If you’re thinking about a self drive holiday to France remember to take the mandatory papers along with you in case you get blocked by the French police. It is not unusual for police in France to set up casual road checks to make sure people are driving legally.
An official ID card, documents confirming car ownership, insurance papers and driving license are the documents which should be presented to the police if asked to during driving in France. Car crimes in France is a growing problem and hence the periodical checks.
National card or a passport would serve as the ID card. Foreign licenses too are accepted in France but they are valid up to a period of one year from the time of your entrance in the country. Cart gris or grey card is the official card ownership document and the cart vert or green card is the official insurance document.
In case of your ownership of used cars be careful in producing the related proofs which you should have procured before your arrival in France if asked by the police. You may be charged fine if you do not present them on enquiry.
Always keep photocopies of your car related documents and never leave your insurance and ownership proofs in the car. Car crime in France is rife and you don’t want to be a victim without the proper papers to report to the police.
While driving in France, be mindful of the fact that you are outside your own country and the rules certainly are dissimilar. For instance it is a traffic error in France if you turn right at red light, though it is legal in the US. Otherwise it should be a pleasant experience for the drivers on the roads of France.
While driving in France be especially conscious of the fact that all drivers coming from the right have prime concern. This is regardless of the sizes of the two roads and even applies on T junctions. French drivers are familiar with this so will often pull out of smaller paths onto busy main roads expecting you to slow down. The exception to this rule in France is when you are on traffic circles. In such cases priority goes to the person already on the circle.
The speed limit on busy roads in France is 50km p/h. Slow down to 50 km p/h while you are driving on busy roads. When you see the name of a place in black displayed within a red bordered white sign you should know that you are entering into a built up area. Know that you are about to leave the built up area if you find the same sign with a red diagonal line.
Auto routes in France may be passed through at a speed limit of 130km p/h. These are the largest motorways in France. Dual carriageways can go at a speed of 110km p/h. These speed limits are regrettably not displayed on the traffic boards in France and it is mandatory that you know them once you are in France and driving.