Driving Tips, Rules & Regulations in France

It’s no surprise that many people will want to visit France – with all its sights and places to visit, it’s easily one of the most visited countries in the world. What’s more is that the country has relatively less traffic than its neighbouring states, making it a very attractive destination to those who wish to travel by car. You’ll soon find yourself amazed among the castles, vineyards, towns, and villages that you’ll pass by.

You need, however, to have had a full driver’s license for at least one year before you are eligible to drive in France. Those from North America don’t need an international license, but it goes without saying that you’re better off with one, seeing as how they are regarded with more credibility in most states. The French drive on the left hand side of their cars and on the right side of the street, giving priority to traffic on the roundabout, unless a street sign says otherwise. There are also tolls on almost, if not all motorways. As you enter, you’ll have to pick up a ticket and once you reach the exit you’ll pay based on the distance you travelled. Make sure you don’t lose the ticket, otherwise you’ll have to pay the maximum toll.

Observer alternate side parking. You only part on one side of the road, which is determined by the date. You’ll notice signs with 1-15 and 16-31. These show the dates when you cannot park on these sides. There are also parking machines all over, so make sure you observe and pay them. There is, however, free parking from 7:00 PM until 9:00 AM, as well as on weekends and holidays. But there are places, however, that have signs that indicate exceptions to those rules. Those who violate parking regulations are given a ticket which you can either pay directly or by purchasing a tax stamp.

France’s drink driving laws indicate a 0.05% limit of alcohol content on drivers. Those who violate this will be subjected to fines, criminal liabilities, and confiscation of license. Drivers are also expected to wear seatbelts. Kids under 12 years old must at all times ride in the back seat.

Unless signs otherwise provide, motorists are required to maintain 50 km/h speed limit in cities, 55 km/h outside the built-up areas, 110 km/h on urban motorways and 130 km/h on motorways.

Aside from strict implementation of traffic rules, the police, along with breakdown service operations in the area, are also tasked to assist in handling breakdowns or car failures. When you’re in this situation, you should go to the nearest orange phone to call for help. These are found once every 2 km on the motorways. There are offices that are specifically tasked to tow the car and take it to safety where repairs can be made.

For everything else, driving in France is not different from other European countries. Just keep them in mind and you’ll be able to drive to the Eiffel Tower, the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris with little to no trouble at all.

Summary

The French drive on the left hand side of their cars and on the right side of the roads.
There are lots of toll roads. You pay by the distance you travelled.
Observer paid parking restrictions. You only part on one side of the road, which is determined by the date. You’ll notice signs with 1-15 and 16-31. There is, however, free parking from 7:00 PM until 9:00 AM, weekends and holidays.
France’s drink driving laws indicate a 0.05% limit of alcohol content on drivers.
Drivers are also expected to wear seatbelts. Kids under 12 years old must at all times ride in the back seat.
Maintain 50 km/h speed limit in cities, 55 km/h outside the built-up areas, 110 km/h on urban motorways and 130 km/h on motorways.

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