France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with more than 80 million international visitors per year. With one of the richest cultural histories of any country, France is full to brimming with landmarks and tourist attractions in the major cities as well as the countryside. Renowned for food, fashion and art, visitors can enjoy everything from water sports on golden beaches to skiing atop mountainous peaks on the Alps. Wonderfully diverse cultural experiences are on offer in the capital Paris, where tourists can indulge in all that France has to offer.
Driving in France
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
The autoroute, the French equivalent of a motorway or freeway, is mainly linked by a toll road. You will be provided with an entrance ticket, which, if you lose, you will be charged for by the distance you have travelled between tolls along with an additional fee.
Coins and credit cards can be used to pay the toll fees, though only credit cards with the correct transponders may be used (these can be purchases from Sanef in the UK).
Unless the road is marked otherwise, drivers give way to any vehicle coming from the right. This differs from the roundabout rules; drivers on the outside of the roundabout must yield to those on the inside.
Driving culture in France
What are the roads like in France?
The system of highways through France is well-treated, with major routes across the country home to wide, smooth roads. However, many of the roads around urban areas, in cities and in towns, date back to the original construction of the town, which tend to be narrow, winding and made with cobblestone.
What are the drivers in France like?
Where once city drivers would drive rather aggressively (and rely heavily on the car horn), persistent policing has significantly reduce the amount of aggressive driving across the country.
What are the best times to drive?
Across the country, most driving conditions are reasonably consistent across the day and week. However, Samedi noir, aka ‘Black Saturday’, takes place at the start and end of school holidays and marks a day of notoriously bad traffic. It is advised to attempt to avoid driving during this time.
What are the driving laws?
When driving in France, you must have a warning triangle, a reflective jacket and a breathalyser in your vehicle at all time, or risk receiving an on-the-spot fine. Children under 10 must always be seated in a child seat when in the vehicle. It is also illegal to carry in the vehicle any device that can detect speed cameras.