France Driving Guide (2022)

Explore France by driving with International Driving Permit.

2021-08-06 · 9min read

French fries may not be from France, but this magnificent country still is a home of rich cuisine, along with affluent art, culture, and architecture. Most of its lesser-known cities have been getting a lot of attention lately, but Paris still secures a spot in the list of most visited cities in the world. Enjoy its capital traveling along the Seine, around the Arc de Triomphe, or ride out to Versailles.

If you have always dreamed of visiting the most romantic city in the world, driving would be the most liberating way for you to do so. You can manage your own time and be more flexible with how you want to explore France without the inconvenience of commuting. Whether you will be having a short vacation or a long-stay visit to this magnificent country, having an international driving permit along with your U.S. license or any native license when driving in France would enable you to maximize your experience.

France Driving Guide (1)

General Information about France

Known as the country with the “City of Love” worldwide, France is more than just the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre Dame’s Cathedral. France is a country with lots more to offer. That’s why before you travel to the nation, learn some knowledge about getting into the country. Develop the habit of researching about the country before traveling to make your trip worthwhile.

Geographical Location

The two of the world’s largest saline water bodies - the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, primarily surround the state. It has always been a bridge connecting northern and Southern Europe in geography, culture, and language.

Land Area

With a total land area of 547,556.992 square kilometers, France is among Europe’s most important agricultural producers and one of the leading powers in the automotive, aerospace, and luxury economic sectors.

Languages Spoken

Being the official language, French is the primary communication system among France’s government and education system. However, the regional languages have five language families: Vasconic, Italo-Dalmatian, Germanic, Celtic, and Gallo-Romance. The Gallo-Romance is then further subdivided into the highest number of regional dialects and is the most widely spoken across France.

Along with the substantial number of regional languages spoken in France, an expansive range of immigrant languages, including German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, and Vietnamese, has also become an integral part of its communication system. President Emmanuel Macron implored French schools in his October 2020 speech to teach the Arabic language to end separatism. Maghrebi or Western Arabic speakers comprise approximately 2% of the urban population of France.

History

France has played a significant role in the history and culture of international affairs in countries across the globe as its previous colonies. It is one of the oldest nations in the world, which was brought forth by an alliance between monarchies under a single ruler during the Medieval period. Today, the principal autonomy is still under the state, with its people expecting it to safeguard their freedom.

The state had given liberal provisions for the people, including but not limited to free educational and health services and pension plans. Even though France looks like it unifies parts of Europe, its long-standing national theme revolves around the demand to give paramount importance to the individual. It seeks to provide the highest level of protection to a person, as stated in the pro homine principle. Sounds like a great place to travel to or even live in, right?

Government

When the French nation suffered in political turmoil, General Charles de Gaulle crafted a government by creating the June 1958 Constitutional Law. However, in making the Third and the Fourth Republic, it only ends up having several conflicts in achieving political stability. To resolve the issue, the 1958 Constitution made the parliamentary and presidential system as one. As a result, the parliament is now a bicameral legislature, having a National Assembly and the Senate.

Talking about France’s inhabitants, in early 2000, five percent of the French population is non-European and non-white. It sums into at least three million people, forcing ethnic or race diversity issues onto the French policy. At the same time, most French descent, the largest immigrant groups residing in France, were from Africa (30% Maghrebi and 12% Sub-Saharan), Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Asia.

Tourism

Paris, the country’s capital, is significantly its most famous and vital city. It is one of the world’s distinguished centers of culture, commerce, and arts. It has been reconstructed a couple of times. During the mid-19th century, Emperor Napoleon III commissioned Georges-Eugene Haussmann to redesign the city with a vast urbanization program of new broad avenues, boulevards, and public works that contributed to Metropolitan France is today.

Other major cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Lille, Cannes, and Bordeaux have multiple world-renowned spots rich in culture and history.

Renting A Car in France

If you want your trip to be as smooth as possible, and you can’t bring your own, renting a car is a viable option. Finding where to rent a car and figuring out everything about renting one in France can be tricky, but lucky for you, some car rental guidelines are readily available for you.

Car Rental Companies

You can book a rental online ahead of your departure date or check out car rental agencies personally when you arrive in France. Many of these companies are readily accessible from the airport, and you can also arrange your preferred pick-up spot. Some car rental agencies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz, National, and Sixt.

You may use your smartphone to browse for the best vehicle to rent in terms of booking a car. Remember to visit only the legitimate and verified websites. When doing an online transaction, give what is mandatory, and do not share any special codes that can hack your details. You don’t want to be a victim of scams or fraud. If you have dilemmas about processing your reservation online, you may have a walk-in booking at the airport.

Documents Required

Car rental agencies would have their terms and conditions, so you should always check them before anything else. There may be slight differences in the legal requirements for driving in France using rental cars, but some usual requirements include:

  • A complete, valid local driver’s license
  • International Driver’s Permit for France
  • Your passport
  • For advanced booking, an international debit or credit card
  • For pick-ups, you’ll need a receipt or voucher to verify your payment for the rental

Vehicle Types

You can choose from a wide variety of rental cars to fit your style and vacation vibe. You can rent mini-vehicles and economy cars to aim for a more agile and economical drive. Compact and family cars are great for family or group vacations to accommodate more people and luggage. You can even rent out luxury cars in France.

Here are some rental car types with respective car models to give you an idea of what you can choose to rent for your trip. You can also check out other rental agencies for their pool of car types and models you can rent out.

  • Mini Car Rental Models: Renault Twingo, Fiat 500, Ford Ka, Smart For Two, Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 107.
  • Economy Car Rental Models: Ford Fiesta, Opel Corsa, Peugeot 208, Smart For Four, Citroen C3, Fiat Punto, Renault Clio.
  • Compact Car Rental Models: Fiat 500L, Fiat Tipo, Ford Focus, Opel Astra, Toyota Auris, Peugeot 308, Opel Mokka, Renault Megane.
  • Mid-size Car Rental Models: Renault Scenic, Fiat 500X, Citroen C4 Picasso, Ford C-Max, Peugeot 3008, VW Touran, Opel Zafira.
  • Family Car Rental Models: Peugeot 508, Toyota Avensis, Citroen C5, VW Passat, Renault Talisman, BMW 3 Series.
  • Luxury Car Rental Models: Volvo s90, BMW 5 Series, BMW 4 Series, Mercedes E Class, Mercedes S Class, Audi A5, Mercedes E Class, Audi A6, Mercedes GLC.
  • SUV Rental Models: BMW X3, BMW X5, BMW X4, Renault Kadjar, and others.
  • Van Rental Models in France: Renault Trafic 9 passengers, V Class 8 passengers, VW Sharan 7 passengers, Mercedes Vito 9, Ford Turnero, and others.

