Essential Driving Safety Tips for Travelers in France

1. Familiarize yourself with the rules of the road

Driving in France can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the rules of the road before you hit the pavement. France is known for its roundabouts, so make sure you understand how they work. Also, be aware that speed limits can change frequently, so pay close attention to the signs. It’s also important to note that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in France.

Essential Driving Safety Tips for Travelers in France 2

2. Get an International Driving Permit

If you’re planning on driving in France, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your valid driver’s license from your home country. The IDP is an official translation of your driver’s license and proves that you have a valid license in your home country. You can obtain an IDP through your local automobile association or motor club.

3. Invest in good GPS or navigation system

While you may be able to navigate your way around France with a paper map, investing in a good GPS or navigation system can make your driving experience much smoother. Make sure to include toll road fees in your budget as well, as some GPS systems will route you on toll roads.

4. Beware of pickpockets and car thieves

Unfortunately, pickpocketing and car theft are common crimes in France. Always keep your valuables out of sight in your car, especially when parked, and never leave anything valuable in plain sight. If you’re parked in a public area, make sure to use a well-lit and secure parking lot or garage. On the road, make sure to keep your doors locked and windows up at all times.

5. Know the local emergency number

In case of an emergency while driving in France, it’s important that you know the local emergency number. The number to dial in France is 112, which is valid throughout the European Union. Knowing this number can potentially save your life, so make sure to have it programmed into your phone or written down in case of an emergency.

6. Understand the parking rules and regulations

Be aware that parking rules and regulations in France can be complex, so make sure to do your research ahead of time. Parking is often limited in city centers and is typically regulated by pay-and-display machines or parking meters. There are also strict rules regarding where you can and cannot park, so always check the signs carefully before leaving your car.

7. Drive defensively

Driving in any foreign country can be stressful, but it’s important to stay calm and focused while on the road. Always anticipate the actions of other drivers and be prepared to react quickly if necessary. Make sure to give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and the car in front of you and always wear your seatbelt. Lastly, take breaks often to rest and refresh yourself during long drives. Read more about the topic in this external resource we’ve handpicked for you. Investigate this informative document!


Overall, driving in France can be a great way to explore the country and see the sights. By taking the time to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road, investing in a good GPS system, and understanding the parking rules and regulations, you can ensure that your driving experience is enjoyable and stress-free.

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