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5 Tips For Driving In France
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5 Tips for Driving In France

When driving in France, it’s best to remember that a few things change. One notable difference (as a British writer) is that they drive on the right hand side of the road, and this can throw you off, on the first roundabout you come to! Once that's been overcome, and you remember dilligently to say to yourself "right,right right" particularly in cases where the road is clear and you get the urge to drive on the left, I've drawn together this further shortlist of things to look out for.

1. Drive Safely

When you’re on holiday, remember it’s just that, so no need to rush around and drive erratically. Remember to stay on the tight and narrow and don’t drive when your over tired or had even the smallest drink at lunch. The French wine is more potent than it tastes. Instead take a walk after lunch and help your digestion get back on track!

2. Speed

Speeds in France are measured in kilometres and not miles, and there are 0.62miles in 1km. Luckily, the French speeding limits are very similar to the those found elewhere in the world, but obviously are signposted in kilometres. These speeds are well worth remembering –

  • 50km translates as 30mph for in and around town.
  • 90km translates as 55mph for open roads.
  • 110km translates as 68mph for motorways.

3. On Board Equipment

Interestingly, you need quite a few essential items on board when you are driving around Europe. These things may sound alien to you, but to get caught without them could lend you a heft fine!

  • Spare bulb kit
  • GB/Country sticker or Euroflag number plate.
  • Two high visibility jackets.
  • Headlight converter.
  • First aid kit.
  • Warning triangle.
  • Fire extinguisher.
  • Breathalyzer kit.

You could face a fine of up to 135 Euros for not having the high visibility jackets and warning triangle, so don’t leave home without out them. Better safe than sorry.

4. GPS and Radar Detection

Most people when travelling in France use some kind of GPS device (I'm more of a map person myself). But, if you have say a Tom Tom with speed camera locations programmed into it (which many do), you will have to turn this system off when in France. Also, if you have any kind of radar detection system, you could be fined up to a whopping €3000! These devices are illegal in France and they will be confiscated under French law.

5. The Good Samaritan Law

European Law requires every driver to stop and help out if it is safe to do so at an accident. This is called ‘The Good Samaritan Law’ and is one of the main reasons why you should be carrying a fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

I hope that these tips help to assist you on the road whilst travelling around France. In terms of getting to France, there are many ways, but by far the most exciting way if you are coming from the UK is to travel by ferry. I think that the experience of travelling by boat is one of those experiences that in today's internet enabled world helps to bring you back to the ground.

Happy driving!


Street Talk

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