to French registration plates from 2009 Here
also these two driving guides at the insurance4carrental.com
site by clicking on an image above
Driving Tips (some of this information supplied by Holiday
Built-up-areas: 31mph/50kmh outside towns: 56mph/90kmh
priority roads and toll-free motorways: 68mph/110kmh
toll motorways: 81mph/130kmh
are more and more speed cameras in France (useful web
controleradar.org/) They usually have a warning
sign a few metres or so before you see the camera and
it is often set on a dual carriageway in the central
reservation to capture traffic on both sides of the
road. They are much nearer to ground level than those
found in Britain and Ireland. They are often located
on motorways on more dangerous sections particularly
when the speed limit is reduced to 110 kmh. Remember
if you are driving a hire car your fine will be passed
onto you by the car rental company.
you are driving on foreign plates, don't think you are
safe from prosection now. A letter in the August/September
2007 edition of "The
Riviera Reporter" concerned
someone whose son had passed an Italian radar camera
that flashed him. The fine was passed onto the French
authorities to pursue via the local Prefecture. The
same writer also knew of someone who had been speeding
in Switzerland and the fine demand went overeas. According
to The Riviera Reporter "Harmanisation and intra-EU
cooperation is under way and not only fines will have
to be paid, but soon points will be deducted from your
licence no mater where the offence was committed. This
will include offences in the UK and any other EU country
as well as Switzerland"
offences between Italy and France
Radio Daily News reported
on the 8th January 2016 that a new measure has
been introduced concerning road offences in France and
Italy. Both countries will work together and as of the
1st of January all French motorists who commit a driving
offence in Italy will receive a fine by post at their
French address. The same will apply to any Italian motorists
fined in France.
the April /May 2011 edition of The
Riviera Reporter "Speed
proximity of an automated camera radar trap is no longer
automatically posted in France. Instead, zones where
such traps are common will usually be signposted as
much as 2 kilometres in advance rather than the 400
leaves plenty of time to forget, so don’t. Over a thousand
new speed cameras will be installed in France before
2012 adding to the 2800 already in place. More than
20 of these new cameras will be in Alpes- Maritimes
including several in dense urban locations such as the
Nice train station flyover"
Detectors: It is illegal to use these and you can
be fined up to 1,500 and lose 2 points of your
license. However it is not illegal to download a map
of where the speedcameras are from the French Government
the April / May 2011 edition of The
traps (radars tronçons),
which measure average speed between two distant points,
are being installed on major traffic arteries throughout
France. This means that drivers can no longer slow down
where they know there’s a speed camera only to accelerate
afterwards. Licence plate recognition technology will
be put to full use here. In the Bordeaux region they
are testing a system that can recognise lorries and
coaches which have different speed limitations from
passenger cars" More
the February / March 2012 edition of this magazine (click
on image on left)
detectors After much debate, devices that detect
speed cameras are now formally forbidden. In theory,
using a device that actively warns of cameras is now
punishable with a €1500 fine and the loss of six points.
It is generally accepted that passive devices which
show known speed camera positions without detecting
them actively are acceptable if they are dubbed "danger
zone warning devices". In 2012, 400 new fixed radar
traps will be installed and there will no longer be
advance-warning panels on roads equipped with them.
introduced environmental zones and the Crit'Air Vignette
on 1st July 2016
zones in France - Holidaymakers risk financial charges!
There is a new vignette/sticker for Paris, Lyon and
Grenoble. They are first three cities to introduce emissions
stickers for all vehicles and there are a lot of cities
in France. Twenty two more cities are planning this.
days when certain cities are at risk of reaching their
Euro emissions limit heavy polluting vehicles can be
refused entrance based on the "Crit'Air" sticker the
vehicle is displaying. You can apply on line and visit
here Classifications are based on age of vehicle,
there are quite a lot of restrictions for older vehicles.
rental cars will be issued with these, but no doubt
it could affect the hire costs as it another admin detail
for them. Motorists driving without the Crit'Air sticker
can be fined on the spot from €68 to €135 It will be
interesting to see if other cities in different countries
follow this system.
School buses must now be fitted with equipment
that tests the driver's breath before allowing the vehicle
to start. This is expected to be extended to include
all buses within a couple of years.
Police (including municipal police) can now test drivers
for narcotics, including cannabis. Driving while under
the influence of drugs is sanctioned like alcohol-related
vehicle's first CT (MOT) must take place within 4 years
of the1ère mise en circulation shown on the registration
paper. The CT is then obligatory every 2 years for private
vehicles and every year for vehicles registered to a
vehicles must now have a pollution test every year.
