Guide to Driving In France - Drive Safe in France

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in France and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.


50 kph

More info  


80 kph

More info  

motorway speed limit

110-130 kph

speed limit
More info  

Drink Drive Limit


drink and drive limit
More info  
You drive in France on the Right side  
The currency in France is EUR €
To rent a car is  21 years and to drive is 18 years of age
Current fuel price in France 1.39 €/Ltr

Driving Laws in France

Driving in France
Pocket guide to driving in France
Driving in France
SPEED: (kph)
Speed limit in France
Rush hour in France
Speed cameras in France
Fuel prices in France
Drive RIGHT in France
Min driving age in France
Blood alcohol content
Drink driving in France
Emergency phone number in France
Driving documents in France
Hands free only
Mobile phone driving in France
Seat belt in France
See here for current child seats law in France

Are there any special requirements for driving or hiring a car in France?

If you are not from the USA or one of the other countries which drive on the right, driving in France can be quite tricky. Driving is on the right and overtaking is on the left. Importantly you should give way to the right unless a sign with a yellow diagonal indicated that it is your right of way. Right of way is given to all official vehicles such as police (cars and bikes), ambulances, fire trucks and public utility vehicles including those bearing the words Service de Nettoiement and Generale des Eaux.

Instead of using an upward pointing arrow to mean straight on there is an arrow pointing right on the left hand side of the road or vice versa.

Rules of the road

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Emergency Services Numbers

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112

Notes: 17 (police), 18 (fire) and 15 (ambulance) additional emergency numbers

Fuel Prices in France by Month

Parking Information

Parking regulations

Parking regulations
You must not stop or park next to kerbs painted with yellow lines. If it is a broken yellow line you can stop there but not park.  Time and other restriction are marked on signs nearby. You can only park on the right hand side of the road unless there is a sign which says otherwise. In some cities, some roads have alternate side parking. Look at what everyone else is doing to be sure. 
Paid parking
Most city centre roadside parking is payable at a machine or parking meter. Some take credit cards as well as cash. There are also municipal and commrcial parking garages where machines or attendants will take your money. 
Blue Disc
It’s possible to buy an International Blue Parking Disc from many shops and kiosks or police stations, these enable you to park in designated blue zones. 
Enforcement of parking is done by the police and may involve a fine or your car being towed. In paris, clamping operates. You should follow the instructions on the notice to get your car unclamped. 
Disabled parking
France follows EU guidelines on parking for holders of an EU Disabled Parking Permit but check details carefully where you intend to park for any local conditions.

Emergency Information

Emergency Information

Police Police: 112

Police Fire: 112

Police Ambulance: 112

The emergency number in France is 112 for the police, fire and ambulance

What to do in an emergency

If you break down on a motorway, you are not allowed to call your breakdown company for help. You must use the orange phones on the side of the motorway and you will then be towed to a designated bay where you can meet your emergency organisation.  If you are involved in an accident you should call the police on 112 and await their arrival. In both circumstances you'll need to place a warning triangle advising of the incident 30m away. Don't move any of the vehicles unless causing an obstruction or danger and photograph the scene, taking witness details where possible. You'll need a copy of the accident report from the police for your insurance company or hire car company.

Handy Guides

World Driving Guides

Road Signs

Handy Phrases

  • Driving licence- Permis de Conduite
  • Insurance certificate –  Carte Verte
  • Services (rest stops) - Aire de repos
  • Bailiff (for accidents) - Huissier
  • Pay-and-display machine – Horodateur
  • End of no parking zone - Fin d'interdiction de stationer
  • Beware roadworks - Attention travaux
  • Petrol - Essence
  • Unleaded - Sans plomb
  • Diesel – Gazole
  • Town centre – Centre Ville
  • I have broken down - J'ai décomposé 
  • Where is the police station? - Où est le poste de police?
  • I have a flat tyre - J'ai un pneu à plat 
  • I have been in an accident - J'ai été dans un accident 
  • Where is? - Où est?
  • Where can I buy petrol? – Où puis-je acheter de l'essence?
  • No pedestrians - Interdit aux pietons
  • Exit – Sortie
  • One lane road - Voie unique
  • Turn on your lights - Allumez vos  feux (lanterns)
  • Closed - Ferme

France Fuel Price History

Fuel Prices in France by Month
Month, YearDiesel €/ltrUnleaded €/ltr
Jan, 2021 1.30 1.39
Dec, 2020 1.28 1.36
Nov, 2020 1.23 1.33
Oct, 2020 1.22 1.34
Sep, 2020 1.22 1.33
Aug, 2020 1.26 1.34

Hiring a Car

With our Drive Smart guide you're fully prepared to hire a car in France and stay safe on unfamiliar roads.
Chloe Demaret
Posted by Chloe Demaret
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

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