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Driving in France

Car hire in France and driving regulations. Fines for traffic violations are collected on the spot in either Euros or travellers’ checks.


To rent a car in France you must be at least 21 years of (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for a year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge. Most rental cars can be driven anywhere in Western Europe without restrictions. Due to insurance regulations, there are restrictions on luxury car categories and on travel in certain countries. 

Visitors staying less than 90 days and carrying a valid EU, international or U.S. (state) license may drive in France.

Traffic travels on the right in France. The French rules for priorité â droite are the opposite of the U.S.: a vehicle entering from the right has priority in cities and towns. Outside these areas, as indicated by a yellow diamond sign, traffic on the more major road has priority.

U-turns are not permitted, nor is crossing a solid white line. A flashing red light means do not enter. Driving in bus lanes is prohibited. The maximum legal concentration of blood alcohol is 0.5 grams per liter. The use of seatbelts is mandatory at all times, and children must be at least age 10 to sit in the front seat. Approved child seats are mandatory for children up to age 4; booster seats for children from 4 to 10 years.

Fines for traffic violations are collected on the spot in either Euros or travelers' checks. The fines for not wearing seat belts, driving through a red light, driving while intoxicated, and driving without a license are extremely high, and can even include confiscation of your vehicle.

The toll highways in France, known as autoroutes â péage, are marked by blue signs with the letter "A". Charges for using the autoroutes are payable at the frequent toll gates, and can get rather expensive. The tool highways are usually in an excellent condition.



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