When you are registering a newly acquired car the CT
must have been done within 6 months of purchase if the
vehicle is more than 4 years old.
contrôle technique 2012 looks at more items than previously
and will take about 10 minutes longer and cost about
€10 more. The speedometer must now be shown to function
but its accuracy won't be tested. The horn must be in
working order and its fixations will be verified. Brake
fluid lines are now tested for cracks and potential
leaks, as are power steering lines and fluid levels.
Wheel bearings will now be checked for wear and excess
play. Fog lights and rear windscreen anti-misting are
now tested as well.
body parts such as rigid decorative door guards must
be firmly installed with no risk of them coming off
and injuring someone. All doors must now function so
that passengers can escape in case of accident or fire.
The petrol tank must be in good condition and not leak.
The anti-theft steering wheel lock will now be verified
to ensure there is no danger of it locking while the
car is in motion.
penalty for an outdated CT is €135 and results in immediate
confiscation of the vehicle. The registration papers
will be retained by police and you may then be granted
a fiche de circulation provisoire allowing you seven
days to get the car to a testing station. Once the car
passes the CT, registration papers will be returned.
Except for registered collectors' cars, even vehicles
that are not used must now be tested although it's hard
to see how this can be enforced. The new CT sticker
shows the expiration date in much bigger letters than
before so police can read it from a greater distance.
valid contrôle technique is the only accepted indication
that your tyres, brakes, lights and other safety features
were working properly at the time of an accident. Without
an up-to-date CT you can be held responsible for an
accident even if, in theory, it isn't entirely your
fault. This isn't new but it's something too many drivers
Phones: If you are found to have been using your
mobile phone for speech or texting at the time of the
accident you will almost certainly be considered at
fault no matter what the other driver did. From 2012,
the fine for using a mobile phone or texting while driving
has been increased from €35 and a 2-point penalty to
€135and 3 points.Source
February 2012 - Riviera Reporter
and driving: Blood alcohol limit is 50mg - barely
1 unit of alcohol. (0.5 grams of alcolol per litre of
blood) In the UK it is 0.8.
In-car alcohol tester / alcohol breathalyser From
July 2012 it will be obligatory for all drivers in France
to carry a breathalyser (éthylotest) in the glove box
(not in the boot). Costs will be from €2
January 2013 - From Total website
cas de contrôle routier, le défaut de possession d'un
éthylotest serait sanctionné par une amende de 11 euros
à partir du 1er mars 2013. Un décret a été publié en
ce sens au Journal officiel du mardi 30 octobre 2012.
L'éthylotest donne un indice de la présence d'alcool
dans l'air expiré. En France, Il est interdit de conduire
en cas de concentration d'alcool dans l'air expiré égale
ou supérieure à 0,25 milligrammes par litre.
Source : service-public.fr.
you are stopped by traffic police, the lack of having
a breathalyzer will mean you will be fined 11 euros
from 1 March 2013 as per the decree that was published
on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. The breath test gives
an indication of the presence of alcohol in the breath.
In France, it is forbidden to drive when alcohol concentration
in exhaled air greater than or equal to 0.25 milligrams
per liter. Source: service-public.fr.
Breathalyser kits now obligatory in cars in France -
check your hire car - July 2012
Driving Laws in France -July 2012
alcohol tester / alcohol breathalyser becoming law in
France from July 2012 More information Here
Drive laws in Italy Update.
Magazine's March 2009 edition reports that the new Codice
della Strada (The Highway Code) has stated that if you
drink more than three glasses of wine or more than one
brandy you will not pass Police alcohol tests. Apart
from having the driving license suspended up to a year,
the vehicle can also be confiscated and sold by the
care if you are taking a day trip into Italy from the
South Of France.
on major roads has priority. Where two major roads cross,
traffic coming from the right has priority as warned
by the sign 'danger priorité à droite'. Where there
is no sign, give way to the right.
on a roundabout has priority and signs saying 'cedez
le passage' or 'vous n'avez pas la prioritè'. In some
areas the old rule of traffic entering roundabouts having
priority applies so be cautious where there are no signs
a driver flashes his headlights in France, he is generally
indicating that he has priority and you should give
way. This can be confusing as in the UK it usually indicates
that a car is usually indicates that a car is letting
for someone waiting at a zebra crossing is a fineable
offence for holding up traffic. The crossings indicate
where is best to cross.
not overtake a tram when it is stationary with passengers
alighting or boarding.