Car Rental Cost

Grabbing a rental vehicle in France is relatively cheaper than in any other country. You may score a car by paying only $12/day. However, the price will vary depending on the car type you will pick to rent. Remember that before you proceed to canvass for the rental fee, make sure that you have a final passenger’s count so that you won’t have difficulties choosing the vehicle to rent out. Car rental companies in France accept credit card payments.

Here’s a list of estimated prices when renting a car in France. Please note that the cost is still subject to change depending on the availability of the vehicle.

(Video) What tourists need to know before driving in France
  • Mini - $12/day
  • Economy - $13/day
  • Compact - $17/day
  • Intermediate - $23/day
  • SUV - $40/day
  • Passenger Van - $42/day
  • Luxury - $43/day

Age Requirements

Age requirements for renting a car are determined independently based on various car rental agencies’ policy terms. The minimum age limit for renting a car in France is 18 years old, but some companies may set it at 21 to 23 years old.

If you are under 25, driving in France may cost extra fees ranging from €30 - €40 per day, which will probably not be in your virtual booking payment rate. You will have to pay for it personally during the pick-up day, but may also give some restrictions from renting some vehicle types.

Car Insurance Cost

French law requires drivers to carry third-party insurance, so most car rental companies offer inclusive rates for car rental insurance in France, especially for younger drivers aged 18 - 21. If you have current car insurance, you may have to check if your policy extends to other countries, specifically France.

You may want to avoid rate increases or high deductible in using your insurance to make it better for you to avail of inclusive car rental insurance. It ensures maximum coverage if your current plan does not.

Car Insurance Policy

Insurance coverage rates include Value Added Tax (VAT), Liability Insurance, Fire Insurance Collision Damage, Theft Protection, Personal Accident Insurance, and Roadside Assistance. Be aware that there may be rental premiums for driving in France under 25 years old. Using major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and AMEX when booking rental cars may offer some form of insurance coverage for your rental car.

If you opt to utilize that, you should verify your coverage and bring the necessary documents to show the rental agency during pick-up.

France Driving Guide (2)

Road Rules in France

Now that you know about the process of scoring a rental vehicle, in this part, you’ll learn about the driving rules you need to follow in France so that you can blend in and drive like the French in no time. Find out more driving rules and other things to know about driving in France.

Driving laws include carrying specific items required when driving in France. Drivers must always be aware of the side of the road to go on, speed limits, and other regulations, so research about the specific requirements for you and do maintenance checks on your car before driving in France.

France’s Drinking-Driving Law

This is one of the most important driving laws you need to follow. A maximum legal blood alcohol level of 0.05% is the limit for private vehicle drivers. At the same time, 0.02% is the limit for bus, coach, and new drivers with less than three years of experience. The police can do random breath tests, and such trials, including a drug test, are compulsory either after a driver caused an accident or committed a serious violation.

Parking Rules

Parking can only be allowed on the right side of two-lane roads and on both sides for wide one-way streets. Yellow lines or road signs may indicate restrictions, while broken yellow lines mean parking is not allowed. Road signs indicate paid parking areas with parking meters and machines that sometimes accept credit/debit card payments.

Illegal parking will result in towing and impoundment of your car. You will have to go to the local police station to pay a fine for the violation and the vehicle released separately.

Warning of Approach

Horns are only to give essential caution to other road users for a specific duration within a day. Flashing passing lights must be used to warn of approach when driving in France from sunset to sunrise. The use of horns in all built-up areas is strictly against the law except in total emergency cases. It is also forbidden to use multi-tone horns, sirens, and whistles. You also need to use your dipped headlights all the time.

Fine and Confiscation Rules

Road enforcers will collect on-the-spot fines of up to €750 from drivers who break driving rules. The police may hold your vehicle until you settle your payment. It can be paid by cash in euros, by French bank, or traveler’s checks. Confiscation of vehicles may happen in some cases, as well as your license. If you don’t want your domestic license for driving in France to be confiscated, take note of these significant violations where this can happen:

  • If you do not stop during a police contrôle (being stopped or checked by police)
  • When driving without a license or insurance
  • Exceeding the speed limit by over 50 km/h
  • Multiple offenses of driving under the influence of alcohol
  • During hit-and-run situations
  • When driving a vehicle with the wrong license category, which does not cover that vehicle

In these cases mentioned, your car can already become the property of the French government.

Keep in mind that the French use kilometers and meters for their national speed limits. They use the metric system for all traffic signs and road markings. The standard speed limit is 130 kilometers per hour. The speed limit on main roads outside built-up areas is 80 kilometers per hour and 50 kilometers per hour for build-up areas.

EU licenses of drivers who will exceed the speed limit by more than 40 km/h will have their driving cards confiscated. A recent development in GPS systems and devices warns drivers about the locations of speed cameras, so the law prohibits drivers from using such devices. Transgressors may pay up to €1,500 while confiscating their device and vehicle.

Seatbelt Laws

Both the drivers and passengers must always wear seatbelts at all times. It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that all passengers wear seatbelts, especially for those below 18, to have an adequate restraint in the vehicle. A €135 fine will be charged to the driver if a 10-year-old child below sits in the front seat without a seatbelt or child seat. Another €135 penalty for not wearing a crash helmet or seatbelt is for adult passengers to settle.

Driving Directions

Traffic flows around a roundabout in a counter-clockwise direction. Drivers approaching a roundabout indicated by a triangular sign with a red border and three arrows forming a circle in the center must give way to traffic already on the roundabout. In the absence of a road mark, the rule of priority for vehicles coming from the right applies.

A priority-junction sign, a triangle with an X in the middle, indicates that there is an up ahead and that you don’t have priority, so you should slow down and be prepared to give way to vehicles joining the roundabout. Don't worry; these old-style roundabouts are relatively rare, and once you have one under your belt, they'll be like second nature. You must also give way to emergency vehicles with flashing lights and sirens.

Traffic Road Signs

Driving safety is what most travelers aim to achieve abroad. Of course, achieving it requires the designated four-wheel operator to know the standardized road signs, especially in France. Most of the road signage in the French nation follow the international ones. However, some marks may give you a hard time understanding and deciphering its meaning. Take the initiative to learn those beforehand, so you already know the signs when you get to drive.

The European state has four road signs classification. Those are warning signs, regulatory signs, informational signs, and directional signs. To know their differences from one another, continue reading below.

Warning Signs in France alerts drivers of possible hazards. You can see these marks enclosed in a red border and has a white background. If you sight signage in a yellow triangle with a red border, it’s only a temporary warning mark.

