Some features of driving a car in France.
France is one of those countries where you don't just want to travel freely, but you just need to! The country is not limited to Paris alone, you can also see the vineyards of Bordeaux and Champagne, admire the castles of the Loire, visit the resorts of the country and see places where not every tourist bus gets to. In a word, the boundaries of your vacation are expanded with the help of a car, thanks to which you can see more and make a stop where you think about it. Of course, within the rules of the road. We have selected some that may not be obvious to a Russian tourist.
French road signs are easy to read and the road numbers are striking. If you use a road map, then all the signs marked in bold will be visible from a great distance. The common sign is toutes DIRECTIONS (literally means "all directions"). It is often used to redirect traffic around a certain city or village, so if this is not your destination, follow the sign. Variation of AUTRES DIRECTIONS (other directions). This will always appear in conjunction with a second sign pointing to a specific location. So, for example, if you see Rennes plus AUTRES DIRECTIONS, unless Rennes is on your route, go the other way. Next, you will find the right signs wherever you go.
The location of the pointers can sometimes be confusing. The sign that means to go straight is often very close to the intersection, on both sides of the road, pointing across rather than straight ahead. With the exception of major motorways, priority may be given to traffic connecting the road on the right, so watch out for the PRIORITÉ À DROITE warning sign.
Radar speed traps are very common, and fines (which must be paid on the spot) are heavy. If oncoming cars flash their headlights at you, it often means that there is a speed trap ahead. However, according to the situation, it can mean something completely different.
Radar detectors are illegal in France, regardless of whether they are used or not. If you are caught with such equipment in the car, you are subject to a fine, confiscation of the device and vehicle. Therefore, we do not recommend having this device with you in this country. As a rule, they are not installed in rented cars. But to be sure, you can clarify before starting the rental.
Speed regulation starts with the sign of the name of the city and ends when you pass the same sign crossed by a diagonal red line when leaving the city. The speed limit depends on the weather conditions. In dry weather, the maximum speed on a toll highway is 130 km/h, on a highway 110 km/ h, on a built-up area 50 km/h, on other roads no more than 80 km/h. In wet weather, the speed limit is lower in places: on a toll highway – 110 km/h, on a highway no more than 100 km/ h, on a built-up area - 50 km/h, on other roads no more than 80 km/h.
The cheapest fuel you can fill up with is usually located near large hypermarkets. It is worth remembering that few rural gas stations are open 24 hours, and also that they can be closed up to two hours at lunchtime. Therefore, carefully monitor the fuel level, because sometimes you can drive many miles in rural France without seeing a single gas station.
The French highway network is rarely overloaded. However, an additional fee is charged for the use of these roads, which is paid in cash or by credit card with frequent fees (péages). It may seem expensive, but if you intend to cover long distances as quickly as possible, this is the only realistic way.
However, old main roads (prefixed with N or RN) and even smaller roads (prefixed with D) are often just as wide and well maintained. It is often possible to travel over them for kilometer after kilometer in extremely light traffic, so do not ignore them, especially if you are not in a hurry. An excellent guide to these alternative routes (often called itinéraire Bis and marked with large green arrows) is the Bison Futé map, which is available for free at most gas stations.
A trip through the beautiful countryside of France can be a real pleasure, so why rush if you don't need it?
So that your mood is not spoiled, do not violate traffic rules and avoid fines. It is now forbidden to use security camera warning devices when traveling in France, even if it is built into your satnav. It is recommended to disable security camera alerts before traveling in France. The fines can be large if you get caught.
In case of prosecution and conviction for non-compliance with the requirements of the legislation, the courts in all the EEC countries have broad powers to impose strict fines, and arrest officers have broad powers to impose a fine on the spot. If this happens, they must be paid in cash, in local currency, to the arresting officer. Credit cards and traveler's checks are not accepted for payment. Once again, we emphasize that radar detectors are illegal in France, regardless of whether they are used or not. In addition, using a mobile phone while driving in France, without a Hands Free Bluetooth kit, is illegal; even if you stopped and turned off the engine. The only exception is if your car has broken down or you are in a specially designated parking spot.
On our website you will find many options for renting a car in France. And if you familiarize yourself with some of the subtleties and rules of the road in advance, a trip around the country will be easy and relaxed. Do not deny yourself the pleasure of choosing a comfortable and comfortable car, even one that you cannot afford in everyday life. And enjoy the vivid impressions of the best vacation in France.