lights don't show amber after red. Flashing amber means
continue with caution.
is compulsory for front and rear seat occupants to wear
seat belts if fitted.
hazard warning lights or a warning triangle is
compulsory. It is recommended that visitors equip their
vehicle with replacement bulbs. From July 2008
A reflective vest is also complusory (like in Italy
and Spain - In Spain you must carry reflective vests
for all occupants).In-car alcohol tester / alcohol
breathalyser By spring 2012 it will be obligatory
for all drivers in France to carry a breathalyser (éthylotest)
in the glove box (not in the boot). Costs will be from
valid driving licence - If it is issued in the UK and
the driver has passed his / her driving test at 17,
you cannot drive a car in France till you are 18. The
minimum age for car rental is 21.
is registerd in the UK, you are not obliged to
show an international insurance certificate or green
card, however proof of insurance may be needed so take
your insurance certificate showing fully comprehensive
Registration Documentation: Take your vehicle registration
document with you, but don't leave it in the car (in
case the car is stolen). If the car does not belong
to you you should have a letter of authority from the
registered owner and a copy of the registration document.
Lights: Traffic light sequences are like those in
Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Italy and many other European
countries. They are unlike the UK in so much as when
the light has gone red, instead of going to amber, they
go straight to green. However they go from green to
amber to red to stop traffic. You will often find that
at night or at other quieter times some traffic lights
flash amber from every direction. This means that no
one has a right of way, but all drivers must proceed
Belts: It is complulsory to wear seat belts in front
and rear and children under ten years old are not allowed
to travel in the front seat (unless there are no seats
in the rear). In the rear they must use a proper restraint
system - bolster cushion. If you are driving with a
dog, it is advisable to harness the dog in using a special
dog harness. A dog like a human that is not secure in
the back can cause serious injury(or death) to the front
seat people if it is not secured by a harness.
Warning Triangles - First Aid Kits -
Fire Extinguishers - Headlight convertors:
These should always be carried - many manufacturers
issue them as standard. In the event of a breakdown
this should be displayed as well as hazard warning lights.
It is recommended that a first aid kit be carried -
again many manufacturers issue them as standard and
a fire extinguisher. If you are driving a right hand
drive car, you should put convertors on to stop dazzling
oncoming drivers .In-car alcohol tester / alcohol
breathalyser By spring 2012 it will be obligatory
for all drivers in France to carry a breathalyser (éthylotest)
in the glove box, but not in the boot. Costs will be
cyclists: Motorcycles over 125cc must use dipped
headlights during the day. A crash helmet is compulsory
for driver and passenger.
- Autoroutes: The motoway network in France is excellent.
The majority of the country is covered by pay autoroutes
and in most places they accept credit / debit card payments
at the pay points (Tolls) Péage. In many city areas
the autoroute will be free in the zone around the city
(not in Nice for example) and you will stop at a Péage
to collect a ticket and stop at another at then of that
section's toll road to pay. Most autoroutes are very
well served by fuel stations, some with hotels. Approximately
every 15 kilometres you will find an Aires - This is
rest area with parking, tables and chairs for picnics
and toilets, but no fuel. There are normally emergency
telephones on the autoroute network every 2 km. These
are orange and marked SOS.
is illegal to drive on a French motorway at less than
80km/h (approx 50 mph) in the fast lane.
Petrol - Essence | Unleaded - Sans Plomb (Green
on pump handle)| Diesel - Gazole (Black on pump handle)|
LPG - Gepel/GPL| Please note that most larger petrol
stations will accept credit cards, however many of the
automated ones will only accept a French one.
to French registration plates from 2009 - Black on White
registration plates on French cars from 2009.
the 15th April 2009 the département number will no longer
be on the French registration plate. The registration
plates will no longer be black on white at the front
and black on yellow at the rear as in the UK, but black
on white on the front and rear as in Portugal, Ireland,
Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and many
other European countries.
are made up of two letters, three numbers and two letters
these are separated by hyphens(e.g. DE-354-FG) and will
be allocated to a vehicle for life unlike presently
if the owner moves from département to département.
The new plates do not contain any element that identifies
where the car owner lives.The Government claimed that
this would facilitate police dealing with stolen or
suspect vehicles. There was opposition from the suppression
of department numbers (75,62,48,06 etc) on the registration
plates and there was a Government climbdown.
