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Road Rules and Traffic Regulations in France - Driving Nuances

1. While driving, one should stay as close to the right lane of a road as possible. The left lane can be occupied for a short period of time only - to overtake another car. As you drive a car, make sure you’re very attentive to vehicles that are moving to the right.
2. If you decide to neglect the local rules and, having overtaken a car, stay on the left lane, one of local drivers will definitely want to "punish the offender". An angered local driver can drive behind on a dangerously close distance and will haunt the offender’s car until he goes back to the right lane.
3. Quite an unusual fact - even in large cities there are a lot of streets with one-way traffic. This fact should be definitely taken into consideration, when making the route of your future ride.
4. There are crossroads with circular movement close to numerous major squares. When entering a circle, do not forget that you should give way to drivers who make a maneuver in the right. Such a maneuver may seem to be quite complex to inexperienced drivers, so there are the so-called bypass “roads for cowards” close to major squares. One of them is located in Paris – it is located next to Place Charles de Gaulle.
5. There is a “main road” in all small towns located near the national road. In addition to the corresponding sign, the entrance to this road may be indicated by either a solid line ("stop"), or a line of triangles ("give way").
6. Drivers, who plan to travel in suburban areas a lot and want to make rides from one city to another, are recommended to install a GPS-navigator in their cars. The reason for this is the fact that even on large highways important signs may not be present in the right place.
7. According to local regulations, every car should always be equipped with a warning triangle. In the period from the beginning of November through the end of March cars can be used only in case they are equipped with winter tires. Violators of this rule are due to large fines.

Nuances of Car Rental in France

To save on your rental, we advise to book your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several weeks or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in France usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period.

When looking for an exotic car (cabriolet, minivan or limousine), we advise to check in the rental offices located at airports, as they usually provide much wider choice comparing to offices in urban areas.

Upon receipt of invoices, bills and documents for your car at the rental location, please compare the obtained data with your voucher. Quite often, employees of rental offices in France try to add optional charges or services without informing customers.

It is very important to pick up your car at the rental office in France in a correct way. Prior to leaving the office, carefully inspect the car for various defects, and ensure that all the discovered defects are mentioned in your rental documents. In case of a non-compliance found, place a demand for correction to the rental officer.

You can always check our car actual rental offers in France. Simply use the search form at the top of the page. We guarantee that you will not find better prices anywhere else!
8. While driving, you may notice rather strange digits on road signs - the numbers 1 - 15 or 16 - 31. These numbers mean that during the mentioned days of a month car parking on this side of the road is prohibited.
9. All types of roads have speed limits. The maximum speed for driving in the territory of a village is 50 km/h, on suburban roads the speed is limited to 90 km/h, and on highways the maximum speed is 110 km/h.
10. All of these restrictions must be followed. In case there is a violation of the traffic regulations, the police will be adamant and will always issue a fine. In addition, many parts of roads throughout the country are equipped with automatic radars.
11. Drivers, who are used to driving on asphalt roads, should also be extremely careful. Many roads are paved with stone blocks, which become very slippery after rain.
12. As the fastest roads in the country are toll roads, their speed limit is usually 130 km/h. The speeding of 20-40 km/h is likely to result in a large fine.
13. A large part of country roads in France is paid. It very simple to distinguish them – they are marked with blue on the map. It should be noted that toll roads are distinguished by a very good quality of the asphalt. National roads are marked with green on maps, and all other routes are marked with white.
14. All toll road exits have their own unique number, so there is nothing difficult in orienting in them. In case you miss an exit, keep moving patiently to the next one – there will surely be a turning. Once you make a turn, simply follow the signs that will guide you how to drive back to the road.
15. Driving in a state of alcoholic intoxication is one of the most serious traffic regulations violations. The level of alcohol in blood cannot exceed 0.5 ppm. Violators of this rule are due to heavy fines, suspension of the driving license. In severe cases, drivers can even be imprisoned.
16. In cities drivers should pay a special attention to local cyclists. Sometimes it may seem that they have absolutely no "instinct of self-preservation". Drivers of the “two-wheeled transport” can move leisurely in the center of a busy road and easy to speak on the phone. Honking and complaining in such a situation is not accepted.
17. Motorcycles are particularly dangerous during traffic jams. They can easily ride between the rows of cars at a high speed. When driving on a highway, do not forget to look to the side view mirrors.
18. It is better to move slowly close to parked cars. Once they’ve parked their cars, some local drivers can open the car’s doors without even paying attention to other road users. Typically, representatives of the fair sex are distinguished by such carelessness.
19. All passengers must fasten seat belts during the car movement. Children under 10 years can be transported in a car only in a special chair. These chairs can be set only in the back of a car.
20. Transporting children under 10 years in the front seat is possible in two cases only - if the car has no back seat, or if the back seat is fully occupied by other children under 10.
21. Drivers are always required to have an insurance certificate ("green card"), the international drivers permit, as well as a registration certificate. The absence of one of these documents during the checkup is regarded as a violation of the rules.
22. Special rules are applied when driving on a four-lane road, which is not designated as a motorway. When it’s raining, such roads have a speed limit of 100 - 110 km/h.
23. Drivers with the experience of less than two years must also follow special rules. When driving on a highway, they should not exceed the speed of 110 km/h, and when driving on a four-lane road, the speed limit is 100 km/h. The limit for the speed on usual roads is 80 km/h.
24. If it rains or snows, or there’s fog, it is necessary to turn on lower beams during the movement. Bikers with a vehicle, the engine capacity of which is more than 125 cc. cm, must drive with the lower beams turned on despite weather conditions and the type of a road.
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