Driving abroad can be challenging, especially if you’re inexperienced or it’s your first time. One of the most common places British people do drive to is France and in France, driving is relatively straight forward but there are a few things you need to know to make it easier and to be more prepared for legally. Here’s our top tips:
Make sure you have all essentials
If you do get pulled over by the French police, it can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the language. Making sure that you have all your essentials at hand ready to be produced makes the process much easier. This includes your driving license, passport and insurance documents. An extra which is a must is making sure that you have European breakdown cover so if the worst does happen you’ll be able to get help quickly, without it costing a fortune.
Be familiar with the rules and have the French driving kit
Driving rules are stricter in France than in the UK, so in addition to the above essentials you’ll also need to carry a certificate of vehicle ownership. The log book v5 will usually suffice as proof of this. Additionally, in France you also legally have to carry a hi vis vest per passenger, disposable breathalysers, a spare set of bulbs and a hazard warning triangle so make sure you’ve made a checklist of all the essentials before setting off.
Always carry foreign currency
If you’re caught off guard by a toll bridge or need to stop at the services to grab a sandwich or a coffee, having some Euros at hand can be really handy and means you won’t end up in any awkward situation.
Turn off radar detectors
French police are very strict on radar detectors to detect speed cameras and if you’re found to have them on, you can get a hefty fine. Be sure to check your sat nav before your set off and disable any of these functions before setting off, just in case. Remember the speed is measured in kilometres per hour (kph) and not mph so don’t get confused and think you can go faster.
Driving across the channel is relatively easy, permitting you remember to stay on the right side of the road, that is. As long as you follow these tips and have all your correct documentation at hand, you’ll be cruising through the French countryside in no time.