FRANCE BY CAR, car rental in Paris and France, how to drive on the french roads

Rent a car in Paris and France, driving on the roads of France during your holidays

The french people drive on the right and overtake on the left. Some say that they are on the road as in their lives : stuffy and arrogant…

France travel guide : car rental in France, drive a car in France, driving, roads of France
Welcome to Travel France vacation

Search in Travel France vacation :

Web Travel France vacation
You are here : France travel guide >Visitor Information >Visit France by plane, car, train, bicyle, foot… >Car rental in France
France visit : car rental, driving in France, France by car

Don’t be afraid, this is not the only kind of car for rent in France !

The french people drive on the right and overtake on the left. Some say that they are on the road as in their lives : stuffy and arrogant…

Road network
Motorways or highways : « autoroutes »

French motorways are designated by the letter A (for autoroute) followed by a number (for example A10 from Paris to Bordeaux) but also with an European number (A10 is also E05).

Driving on french motorways is convenient but quite expensive because most of them are toll motorways and petrol (gasolene, fuel) is more expensive.

Other ways : « Nationales » and « Departementales »

Other ways are numbered like highways, but the number is preceded by a D (départementales roads) or an N (National roads).

To go to a city, you just have to follow its destination.
Road and driving rules

For driving in France you must be at least 18 of age and an International driver’s licence is recommended. you may also have your passport.

If you wish to drive your own car, you must carry your insurance certificate (« carte verte d’assurance ») and ownership papers (« carte grise »).

Speed limit

Usually, speed limit

on Motorway is 130kph (110 kph when wet conditions)

on dual carriage ways is 110kph (90 kph in wet conditions)

on one-way roads is 90 kph

in Towns is 50kph

You will find signs remebering you the right speed with a « Rappel », meaning that the restriction goes on.


The limit in France is 50mg of alcohol per liter of blood, whiwh means approximatively 2 glasses of alcohol for a 60kg person.

Cell phone

Having a phone conversation is strictly prohibited while driving.

Seat belt

Seatbelts are required for every passenger, in the front and also at the rear of the vehicule.
« Priorité à droite »

The rule of priorité à droite means giving way to vehicles coming from your right. This is the rule if there is no stop or « cédez le passage », meaning « give the way » on the road coming from the right.

Ususally, a sign showing a yellow diamond on a white background means that you have right of way, while the same sign with a black line through it informs you that vehicles emerging from the right have priority.


In case of breakdown you should stop on the right of the road, turn on your hazard warning lights, and put your red warning triangle on the pavement or the road approximatively a hundred meters behind your vehicle to inform other drivers that there is a hazard.


In case of accident, you will be asked to fill in a « constat amiable » (an amiable declaration) with the other driver. Be careful of what is written by the other driver, take down names and addresses of witnesses and don’t hesitate to take photographs.

You may also call for a police help by calling the 17 (free call).
If you are involved in an accident involving any sort of injury you MUST wait until the police arrives. Firemen-Emergency phone number is 18 (free call).
Parking in France

Parking in towns is controlled and there is frequently a charge (« Payant »). For paying, you need to take a ticket at the ticket machines on the pavement and place it in view on the dashboard of your car. You may also find many underground parking in towns, were you can pay by credit card.

Car rentals / Rent a car in France

There are many car rental agencies in France. They ar usually located in airports, city centers and railway stations.

The minimum age limit for renting a car in France is usually 21 but some companies may ask for an extra insurance for drivers under the age of 25. Check it with the company.

Traffic information / Times and places to avoid

Usually, roads around the cities are crowded in the morning between 6 to 9 AM and at night from 5 to 8 PM.

You should avoid also driving around the cities on friday and saturday nights.