  • Equestrians warning sign
  • Uncontrolled crossroad ahead
  • Heavy crosswinds in area warning sign
  • Road narrows ahead
  • Rail crossing ahead with one railway
  • Steep descent ahead
(Video) DRIVING around in FRANCE: DRIVING SIGNS in FRANCE & PARKING RULES in FRANCE

Regulatory Signs advise operators about the primary road policies. It’s more like telling the drivers what to do when encountering signage enclosed in a circular shape with a white border and blue background.

  • Snow Chains
  • Pass on the Right Only
  • Mandatory Lights On
  • Right Turn and Left Turn Sign
  • Pedestrian Crossing
  • Cyclist Lane
  • Tram Lane
  • Speed Limit
  • Bus Lane

Informational Signs are typically the usual marks that road users know. It also informs about what’s going on the road.

  • Begin of a built-up area sign
  • Parking for A Limited Time
  • Motorway Lane
  • One-Way Traffic
  • Speed Bump

Directional Signs are like physical navigators that primarily assist drivers in reaching their destination point.

  • Autoroute/Motorway Signs
  • Major Roads Sign
  • Temporary Roads Sign
  • Local Road Signs

Right of Way

Priorité à Droite is a longstanding French driving rule valid up to this day. Vehicles approaching from your right have the right of way at intersections unless indicated differently by present traffic regulators. Cédez le passage is a standard to give way in most roundabouts. Drivers approaching these roundabouts must give way to vehicles already in them or about to enter from your left. But sometimes, you will still have to give way to cars that are about to enter the roundabout, even if you are already in it.

Main roads marked with yellow diamond signs such as N and D roads are priority roads. Priority ends when the diamond has a black strike-through. Being on a priority road gives you priority over all traffic entering from a side road until your privilege ends. Entrance to urban areas with a different road system or a junction may terminate your rights. You must yield to traffic coming in from the right for non-priority roads, unless it has a stop or give-way sign. Vehicles traveling downhill must give way to ones traveling uphill.

Legal Driving Age

According to France’s road regulations, the minimum age for driving is 18 years old. It’s relatively similar to any other country. If renting a car is the goal, a driver must be at least 21 years old to qualify. Though a few rental agencies allow an 18-year old to rent, it is still better to wait to reach the minimum standard for rental to make things convenient.

When you plan to hit the French road, especially on slopes, and you are not even at the legal age to drive, leave it up to an adult. It’s better to set things in a safer way than take the risk of facing danger. Do note that a driver is responsible for the occupant’s lives. It’s not that lighter than you think.

Law on Overtaking

The general rule for overtaking is driving on the right while overtaking is on the left. But in some cases, when heavy traffic affects specific lanes, you may overtake on the right of other cars on slow-moving highways. When overtaking, make sure there's no traffic coming on the other lane that can cause an accident.

Driving Side

Like most countries, the French drive on the right side of the road. But if you're hiring a car and haven't driven on the right, you may want to practice driving on your rental car before going on your road trip.

Driving Etiquette in France

In every country or city, there are proper etiquette to follow through with the norms of a town aside from the driving rules. These protocols are essential to remember to keep yourself from panicking if trouble arises while you’re on a road trip through the country. Read on to know more about what to do in different scenarios.

Car Breakdown

If your car breaks down in the middle of the road, you cannot request your own assistance company to help you because French motorways are private. If this happens, orange emergency telephone lines are placed every two kilometers along main roads and motorways for emergency calls to the police or the official breakdown service within the area. You can also use your safety equipment like a warning triangle. Place the warning triangle in a distance to let other drivers know your situation.

You may dial 112 if no emergency road telephone is accessible. Towing agency will take your car and charge accordingly.

Police Stops

You do not have to worry when the police stop you because random compliance checks are typical around France. However, you may also encounter police stops for minor road violations that you overlooked if you have no idea why they call you out. It is best to comply and communicate with the police officers to avoid misunderstandings. Here are the things you have to do:

  • Slow down towards the side of the road, then stop your car.
  • Turn on your hazard lights.
  • Communicate with the police officer. Let them discuss the reason for hailing you.
  • Present your identification documents, whether it’s an ID check or a violation.
  • Wait for further instructions.
  • Cooperate with the authorities when asked to be spoken with at the precinct.

Asking Directions

Although most cars are equipped with GPS systems, you can also ask the locals for clearer directions. You may start by saying “Excusez-moi” to sound more polite and don’t come off as rude to French nationals. Then, you can ask for directions to anywhere in France by memorizing just one phrase, which is: “Est-ce que vous savez où est..” or you can shorten it to “où est” and “où sont”, if plural. All you have to do next is to add the place you want to go to:

  • (Do you know where the Orsay museum is?) Est-ce que vous savez où est le musée d’Orsay ?
  • (Where is the nearest subway station?) Où est le métro le plus proche ?
  • (Where is the train station?) Où est la gare?
  • (Where are the toilets?) Où sont les toilettes ?
  • (Do you know where the champs Elysées are?) Est-ce que vous savez où sont les champs Elysées ?
  • (Where can I find an ATM?) Où est-ce que je peux trouver un distributeur de billets ?
  • (On the right) A droite
  • (On the left) A gauche
  • (Straight) Tout droit
  • (the first (street) on the right) La première à droite
  • (the next street) La rue suivante
  • (in front of) En face de
  • (next to) A côté de
  • (at the end of the street) Au bout de la rue

Checkpoints

Observe the same standard practice for police stops during a checkpoint. You have to slowly pull over and present your identification documents or legal requirements for driving in France. You have to cooperate and communicate with the local authorities and comply with their instructions to not get on the wrong side of the road, not to mention the law.

Here’s a list of documents to show once you pass through a checkpoint in France. Be sure that you have these beforehand.

  • Foreign Passport
  • Local Driver’s License
  • International Driver’s Permit (IDP)
  • Car Registration Documents

What Do You Do in the Case of Rental Car Accidents?

In case of any vehicular accidents, you have to stop immediately and pull over to the side of the road. Switch your hazard lights on and leave your vehicle safely. If two or more cars are involved, it is standard practice that you will be asked by the French driver involved to fill a “constat amiable” or an amiable declaration, which is an accident report sheet. Call your insurance company at once, so they may get you in touch with a local representative.

If there are injuries inflicted on anyone involved, it is a legal requirement when driving in France to call the police and remain in the area even if you are not at fault. You must set up a red warning triangle at 50 & 150 meters behind your car to warn approaching vehicles. You should personally document all vehicle damage with your phone or digital camera. No matter how minor an accident is, it is required to have a valid police report.

What to Do If an Uninsured Driver Hit You?

If you got involved in a car accident, always remember to exchange car insurance details with the other driver. But if the other driver is not insured or refuses to give out their details, you should report them immediately. The police would know if a car is insured since they have the database for registered insurances.

