of speed limits as these roads have very strict electronic controls.
  2. Routes National (N, RN): national roads
  3. Routes Départementales (D): regional roads
  4. Routes Communales (C, V): Country roads

For information before departure, you can consult the website of the Association des Sociètés Françaises d’Autoroutes

Alcohol while driving

It is absolutely forbidden to drive with a blood alcohol level above 0.05 %. Remember that checks by the traffic police are frequent and very strict.

Fuel in France

Those travelling by car should be aware that many petrol stations are closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays.

Fuel may be more expensive at motorway service stations while it is cheaper at stations inside supermarket areas.

To see the current cost of fuel in France, we refer you to the Cargopedia website.

Roadside assistance and spare parts

If you should ever have a breakdown, i.e. if your car breaks down, we recommend that you contact the mechanic workshop of the make of your vehicle.

Obviously, Peugeot, Renault and Citroën garages can be found almost everywhere, whereas for the other makes, it will be more difficult to find mechanics who can repair them quickly, especially in more remote and rural areas,


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