Don't forget your vest this summer

* Be aware of foreign motoring laws * France demands you carry a reflective vest * Check out our top tips...

08 July 2008

Don't forget your vest this summer

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.