Driving in France 2019

Driving in France guide

If you’re one of the five million British motorists heading to France this year, the ETA Guide to Driving in France is a free e-book packed with information. However many times you’ve embarked on a Gallic driving holiday, with recent changes to French law it pays for even the most experienced driver to brush up on the rules to avoid pitfalls.

For example, the speed limit on French secondary roads – the two-lane highways that crisscross 400,000 km of the country – has been reduced from 90km/h to 80km/h as of last summer. The French government has imposed the new limit to reduce road deaths, which reached nearly 3,500 in 2016. The change coincides with strict enforcement of speed limits on motorways – we’ve heard of drivers receiving fines at 2km over the 130km/h limit.

French road signs

Can you identify these french road signs?

Our no-nonsense guide the driving in France covers what to bring with you, the basic rules of the road (including road signs), laws on speeding and fines, toll road information and advice for motorcyclists. To download your free copy, just press here.

ETA Euro breakdown

Emissions sticker for driving in France

All cars travelling in the cities of Paris, Lyon or Grenobles are now required to carry anti-pollution stickers which indicate the age and ‘environmental classification’ of the vehicle.

driving in France

The round stickers correspond to six different vehicle classes defined according to air pollutant emissions. In certain French cities the correct sticker must be displayed by every  road vehicle, including all cars, motorcycles, commercial vehicles, buses and coaches.

This law was introduced in France in early 2017 and also applies to foreign vehicles.

How do I apply for the emissions stickers?

You can apply for a sticker through the French Air Quality Certification Service online here. Be sure to apply in good time as the stickers can take around 30 days to arrive. They only cost a few pounds and will save you the risk of being hit with an on-the-spot fine of €68.

Driving in France this summer?

For short-term driving trips in France, European breakdown cover from the ETA offers the best value for money on the market. With English-speaking helplines and assistance available 24/7 you can rest assured that help is at hand should you break down abroad.


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