The FCO travel advice for France has been updated with regards to driving regulations. Please find an extract of the advice below.
Safety and Security – Local Travel – Road Travel
Advice on driving outside the UK can be obtained from motoring organisations such as the AA and RAC.
Information on road safety and potential traffic black spots (in French only) is available on the French government website.
To drive in France you must be 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 should obtain written permission from the registered owner.
It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket. The reflective jacket must be stored inside the vehicle itself. Non-compliance is a fineable offence.
Driving regulations in France are different from those in the UK. On 4 January 2012 new legislation regarding driving came into force. Penalties for various offences have been increased.
It is compulsory to carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket in all vehicles.
Speeding can result in heavy, on the spot fines and potentially immediate confiscation of your vehicle and licence.
It is illegal to cross, even partially, on to the hard shoulder of a motorway without due cause.
In-car radar detectors and satellite navigation systems which warn of the presence of speed cameras or radars are illegal whether in use or not. There use or possession can attract fines and/or, confiscation of the device and the vehicle.
In 2010 there were 3,992 road deaths in France (source: DfT). This equates to 6.2 road deaths per 100,000 of population compared to the UK average of 3.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2010. Many drivers undertake long journeys in, or through, France. Care should be taken to plan journeys and take regular breaks.
Single use breathalysers will be obligatory in all motorised vehicles as of 1 July 2012. Motorists and motorcyclists travelling to France should purchase a kit complying with French regulations and carrying the “NF” label. Road users are advised to carry at least two breathalysers at all times.
For more information about driving in France, please click here.