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France

  • The kit you'lll need to carry abroad...
  • ...plus safety and driving laws
  • 16 most-popular destinations covered
Words ByPete Barden

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Here's what you'll need to know when driving in France. Drivers should be aware that the requirement to carry a breathalyser test is no longer valid. However, drivers should be aware of the lower alcohol limit permitted in France.

Road deaths per 100,000 of population. UK average 3.1 (2010):
β€’6.2 per 100,000 of population

Minimum age for drivers
β€’18

Maximum speed limit

Motorways:
β€’130kph/80mph
Open roads:
β€’100kph/62mph
Urban areas:
β€’50kph/31mph

Alcohol limit per 100ml of blood
β€’50mg

Equipment required in car
β€’A warning triangle
β€’Headlamp converters. These are stickers on your headlights, which prevent oncoming motorists being dazzled by UK-configured headlamps
β€’Reflective jacket
β€’Drivers aren't required to carry a spare set of lights, but they may be fined if a bulb stops working and there is no replacement
β€’From July 1, 2012 drivers must carry at least one breathalyser test that conforms to French NF kitemark standards. Update:This law has been suspended and drivers will not be fined for failing to carry a test kit.

Documentation to be carried
β€’Full British licence (if it's not a photo version, you'll need another form of photographic ID, such as a passport)
β€’Original registration document, or hire-car paperwork
β€’Motor insurance policy

Exterior markings
β€’A GB sticker on the back of the vehicle unless 'Euro-plates' are fitted

General requirements
β€’Seatbelts to be worn by all vehicle occupants
β€’Drivers have to pay motorway tolls in France

On the spot fines issued
β€’Yes

Radar detectors
β€’Forbidden - and this includes having a speed camera alert function on your sat-nav. Faillure to comply could result in a fine of up to 1500 (around 1200)

This information is provided as a guide to driving in the aforementioned country, but is not intended as complete legal guidance. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure they follow national driving laws.