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French Speed Limits as of 2024

  1. Urban Areas
    The speed limit within urban areas remains at 50 km/h (31 mph). However, in some residential zones or near schools, it can be reduced to 30 km/h or even 20 km/h​

  2. Non-Urban Roads (Outside Cities)
    Two-lane roads without a central reservation: The speed limit is typically 80 km/h (50 mph). This change was implemented in 2018 to improve road safety​.
    Divided roads with a central reservation: The speed limit is generally 110 km/h (68 mph), unless otherwise indicated by signs​.

  3. Motorways (Autoroutes): The standard speed limit on motorways is 130 km/h (81 mph) under normal conditions, which is reduced to 110 km/h (68 mph) during adverse weather such as rain or snow​

france speed limit change
Two-lane rural roads with no central barrier such as this will see the speed limit reduced from 90kph to 80kph.

Changes to Speed Limits in France from 1st July 2018

Road Type

Speed Limit pre 01/07/2018

Speed Limit post 01/07/2018


130 kph (80mpH)

130 kph (80mpH)

Dual Carriageway

110 kph (68mph)

110 kph (68mph)

Rural Roads

90 kph (56mph)

80 kph (50mph)

Urban Roads (towns and villages)

50 kph (31mph)

50 kph (31mph)

Why did France reduce the Speed Limit?

In 2018, France implemented a significant reduction in speed limits on two-lane roads without a central reservation, lowering the limit from 90 km/h to 80 km/h. This decision was driven by a concerning rise in road fatalities and serious injuries, prompting the French government to take action to enhance road safety. The measure aimed to reduce the severity and frequency of accidents, particularly on rural roads where higher speeds contribute significantly to fatal collisions. The initiative was supported by research indicating that lower speed limits could lead to fewer accidents and mitigate their impact. Despite some opposition from motorists and rural communities, the reduction was part of a broader strategy to improve public safety and align with best practices observed in other European countries with lower rural speed limits and better road safety records​
dual carriageway in france
Dual carriageway's such as this with a central reservation will not be affected

What are the Speeding Fines in France (as of June 2024)?

In France, speeding fines are stringent and can escalate rapidly based on the severity of the offense. For minor infractions, fines start at €68, but for more serious breaches, such as exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 km/h, penalties can include fines up to €1,500, immediate confiscation of the driver's license, and even vehicle impoundment​​. This strict enforcement underscores France's commitment to road safety and reducing traffic-related fatalities.

in France, it is mandatory for drivers to carry a breathalyzer in their car. This regulation, introduced in 2012, aims to promote responsible driving and reduce alcohol-related accidents. Drivers are required to have a certified, unused breathalyzer available at all times, and failure to comply can result in fines​ . While enforcement of this rule has been relaxed over the years, it remains a legal requirement and a crucial part of the road safety regulations in France​

More information on speeding fines in a rental car here.

speeding in france

If you are hiring a car in France this year, make sure you are aware of the change to the speed limit, reduce your speed accordingly and enjoy a safe journey. For more information, see our complete guide to driving in France.

Kellie Hodge
Posted: February 04, 2024 by Kellie Hodge
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Monday, June 17, 2024
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