What if You Fall Asleep at the Wheel?

Falling asleep at the wheel can cause accidents, and it is considered “dangerous driving.” If this happens to you, it means that you do not meet the expected standard of competence when driving in France, making you liable for any mishaps or accidents that would occur. Dangerous driving includes driving when unfit, having an injury, or being visually impaired and will be dealt with accordingly.

If you are found guilty of this, you can be fined and banned or, worse, end up in prison.

Driving Conditions in France

Knowing all the technicalities in road rules are extremely important but may not be enough in preparing for your road trip. Below are some general ideas you may want to know and serve as your guide when driving in France.

(Video) Tips For Driving In France | What We Wish We Had Known!!

Accident Statistics

As per Statista, road fatalities in France seem to be decreasing. For example, the death rate on toll roads per billion kilometers went from 4.8 in 2000 down to 1.8 in 2015. France is one of the few European nations that experienced a decrease in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities and a 13 percent decrease in road deaths from 2010 to 2016.

In 2016, traffic accidents were the fifth cause of death in the European Union. Road accidents in France have been considered a societal issue for decades. Alcohol influence ranked as the second leading cause of road fatalities, which commonly involved young drivers from 2013 to 2015. Fortunately, the French Government has already implemented road safety measures to limit high-speed and establish tighter restrictions for driving under the influence.

Common Vehicle

There are several railway stations across the country but you'll still find several cars on the road. When traversing the French highways, you’ll mostly see compact cars and sedans, as they are the most popular types in France. So, when you get yourself a rental vehicle, be sure you won’t get surprised by the demands received by those two. Since they are the hot vehicles to drive, make sure you do it earlier than usual when you reserve. You don’t want to end up getting a bigger one when you only have a few passengers to accommodate.

Based on the statistical data of car registration numbers in January 2021, there are only 165,446 vehicles registered than the record in January 2020, 171,189. It’s a 3.35% decrease from the previous year. Though there’s a loss in car registrations, there’s also a 5.7% increase in car sold in January 2021, equivalent to 39, 066 compared to the January 2020 record.

Toll Roads

Different companies own autoroutes in France, so the cost of toll fees will depend on the type of vehicle you are driving and the distance you’ve traveled. The type of vehicle has five classes, depending on the car’s height and weight.

Toll gates in France are like any other toll road. Take a ticket upon entering the motorway and pay the fee at a booth upon exiting. Simply insert your ticket into the machine, and it will show you how much you need to pay. You can pay by cash, but toll gates also accept most international banking cards.

Road Situations

Knowing the road situations in French motorways is important before you start driving in the country. Road conditions and safety in France are generally similar to those in the United States, but traffic systems and driving habits may present some risks. Lane markings, road sign placements may not be seen by drivers, so you should be prepared to make sudden maneuvers, especially on country roads. Driving is typically faster and more aggressive there than in the United States.

Service stations are positioned at least every 25 miles on major highways but are not as accessible for secondary roads when driving in France as they are in the US. Pedestrian accidents may occur, so you should be cautious and aware when making a turn through pedestrian crosswalks. But a lot of prevention campaigns and redeveloped traffic regulations have caused road deaths in France to decrease.

Driving Culture

French drivers have had a bad reputation for driving aggressively in the past, but it is safe to say that the driving standards have improved a lot over the years. However, two road areas have caution, so drivers should observe those sections. One is in roundabouts where many drivers fail to apply the right of way rules. And another, on slip roads, usually on dual carriageways and autoroutes, where usually older drivers just briefly slow down then just continue driving faster presumably thinking they have given way long enough.

What Are the Different French Road Types?

French roads are classified into a wide variety of types, since France is the third-largest European country.

  • French motorways are also called autoroutes. Autoroutes or motorways are denoted with the letter A followed by a number in blue signs with white lettering. Some autoroutes are free, but most of them are toll roads and are the best road to travel across large areas quickly.
  • National roads or route nationale are denoted by the letter N followed by a number written usually on green signs consisting of white lettering and a red background.
  • Departmental roads are denoted either by the letter D or letters RD, followed by a number written in black on a yellow background. These once-national roads overseen by the French government have been transferred to departments that have their system.
  • Routes Communales are denoted by the letter C followed by a number. These single-track roads are linked to French communes and are generally similar to UK countryside lanes.

What Is the Black Saturday Phenomenon on French Roads?

According to the Centre National d'Information Routière (CNIR) or the National Centre for Highway Information of France, ‘Black Saturday’ is a term for the busiest days for French roads. These “black” days usually occur on Saturdays scattered throughout the year linked to the French’s holiday habits but are aggravated by motorists from other EU countries and even the UK.

What Are Private Radar Cars?

Aside from speed cameras and speed guns, the French government plans to use unmarked radar-enabled cars operated by private companies. A 12-month trial in 2018 turned out to be successful when these radar cars recorded approximately more than 12,000 speeding violations in northern Normandy.

Yes, everyone should always follow French speed limits. Still, the existence of these additional speeding detectors is worth being aware of, so be extra careful to observe speed limits during your trip.

Things to Do in France

France is not only a country limited to sightseeing. There are so many opportunities and activities you can venture into this beautiful country, and one of them is being a driver. Learn more about the things you can do in France in the following subheadings.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists can drive in France. If you plan to stay for less than 90 days, driving in France with a U.S. license is allowed. An authorized translation must accompany any valid native license or, better yet, get an international driving permit, a legally translated document. An IDP is a legal requirement you need when driving in a foreign country. You can get one from the International Drivers Association for express shipping worldwide.

Work as a Driver

If you plan to live in France permanently or for an extended period, you can consider applying for a driver’s license for driving in France. As mentioned earlier, some countries have established an exchange agreement with France about license policies. If your country has no diplomatic contacts with France, then you can organically obtain your French license after one year of residence by taking driving and theory tests. As long as you know the driving laws in France and have the requirements, you can work as a driver in the country.

Work as a Travel Guide

Securing professional work in France is relatively more complex than in other nations. Having a work permit and visa is mandatory, especially if you are not an EU or EEA resident. However, if your home country is part of any international organization, you won’t need to undergo the lengthy procedures. You can freely proceed to look for a job and start right away if you get hired, whether it may be a travel guide or other professional careers.

In case your nation is not part of E.U and EEA, you must obtain a work permit and visa when planning to render service in France. Be sure that you already have a valid employer in the French state before acquiring a working permit. Take note that the entire application will require patience, but the overall experience is worth trying. To know what are the documents to bring when getting a work permit, below are the details.

