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Tips for driving in France

Driving in France is a joy. There really isn’t much of a difference than driving in America, except that it makes more sense. For example, if a sign says “lane closed, move left,” French drivers will generally move left and stay there. You will be surprised that traffic will not even decrease because people drive for the common good. Few will attempt to pass as many cars as they can to the right and then move to the left at the last moment, hoping someone will brake to avoid the sudden maneuver, as we do in America.

French drivers

French drivers are generally less aggressive than drivers in Italy, but more aggressive than drivers in Belgium.

On the fast motorways , the motorways of France, you are expected to drive right and pass left. If you are in the left lane, cars will approach within a couple of flights. There is nothing you can do about it, so try to avoid staring in the rear view mirror and move to the right as fast as you can. Those are the rules.

Refueling: the essence of driving in France Where is gasoline cheaper?

Hypermarkets, those huge markets on the outskirts of big cities and towns. You can expect at least 5% savings.


Green direction signs point to ‘free roads’, as opposed to blue signs that say ‘ peage ‘, which is equivalent to ‘pay toll roads’.

A sign on the right pointing to the left usually means go straight. The same sign to the right pointing to the right means “turn right” at the first opportunity. Think about this for a minute. It requires a different mindset to understand.

Traffic circles

A thousand times more efficient than stop signs, the traffic circle is easy to navigate and gives you a second chance to read the signs. You can ride as many times as you need, as long as you ride in the inside lane. As you enter the circle, check for traffic from the left, enter the circle and head toward the center until it is time to exit, then signal, check the inside lane for traffic, and turn.

Speed limits

In general, the speed limits are around 90-110 on the red roads on your map (the free roads between major cities) and 130 on the good parts of the toll roads. The city limits very between 30 and 50, but never exceeds 50 kilometers per hour.

Parking lot

Much of the parking in larger cities is parking that you have to pay for. Look for machines in the middle of parking lots. They are quite sophisticated, often accepting coins, bills, and sometimes credit cards. Parking is generally free during lunch, from 12 to 2 pm. Otherwise, you will often have to pay in a pay lot from 9 to 12 and from 2 to 7 in the evening. Check the signs.

The French buyback lease

If your vacation is to be taken entirely in France, or if your flight is arriving and departing from France and you will need a car for more than three weeks, you may want to verify the lease rather than rent it. See our take on French buyback leases and how they can make your driving vacation more enjoyable.

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