What you need to know about driving in France this year

22nd July 2017
Posted by: Lewis Reed

There will be plenty of holidaymakers from the UK heading to France over the summer. Being in your own car, and the freedom it provides, as well as the opportunity to take your own essentials, can be very appealing to a WAV user.

However, mobility issues have the ability to make even the nicest holidays a bit more complicated, especially in France, where there are more things for a driver to be aware of. Therefore, we have compiled a list of hints and tips that any driver needs to be aware of

• Be very careful when you set off from service stations, which are on the left hand side of the road. This is probably when you are most likely to pull onto the right hand side of the road by mistake.

• Take extra care when you are overtaking, and make sure that allow for more space between vehicles, so that you can see further down the road. We recommend that you avoid overtaking entirely on anything that isn’t a toll road or motorway.

• Speed limits in France are stringently enforced, and it is important to take extra care within an hour or two of any port. There have been reports of French police targeting vehicles with UK number plate, and whether this is true or not, there is enough circumstantial evidence to make it worth bearing in mind. Anyone who is caught travelling at more than 25km/h can have their driving license confiscated on the spot.

• Most people have sat navs on their phone as well as in the car, so it’s important to know that radar speed cameras are illegal, and this includes any sat nav technology that gives a warning about when a speed camera is approaching. We recommend that you don’t bring any such technology with you, and it can result in a fine of up to €1500.

• France has very strict drink driving laws, with the amount you are allowed to drink being much lower than in the UK. So, instead of trying to work out how much you are allowed to drink, we recommend that you simply avoid all alcohol if you have to drive.

• Seat belts are a requirement everywhere.

• Given that the speed limit in France is higher than in the UK on motorways, we can’t see any reason why a WAV user would want to speed. Especially as it results in on-the-spot fines.

• Remember that urban speed limits often begin at the town limit, which is denoted by a white name panel with a red border, rather than the first 50km/h. The urban speed limit ends when you see the town name with a diagonal black bar through it .

• When you approach a roundabout, give way to traffic already on said roundabout, unless told otherwise.