  • Employer’s Recruitment Letter
  • Employment Contract
  • Work Permit Application Form
  • Employer’s Passport or National ID
  • Latest Curriculum Vitae
  • Professional Credentials
  • Job Posting Ad Documents

For Working Visa Requirements:

  • French Work Visa Application Form
  • OFII Form
  • Two Passport size Photos
  • Original Passport (valid at least three months after the end date of your stay)
  • Financial Documents
  • >Bank Statements
  • >Employment Contract
  • >Sponsorship Documents
  • Criminal Record Certificate
  • Police Certificate
  • Visa Fee

For French Long Stay-Visa:

  • Passport (with Working Visa stamp)
  • Lodging in France
  • Paper Tax Stamps (with payment proof)
  • Medical Certificate

Apply for Residency

If you are a successful candidate that secures a job in France as a non-EU/EEA citizen, you can now proceed to apply for a residence permit. Do note that obtaining the said permit should be at the application center accredited by the France Embassy in your home country. Exemptions only apply for nationals under the E.U countries. For EEA residents, they must get a residence permit if they are planning to stay for more than six months.

For the standard documents to bring when acquiring a residence permit, here’s the list of requirements to submit. Please note that all papers must be in French. A translation document is a must if not in the said language.

(Video) Driving in France from the UK
  • Original Passport (with French Long Stay Visa)
  • Passport Pages copy
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Two Passport Size Photographs
  • Proof of Billing
  • Work Contract
  • Medical Insurance

Which American States Allow the Native Driver’s License to be Exchanged for a French Driver’s License?

France has also made similar arrangements as above with the following American states. Driving in France with a U.S. driver’s license is allowed, given that you also have a notarized translation of it in French. It is dependent on the state in which the driver resides and the type of vehicle they use. These states also offer reciprocal privileges for people with a valid French driver’s license:

Motorcycle or motor tricycle

Motor vehicles with 3500 kg or less maximum authorized mass, designed for carrying nine people

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas

Any motor vehicle

  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia

Top Destinations in France

Did you know that you can explore France on a budget by living in your car for about a week or two and spend as low as approximately a thousand euros for two people? It includes expenses for gas, food, and campsites. You can use a parking or car camping app to find unique places to spend the night for free in cities and even in nature. You can feel comfortable without having lots of luxury and worrying about expenses during your vacation.

Living in a car may not seem like a great idea at first, but you may want to reconsider that. You can experience so many places better in France if your accommodation alone doesn’t take more than half of your budget you can spend on real, life-altering activities. Live through the essence of France by exploring the different unique spots and hidden gems of France.

France Driving Guide (3)

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

A gothic architectural complex sitting in the great heart of Paris is the Cathedralé Notre-Dame in Ile de la Cité. King Louis IX founded the glorious cathedral in 1163 and had it constructed for 150 years. Scrutinizing its sophisticated decoration, the ornamental designs, stunning sculptures, mesmerizing gargoyles, and spectacular buttresses are what make it appealing and enticing to the tourists’ eyes.

Scheduling an evening visit to the enormous cathedral can let you enjoy the breathtaking sunset scenery while exploring the paradise. If you don’t like waiting games over the line at the entrance, try to target any date from November to March. You won’t find many crowds during those periods. Admission inside the complex is free. That’s why a long queue line exists on the site.

  1. From Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, get on the A3 road by heading to the east before slightly turning left to stay at the fork towards A1/A3/Paris/A16/A104/Cergy-Pontoise.
  2. Make use of any lane to merge on A3 by passing through the ramp leading to A104/Marne La Vallee/Sarcelles.
  3. Drive straight towards A3/E15 following the marks for A10/A86/Bordeaux – Nantes/Paris/Bobigny/Garonor)
  4. Occupy any two lanes to pass on the exit towards Bagnolet/A4/A6/A10/Aéroport Orly/Périphérique Sud.
  5. Keep left and merge on Bd Peripherique. After, proceed to the exit going to Paris-Centre.
  6. Upon approaching Quai de Bercy, merge on this road to continue driving to Quai de la Rapee.
  7. Take any two lanes to make a left turn to Pont d’Austerlitz. Another use of two routes to make a right turn on Quai Saint-Bernard.
  8. Keep on traversing the Quai de la Tournelle before turning right on Pont de l’Archeveche.
  9. Pass through the Quai aux Fleurs and Quai de la Corse, then make a left turn on Rue de la Cite.

Make your admiration excursion in Notre-Dame Cathedral more exciting and thrilling by doing any of these recreational activities on the site.

1. Capture the Gallery of Kings

While you appreciate the interiors, you can take the chance to sight the Gallery of Kings. It’s an iconic figure of kings that beheaded during the Revolution. There are over 28 king figures displayed above the doorway. Do not miss out on capturing those historical exhibitions inside the cathedral.

2. Tour the Cathedral Towers

Cathedral Towers are the 69-meter towers standing over the Seine River. This legendary sight in Paris is an impressive one, for it has not suffered any damage from the tragic fire breakout in 2019. Inside the place, you can have the chance to see the mesmerizing Bell Tower of Victor Hugo and the paradise’s most splendid bell, the Emmanuel Bell, which remarkably weighs beyond 13 tons.

3. Explore the Serene Sanctuary

Prepare yourself to be speechless with the magnificent space that will greet you upon heading over to the Serene Sanctuary. You can freely exercise your faith with over five aisles of holy chapels around the sacred complex. Plus, do not forget to observe the choir section highlighting its fantastic wooden stalls flourished with Romanesque acanthus and dazzling leaf ornaments.

4. Visit the Archaeological Museum

If you love tracing the marks left behind the ancient people, take a visit to the Archaeological Museum located underneath the cathedral. It houses many Roman-era artifacts and figures that are authentic. Another incredible display on the site is the vintage ruins containing the ancient maps, drawings, and even historical pieces.

5. Dine at Tour d’Agent Restaurant

Take your luxurious meal over the notable Tour d’Agent Restaurant while looking over the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral. It’s a Michelin star restaurant that primarily serves healthy homemade dishes made from fresh ingredients.

France Driving Guide (4)

Panthéon

Through King Louis XV, he requested architect Jacques-German Soufflot in 1756 to create an exceptional church that would compete against the iconic Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London. After more than three decades of construction, the Panthéon is now France's national mausoleum. Its architectural design is far from the usual playful Rococo vibe of King Louis XV. It’s relatively pure and classic.

April to October are the ideal months to climb the Panthéon’s dome. Explorers can witness the epic colonnaded balcony that greets its visitors the capital’s stellar views and landscapes.

