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UK Drivers travelling to France

Make sure you Drive Alive! Drive on the right!
  • Be especially careful when setting off from service stations or restaurants on the left side of the road.
  • Take care when overtaking - allow more space between you and the car in front so you can see further down the road ahead.
  • Speed limits, shown below, are implemented rigorously. Radar traps are frequent, with 400 additional fixed cameras installed early 2012. In France, anyone caught travelling at more than 25km/h above the speed limit can have their licence confiscated on the spot. NEW RULES AS FROM JAN 3RD 2012Radar speed camera detectors are illegal(including SatNav.
  • France has strict drink driving laws, blood alcohol levels being stricter than in the UK (0.5 mg/ml rather than 0.8). Rather than present you with meaningless figures relating to blood/breath alcohol levels, our advice is if you're driving, don't drink. NEW! From July 1st 2012 you must carry a breathalyser kit in the vehicle.
  • Seat belts front and rear are obligatory everywhere. 
  • Remember - Speeding and other traffic offences are subject to on-the-spot fines.
  • Be aware that urban speed limits begin at the town or city sign (not always where the first 50km/h sign is situated), usually denoted by a white name panel with a red border, and the limit ends where the name panel has a diagonal black bar through it.
  • When approaching a roundabout give way to traffic already on the roundabout, on your left, unless signed otherwise.
A full UK driving licence is required. As in the UK, seat belts should be worn front and rear.
Take care in built-up areas where the old rule giving priority to traffic coming from the right (Priorité a droite) still applies unless a yellow diamond indicates you have priority. On roundabouts you generally give priority to traffic already on the roundabout, in other words, coming from your left as you enter the roundabout.
Speed Limits
Motorway
Open Road
Dual Carriageway
Town
Alcohol mg/ml
France
130 km/h (110 when wet)
90 km/h (80 when wet)
110 (100 when wet)
50 km/h
0.5
vehicles towing trailers with combination gross weight over 3.5t
90 km/h
80 km/h
90 km/h
50 km/h

Visiting motorists holding a licence for less than 2 years
110 km/h
80 km/h
100 km/h
50 km/h