If you're one of the nine million drivers expected to cross the Channel this year, make sure you've got a reflective jacket in the car. New French legislation means you can be fined if you travel without one.
Since July 1 this year, it has been compulsory for the driver of any vehicle with four wheels or more to carry a reflective jacket.
In an emergency, this jacket must be easy for the driver to access and must be worn, no matter how good or bad the visibility.
Failure to carry a high-visibility jacket could lead to a 135-euro fine (£107), enough to put a dent in the holiday budget and cause unnecessary holiday stress.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid getting into trouble with foreign traffic police this summer:
• Always carry your driving licence, a high-visibility jacket, and display a GB sticker on the car (unless your numberplate features the GB/Euro symbol);
• Check your oil level and make sure your tyres are correctly inflated and have enough tread (ideally at least 3mm remaining);
• Adjust your headlights for driving on the right-hand side of the road to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic. You can buy converter kits, or ask your garage to do this;
• Pack an emergency first-aid kit in your car;
• Remember that you will be driving on the opposite side of the road, so more concentration will be needed;
• Check a map and plan your route thoroughly, so you know exactly where you're going.
For more detailed information on driving abroad, take a look at our factsheet. It comes in PDF format, so it's easy to print out. To download it, click here.
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