  • From the Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, keep at the left fork by heading to the east. Follow the marks indicating for A1/A3/Paris/A16/A104/Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Have any two lanes using the ramp on A104/Marne La Vallee/Sarcelles to merge on A3 road.
  • Go ahead to A3/E15. Be sure to watch out for the signs A10/A86/Bordeaux – Nantes/Paris/Bobigny/Garonor).
  • After passing A3, get on any two lanes to reach the exit towards Bagnolet/A4/A6/A10/Aéroport Orly/Périphérique Sud.
  • Keep left and merge when approaching Bd Peripherique.
  • Make another merge on Quai de Bercy by taking the exit heading to Paris-Centre.
  • Drive through the Quai de la Rapee until Pont d’Austerlitz and Quai Saint-Bernard.
  • After Quai de la Tournelle, make a left turn on Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard.
  • As you reach Rue Jussieu, turn left at Rue du Cardinal Lemoine.
  • In Rue Clovis, turn right before going straight ahead to Place du Pantheon.

You can do many enticing activities while in Pantheon. Be sure to list down what makes you think will be worth your time.

1. See the Foucault’s Pendulum

Foucault’s Pendulum is the beautiful highlight in Panthéon. It’s a 67-meter pendulum that showcases the Earth’s rotation through an experiment. Checking this out will leave you in awe and culturally curious about how it can exhibit the scientific planet’s rotational movement.

2. Visit the Greatest French Citizen’s Graveyard

If you wonder about the legendary French people who made remarkable contributions to history, a visit to the crypt is a must. It’s a graveyard of French citizens, including some veteran poets, notable scientists, and prominent writers. It’s around the underground chamber section of Panthéon.

3. View the City of Lights

Close your day by witnessing the phenomenal panoramic view at the Pantheon’s top. As you access the roof area, be sure to look out the Paris’s wonderful sight. You can instantly feel the spectacular vibes and atmosphere that French men and women give to make the nation a better sanctuary to live. Of course, do not leave without seeing the City of Lights personally.

France Driving Guide (5)

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Fondation Louis Vuitton is a former Bois de Boulogne Park, where French Kings served it as their hunting grounds. Through the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy chairman, Bernard Arnault, the marvelous museum exists in the French nation. It conceals 3,500 square meters of land comprising 11 exceptional galleries. Its interiors are visually extravagant. From its ultra-modern architectural design to gorgeous glass panels, it’s indeed a precious gem in France.

The excellent site is open to the public all year round. However, the complex is not operational on Tuesdays, as it is the week’s closing day. Heading to weekends can get you stranded in crowds and traffic congestion. So, better plan days of the weekdays and consider not targeting the unforgettable holidays, especially the Foundation day.

  1. When driving from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, go to the east to access the A1/A3/Paris/A104 road.
  2. Follow the road marks and stay left at the fork going to A1/Saint-Denis/Cergy/Pontoise/Paris-Centre/Paris-Porte de la Chapelle. Upon reaching A1, merge on it right away.
  3. Have two lanes to take the exit heading to Rouen/Peripherique Ouest/Pte de Clignacourt.
  4. In Bd Peripherique, merge on this section to have access to the exit towards Mailot-Bois de Boulogne.
  5. Upon arriving at Route de la Porte des Sabons a la Porte Mailot/N185, turn right and continue traversing the road until the first exit of the roundabout on Route de la Porte des Sabons a la Porte Mailot.
  6. Pass another roundabout section in Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi by proceeding to the second exit.

Fondation Louis Vuitton offers many dynamic adventures to appreciate its alluring beauty. Whether you are a first-timer or a frequent traveler in Paris, you will still have many things that you won’t expect would bring such delight to your mood.

1. Join the Micro-visits

“Micro-visits” is a cultural excursion with a mediator guide. It’s a free travel guide tour to get in Fondation Louis Vuitton. It usually takes 15-minutes to complete the exploration. The time will discuss and explain to you about the masterpieces displayed inside the complex.

2. Sign up at the Musical Program

While enjoying the tour, you may want to indulge your artistry by signing up on the Foundation’s musical program. The said activity primarily holds recitals and concerts showcasing aspiring artists’ masterpieces. The event typically happens inside an auditorium that can accommodate a thousand audiences.

3. Visit the Site at Night

If you can’t get enough of the free guided tour, you can avail the night tour on Fridays from 7:00 PM onwards. The night-time tour can consume around 45-minutes, which includes a more profound and intimate concept of exploration. It’s still a guided tour with a cultural mediator.

FAQs

Is the French driving test easy? ›

For the French test, you need to get 35 out of 40 questions right – that's a 87.5% success rate. Compare that to 43/50 questions for the British test, or a success rate of 86%. So you need to do slightly better in the French test to succeed.

How many warning triangles do I need to drive in France? ›

Warning Triangles - You will need to carry 2 x warning triangles when driving in France warning triangle must be placed 50 & 150 metres behind your vehicle to warn approaching traffic if your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.

Is driving in France difficult? ›

There's really not much of a difference than driving in the US, except it makes more sense. For example, if a sign says "lane closed, move left" French drivers will generally move to the left and stay there. You'll be amazed that traffic won't even slow because people drive for the common good.

How many driving lessons do I need in France? ›

Typically 20 – 25 hours of lessons are needed, with at least 20 being compulsory. As you might guess you are going to be handing across several hundred euros, often more than 1000 euros, for the learning process.

Which country has hardest driving test? ›

1: Croatia – Learn to Drive Score, 1.96/10

Croatia is the toughest country to get behind the wheel due to their expensive and stringent driving tests that require a minimum amount of learning and monitoring to pass.

How long is the French driving test? ›

The test is 25 minutes of driving in normal traffic conditions. First-aid knowledge is part of the test. You'll find out the result of the test within 48 hours; if you pass you will get a temporary license to use until your formal license is issued within four months.

Do I need a crit air sticker to drive in France? ›

The Crit'Air certificate is obligatory for all vehicles driving around, or parked in, restricted or alternate driving zones, as well as certain LEZ (Low Emissions Zones). It is therefore obligatory for driving in cities such as Paris, Lyon, Lille and numerous other French conurbations.

Do I need a warning triangle in France? ›

It's compulsory to carry a warning triangle and reflective jacket. The reflective jacket must be stored inside the vehicle itself and accessible without getting out of the car. It's illegal to cross, even partially, on to the hard shoulder of a motorway without good reason.

Do I need a red triangle to drive in France? ›

Warning triangle – Compulsory in every vehicle with four wheels or more. Headlamp beam deflectors – Depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually. Spare bulbs – It is recommended but not mandatory that you carry a spare bulb kit for your vehicle.

How do I prepare for driving in France? ›

Driving in France: top tips
  1. Watch for different speed limits in the wet and dry. On the French motorways the speed limit is 130km/h (80mph), and 110km/h in the wet (70mph), unless otherwise indicated. ...
  2. Pay careful attention to changes in speed limits. ...
  3. Give way to the right. ...
  4. Back roads are a great alternative.

