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Traffic Regulations in France

Driving Overview | Insurance Information | Rental Restrictions

Driving Overview

General Information
France has nearly 40,000 km of roads. 9600 km of those are "autoroutes", the French motorways (4 lane). Some of these roads are toll roads called "autoroutes a peage".

Highways in France suffer from congestion in late July/early August and again in late August/early September, when the whole of France is on holiday. But France is a big country compared to for example UK and there is great distance between cities. Enjoy the many beautiful roads of France. Gorges de l'Ardèche is situated north of Avignon. The road to this little town is really beautiful and offers breathtaking views with white cliffs, castles, quaint little villages and hidden sandy beaches.

To hire a car in France, you must be at least 21 years old (age can vary by car category) and have held your driver's license for at least 1 year. For drivers under the age of 25 an additional young driver surcharge may apply locally. Seatbelts are mandatory and children up to age 3 must be seated in a child seat. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to sit in the front car seat.

Speed Limits
Speed limits in France are:

  • Town and city: 50 km/hh
  • Open Roads: 110 km/h
  • Motorways: 130 km/h

Traffic restrictions
In France you drive on the right side of the road. Please note that using a mobile phone while driving is banned in France. If you must use your phone make sure you have a hands-free device. Fines for traffic violations are collected on the spot. Payment is done in either Euros or travelers' cheques. Speed cameras are widely used.

In the bigger French cities you will find many petrol stations open 24 hours. Petrol tends to cost more when you buy it at a station on the motorway.

France's expressways, the "autoroutes", are toll roads and are identified by the letter A. France has more than 2000 km of toll roads. Usually you take a ticket while entering the road and pay when you drive off the road. Please note that the rates are higher in high season (summer).

Pay parking meters are quite common in many small towns. Most large cities have "blue zones" where you display a parking disc or ticket on the dashboard of your car when you park. These discs are available at police stations and tourist offices. Avoid parking on the street of Paris. Many French drivers tend to park where there are space instead of where there are marked parking spots... If visiting Paris, park in the outskirts and use public transportation to reach the city centre. (If you are not used to driving in Paris).

Insurance Information

General Information
Car rental insurance varies widely, so please study the information below prior to making your booking. Regulations of the country where you rent the car will be in effect for the duration of your rental.

All our car hire rates include Collision Damage coverage and Theft Protection for the vehicle. Rental limits potential vehicle damage or loss liability to an excess, which is stated on your voucher. If you plan to take advantage of coverage offered by your credit card, please contact your card issuer directly for details. Specific insurance information for your reservation will be printed on your confirmation voucher.

Rental Restrictions

General Information
Most car categories can be driven within Western Europe, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and Ireland. If you wish to drive abroad (outside France) you need to purchase additional coverage. Please note that you may not take your rental car on a ferry. Due to insurance regulations, there are restrictions on luxury car categories and on travel in certain countries. Please take a moment to ensure that your intended itinerary will be possible with the car you plan to book.

Restricted Countries
When you hire a car in France you can normally drive it to Spain and other neighboring as well as other countries within Western Europe. There are different rules applying so please let us know if you plan on taking your car outside of France. There are additional insurance fees that apply for these rentals. If you want to travel to Eastern Europe or cross any national border(s) with your rental car it is important that you please contact us on our toll free number 1800 943 075.

Domestic one-way rentals are available between certain locations, additional fees may apply. Fees also apply for international one-way rentals. Some vehicles are prohibited on international one way rentals.

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