Driving in France

France is the number 1 holiday destination in the world for tourists and each year more than 85 million visit easy quizzz. Of that number, 14 million are British nationals and many take their cars. This article helps to clarify the major points and to dispel the myth that the only factor that drivers need to be aware of is to “keep right” and to drive on the other side of the road when coming off the ferry in France.

If you are looking to drive in France then you you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid UK driving licence, insurance and vehicle documents. Failure to comply may lead to a fine and/or your vehicle being impounded. You are not permitted to drive at 17 even if you hold a valid licence. If you do not own the vehicle you are driving, you are advised to obtain written permission from the registered owner.

Driving in France is considered safe and in 2008 there were 4,275 road deaths in France. This equates to 6.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares favourbaly against the UK average of 4.3 per 100,000. Tiredness was a big contributor to this figure and due to the size of the country many drivers will undertake long journeys cross country. If you are driving long distances then care should be taken to plan your journey and to take regular breaks. Please dont become a statistic for the sake of a break.

Fuel in France is similar to the UK and unleaded petrol, diesel and LPG are all available. Petrol stations will allow you to top up a jerry can but note that carrying fuel in one of these containers sis forbidden by the ferry and Eurotunnel operators. A new type of fuel, the SP95-E10 which contains a 10% Ethanol mix is now available throughout Franc but this fuel is not suitable for use in all cars and you should check compatibility with your manufacturer before using. Many European Breakdown Cover policies will not provide cover if you mistakenly refuel you vehicle with the wrong fuel.

Driving regulations in France are different from those in the UK. Speeding can result in heavy, on the spot fines and potentially immediate confiscation of your vehicle and licence.

Although the French like a glass of “Vin” at lunchtime they take there drinking and driving laws very seriously. If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05 per cent or more comfortable, severe penalties are imposed include fines, imprisonment and/or confiscation of the driving licence. The same applies to diving under the influence of drugs and saliva drug tests will be used to detect drivers under the influence of drugs. Penalties are severe and are similar to those of drink driving.