Does Google Maps show speed cameras in France? ›

If you use Google maps to navigate, Google has advised that its camera detection feature turns off when you connect to data or WiFi in France. If in doubt, follow our guidelines for driving with a mobile by switching it off and popping it in the glove box.

Who has priority on a roundabout in France? ›

Essentially, because the French drive on the right hand side of the road, at a junction or roundabout the vehicle that is approaching from the right has priority over the one approaching from the left.

What is the French driving test like? ›

The test consists of 40 multiple choice questions – many using photographs showing situations that arise while driving and requiring the driver to make a decision about how to react – and you need to get at least 35 of the questions right to pass.

How much does it cost to learn driving in France? ›

The average price for 20 hours of classes (the minimum required) is €1,000, with regional variations ranging from €900 to €1,300. However, many people are not ready after only 20 hours of driving, so budget for around 35 hours behind the wheel instead.

How much does it cost to get driving licence in France? ›

Prices varied between €900 and €1,300 for the obligatory 20 hours of driving practice, depending on department and driving school. On top of that there is an average of €42.80 spent on extra driving practice, with 17 percent of French people doing additional hours before taking their test.

Which European country has the easiest driving test? ›

According to expert opinion, there are many countries across the European Union where passing your test is not difficult, including Greece, Moldova and Belarus. Looking further afield, it is also apparently very easy to pass your driving test in Pakistan, India, Mexico, Honduras and Egypt.

What is the easiest country to pass driving test? ›

Revealed: The easiest and hardest places in the world to pass a driving test
  • Mexico has been revealed as the easiest place to pass a driving test.
  • This is simply because residents don't have to take an exam.
  • Japan, Finland and Denmark are some of the trickier places to pass.
4 Oct 2016

What is the easiest country to get a driving Licence? ›

Here are the countries in which it's easiest to obtain a driver's permit, according to Zutobi.com:
  • Mexico.
  • Qatar.
  • Latvia.
  • United States.
  • Canada.
  • Estonia.
  • Barbados.
  • Indonesia.

Does a French driving license expire? ›

Plastic-coated credit card-style licences, issued since 2013, are valid for 15 years, unless the holder has a notified medical condition, which may lead to a shorter validity period. The expiry date is printed on the card. All renewals are made online at Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés (ANTS).

Can I use my French driving Licence in UK? ›

EU driving licence in UK:

If you hold a full licence issued in a country within the European Union you can drive in Great Britain using your original licence until it expires.

Do I need a French driving licence? ›

In terms of other nationals, if you hold a non-EEA licence, and you become resident in France, you are required to obtain a French driving licence within 1 year of you becoming legally resident. That is to say, from the date of your carte de sejour.

Can you buy a clean air sticker in France? ›

When should you have the sticker on a foreign vehicle? Non-French motorists can already order the Crit'Air sticker at www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/demande (External link) (page available in both English and French). It will arrive within five working days and must be displayed inside the vehicle windscreen.

Can I buy crit air from a shop? ›

The Crit'Air anti-pollution vehicle sticker is available at car dealerships, online, and at auto parts and home improvement stores. You can buy them before driving at a number of locations across France, as long as the store is a registered Crit'Air partner.

What documents do I need to drive through France? ›

Documents for Driving in France

A valid full (not provisional) driving licence. A vehicle registration document (V5c) - the original not a copy, called "carte grise" (grey card) in France. A motor insurance certificate. Passport(s)

Do you need a breathalyser in France 2022? ›

5. Breathalyser kit. You may be aware that up until recently, all drivers and motorcyclists had to carry a personal breathalyser kit with at least two disposable testing units. However, in 2020 the rule changed to no longer make it a legal requirement.

What does the French road signs rappel mean? ›

Rappel. Reminder, you generally see this word below speed limit signs, and it means "remember, you should already be at this speed limit".

Can you sleep in your car in France? ›

You can park your camping-car anywhere legally in France where you are allowed to park a car (i.o.w. in official parking spots), but you are only allowed to camp in official designated spots.

What 2 safety items must be carried in your car in Europe? ›

Required equipment for driving in Europe
  • Reflective jackets (there must be one for each passenger and be kept within the cabin of the car)
  • Warning triangle (compulsory in most countries)
  • Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your car, you'll either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
20 May 2022

How much over the speed limit can you go in France? ›

What are the speed limits in France?
Road TypeSpeed Lmit
Motorway130 kph / 80 mph
Dual carriageways110 kph / 70 mph
Main roads outside built up areas/A & B roads80 kph / 50 mph
Main roads within built-up areas50 kph / 30 mph
4 Apr 2022

What is the speed limit on D roads in France? ›

The national speed limit in France is as follows: Motorways: 130 kph (80 mph) Dual Carriageways: 110 kph (68 mph) Main Roads Outside Built-up Areas: 80 kph (49 mph)

Is driving in Paris difficult? ›

The Parisian ring road/highway: Paris is surrounded by an enormous circular highway known locally as la Périphérique. Most drivers visiting Paris will not be able to avoid it, but it's notoriously stressful and busy, so follow advice on how to safely navigate and keep an eye on the speed limit of 70 kph.

Which is the fast lane in France? ›

Driving on the French Autoroute: Road Rules and Speed Limits

Always drive in the right-hand lane unless overtaking. However, if the right-most lane is reserved for slow vehicles, you should use the next lane if you wish to drive over 60km/h.

Is parking in Paris difficult? ›

Parking in Paris is rarely easy and can often be quite a headache. To park your car, you have the choice between parking on the street or in an underground car park, between the cheaper peripheral “arrondissements” or the city centre.

Do speeding cameras flash in France? ›

The flash, even in broad daylight, is quite noticeable. For reference; on a 90 limit road or under they flash at 5kmh over the limit. On 110 and 130 limits, it's a percentage over the set limit.

Is Waze illegal in France? ›

A new law in France will prevent drivers from warning other motorists of police checks and roadblocks up ahead via smartphone apps such as Waze. From November 1st popular driving apps such as Waze or Coyote will no longer be allowed to display warnings from motorists about police checks up ahead.

What is the penalty for speeding in France? ›

French speeding fines

The standard speeding fine in France is 135 euros. However, if you pay this within 15 days it's 90 euros. If you pay it after 45 days, it is 375 euros. If the offence warrants a trial, the maximum fine can be up to 750 euros.

Do you stop on a roundabout in France? ›

Roundabouts. Be careful with roundabouts. Not long ago, the priorité à droite rules applied, and cars entering the roundabout had priority. This is still the case for the famous Parisian roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe – meaning you need to stop in the middle of the circle to let traffic in.