A car owner may add the official logo of their a French
département to the their new style plate together with
the département number below it on the right hand side
of the number plate. This does not have to be the département
where the owner lives.
hand cars: The new regulations apply to second hand
cars from the 15th June 2009 will get these as well
when la carte gris (registration document) is updated
with a new address or owner.
you are moving to France from another EU country uyou
can keep your old British, Irish, German registration
plates, but you must display where relevant Contrôle
Technique. However if you are caught by a speed camera,
don't think your foreign plates will help you.According
to Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau the British
are the worst followed by the Germans. Drivers will
be tracked down to their French home address or via
the home country of the registration plate.
limits in France: Don't put yourself in the frame Stick
to the speed limit in France, warns Chris Dearden of
The Independent – foreign motorists are being targeted
- October 2010 "a
gendarme on his BMW motorbike overtook us and gestured
for us to follow. Half a mile later, we turned in and
parked alongside a dozen other cars, all caught in the
same speed trap -My friend's on-the-spot fine had been
€90, but a Dutch Audi driver had been relieved of €700,
courtesy of a nearby cash machine. Working on an average
fine of, say, €250, and 20 cars an hour, 10 hours a
day, that speed trap could be pulling in €18m a year.
French are un-ashamedly targeting foreign drivers with
mobile speed traps along with instant on-the-spot penalties.
And the penalties don't stop at relieving you of some
of your holiday money, either. If you are 50kmh over
the limit, your licence will be confiscated, posted
back to Britain at some indeterminate date in the future,
and your six-month ban on French roads starts immediately.
Just in case your reaction to this possibility is to
turn on your UK legal radar detector as you drive off
the ferry, you need to remember that if caught, its
use in France will bring about immediate arrest."
the full article here October
2010 | Back
Identifying car hire cars in France HERE
Driving in Monaco
to the letter section of The
Riviera Reporter (December 2008/January 2009 edition)
A Monaco resident reported "I've just been told
that Monaco registered cars can only be driven by the
owner. This means that I can't allow my car to be driven
by visiting friends or family as apparently they would't
even be insured". The
Riviera Reporter reply. "This stems from a
modification to the highway code dated April 2008. According
to insurance broker Eric Blair, who is in a better position
than anyone to know the details concerning this situation,
the new rules mean that any Monaco registered car can
only be driven by the owner, their spouse/husband and
children as they are declared Monaco residents and therefore
"Carte de séjour" holders. Insurance wise,
the policy could be considered as "nul and void"
on the basis that if the driver at the time of an accident
did not comply with local law, them the driver would
be unauthorised to drive." The
Riviera Reporter goes on to say "Eric is raising
this matter with the Insurance Brokers?Agents Association
to obtain their position. When The
Riviera Reporter knows more they will print it.
cash fine for going over red light in Monaco and €60
for going down wrong way on one way street. May 2010
Sharpe was driving out of the Mone Carlo casino carpark
and heading for the A8 autoroute. He misread the road
and went through a red light. He was pulled over by
a policeman who demanded an on the spot fine of one
hundred and fifty euros in cash. He was told that unless
he paid the money immediately the car would be impounded
and he and his wife would not be allowed to leave Monaco.
They had to go to an ATM to obtain the cash and pay
it over. A receipt was issued. Another reader of The
Independent Craig Brand reported in the 29th May 10
edition of Independent Traveller that
after watching the Monaco Grand Prix, he left to go
to Nice. He came to a roundabout and was confused by
the road signs and ended up going down a one way street.
Police immediatelt pounced and issued a €60 fine.
Take great care when driving in Monaco. It could
prove rather expensive.
(Pompiers) 18 Police 17 European
Municipale - Town
& City areas
Nationale - local district area
by army deals with serious crime
in France - Mobile
phones - All mobile phones start with 06.
Calling a mobile from a land line can be very expensive.
If you are visting France for a while instead of relying
on your home country mobile you can buy a "nomad"
Pay as you go sim card. You will need a French address.
phones - The
French telephone network is run by France Telecom. Peak
hour (heures pleines) rates run from 8am - 7pm Mon-Fri.
The weekends, national holidays & hours between
7pm & 8am are classed as off peak (heures creuses).
Diesel & Service Sations
Service Station - la station service
Services - une aire de service
area on motorway (Toilets, parking etc) - une aire de
petrol - l'essence sans plomb
- le gasoil
fill it up with fuel - faire le plein
service - libre-service
the tyre pressure - Vérifier
la pression de pneus
checking station - serice de conflage
- l'autoroute (A)
- la route nationale (N)
- la route départementale (D)
Road - le péage
phone - une borne d'appel d'urgence
Lights - les feux