What does yellow diamond mean in France? ›

A yellow diamond means you are on a priority road. In France, the priority lasts until you see another yellow diamond sign, this time crossed with a black line. In other countries, the priority applies only to the next junction.

Do the French give way on a roundabout? ›

Right of way on French roundabouts

On most roundabouts, the standard cédez le passage – give way – is in place. This means that you give way to traffic already on the roundabout or about to join from your left – the same way it works back home.

How do I check points on my driving licence in France? ›

You can access the online service with FranceConnect. You can also access it with your NEPH file number and Telephoto PIN. If necessary, the online service allows get your SMS Telephoto PIN. The NEPH file number is indicated on the driving licence and on your full disclosure statement.

How do you get a driving licence in Paris? ›

The French driving licence can be obtained after finishing a driving school and passing a two-stage test: the theory test (examen du code de la route) and road test (examen pratique du permis). The "code de la route" consists of 40 questions of which you need to get at least 35 right to pass.

Can I drive in France with US license? ›

You may drive with a valid U.S. driver's license if it is accompanied by a notarized translation in French. It is strongly recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit. You must be 18 years of age or older to drive in France. (More information may be found here).

How long does it take to learn to drive in France? ›

The first thing you need is patience, because the whole process takes around 18 months from start to finish. A student needs to be at least 16 years old before they can start to learn to drive in France.

What age can you drive in France? ›

You must be 18 or over to drive in France.

How do you get an EU drivers license? ›

The International Driving Permit is available from government-authorized organizations (such as national automobile associations) in 150 countries. To obtain it, you'll need to complete an application and submit it with a photocopy of your driver's license, two passport-size photos, and a small fee.

How long is the French driving test? ›

The test is 25 minutes of driving in normal traffic conditions. First-aid knowledge is part of the test. You'll find out the result of the test within 48 hours; if you pass you will get a temporary license to use until your formal license is issued within four months.

How easy is it to drive in France? ›

French drivers are generally less aggressive than drivers in Italy, but more aggressive than drivers in Belgium. On the fast Autoroutes, France's toll roads, you are expected to drive on the right and pass on the left. If you are in the left lane, cars will approach within a couple of car lengths.

What is B license in France? ›

Licence B allows you to drive a car (with or without a trailer). To obtain a B licence, you must have 18 years or more. However, the application for the permit can be made immediately 16 years (or 15 years in case of early learning driving).

What is the French driving test like? ›

The test consists of 40 multiple choice questions – many using photographs showing situations that arise while driving and requiring the driver to make a decision about how to react – and you need to get at least 35 of the questions right to pass.

How much does it cost to get driving Licence in France? ›

Prices varied between €900 and €1,300 for the obligatory 20 hours of driving practice, depending on department and driving school. On top of that there is an average of €42.80 spent on extra driving practice, with 17 percent of French people doing additional hours before taking their test.

Can I drive in France with my US license? ›

You may only drive in France with a valid U.S. driver's license for a one-year period and obtain a French license before the end of the first year by taking the French written exam and road test. (See category 2 below for a list of states that have a reciprocity agreement with France).

Do I need driving permit for France? ›

Visitors must be aged 18 or over and hold a full, valid driving licence to legally drive in France. Riders of mopeds or motorcycles up to 125cc must be aged 16 or over. Driving licences issued in the UK, the EU and EEA countries are accepted. International driving permits are recognised but not required.

How do I check points on my driving licence in France? ›

You can access the online service with FranceConnect. You can also access it with your NEPH file number and Telephoto PIN. If necessary, the online service allows get your SMS Telephoto PIN. The NEPH file number is indicated on the driving licence and on your full disclosure statement.

Can foreigners drive in France? ›

Driving licence

If you come to France for a short visit (such as holidays), you can drive using your foreign licence. It must be valid and either written in French or accompanied by an official translation into French or an international licence.

How do I get an international driver's licence in France? ›

International Driving Permit For France
  1. Online Application Form. You must have a national or domestic driving license to submit your application online.
  2. Eligibility Check. ITCA review team will review & approve your International Drivign Permit.
  3. Get A Valid IDP Instantly. ITCA will issue your IDP and send it to you.

How long does a French driving license last? ›

How long does a French driving license lasts? French driving licence expiry date is 15 years. Please note that once it expires, holder does not have to pass a new exam.

What is B license in France? ›

Licence B allows you to drive a car (with or without a trailer). To obtain a B licence, you must have 18 years or more. However, the application for the permit can be made immediately 16 years (or 15 years in case of early learning driving).

Is there an upper age limit for driving in France? ›

In most countries in Europe there is no upper age limit for driving, and if you are a driver from within the EU then whatever the licence rules are in your home country will also apply in the European Driving Licence Area - except minimum age, of course.

Can you turn right on a red in France? ›

Traffic lights

(There's no equivalent of turning right on red in France.) Some traffic lights have 'filter' lanes for turning left or right, shown with a flashing amber or green arrow. It's never wise to drive through a red light in France as you can be fined up to €300 if caught doing so.

Is driving in Paris difficult? ›

The Parisian ring road/highway: Paris is surrounded by an enormous circular highway known locally as la Périphérique. Most drivers visiting Paris will not be able to avoid it, but it's notoriously stressful and busy, so follow advice on how to safely navigate and keep an eye on the speed limit of 70 kph.

What does the French road signs rappel mean? ›

Rappel. Reminder, you generally see this word below speed limit signs, and it means "remember, you should already be at this speed limit".

Videos

1. ROUNDABOUTS IN FRANCE - Driving Tips and Rules for Roundabouts in France.
(The French Snail)
2. Driving my car from UK to France via Eurotunnel - Folkestone (Dover) to Calais
(London Walker)
3. Driving in France in a Uk car. How to judge space and some legal stuff. The Get Wheel way.
(Get Wheel)
4. 11 Tips for driving in France
(Distant Lands Travel Store)
5. Driving Tips and Rules For Roundabouts in France, Belgium and Europe
(DJ Blink-Blink)
6. DRIVING IN FRANCE. 9 biggest differences driving in France compared to the UK.
(Camels Can Swim)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Carlyn Walter

Last Updated: 11/13/2022

Views: 5959

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carlyn Walter

Birthday: 1996-01-03

Address: Suite 452 40815 Denyse Extensions, Sengermouth, OR 42374

Phone: +8501809515404

Job: Manufacturing Technician

Hobby: Table tennis, Archery, Vacation, Metal detecting, Yo-yoing, Crocheting, Creative writing

Introduction: My name is Carlyn Walter, I am a lively, glamorous, healthy, clean, powerful, calm, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.