Driving in France: Important Road Safety Rules and Tips
Driving laws in France vary from other countries so Sixt has put this guide together to help our customers who need to know some driving tips in France.
Traffic laws in France - Important signs and rules
Here are some useful driving tips in France that you should know before you start your road trip.
- Before starting your journey, the driver and all passengers must fasten their sea tbelts. The seat belts must stay fastened while driving.
- Type of roads:
- Blue sign and marked with an A: Highway/Motorway
- Green sign and marked with a N: National highway
- Yellow sign and marked with a D: Departmental route
- White sign: In Town
- Emergency phone numbers:
- Police: 117 (from a mobile phone) /17(from a fixed line)
- Fire brigade: 118 (from a mobile phone) / 18 (from a fixed line)
- Ambulance: 115 (from a mobile phone) / 15 (from a fixed line)
- Bus lanes are reserved exclusively for buses, taxis and bicycles
- In cities and towns the right of way is sometimes given to vehicles coming in from the right. When no traffic light or sign is at intersection the vehicle entering from the right has the right of way
- Almost all roundabouts in France now give priority to traffic already on the roundabout but there are very occasional exceptions (Paris) where people on the roundabout must give priority to cars entering the roundabout.
- Rush hour: This only really applies in Paris and the major towns. Traffic is at its most congested when people are setting off for, or return from work - usually between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. On Fridays, the rush starts earlier, especially around Paris. Between rush hours, traffic is usually fluid, even in Paris.
Unless indicated otherwise, speed limits are:
- 50km/h in towns
- 80km/h on the Paris periphique
- 90km/h on main roads
- 110 km/h on dual-carriage ways and 130 km/h on motorways –
Please note these speed restrictions change in wet conditions,
Things to Bring Along
Make sure you carry your driver’s license with you at all times. Items you have to carry in your car:
- warning triangle
- safety vest
Sixt hopes that you have read and understood all our driving tips in France to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant journey. If you have not chosen any protection yet, we highly recommend our full protection package. It includes the complete exclusion of liability meaning that you are liable with 0€ for your rental car in case of hit and run, theft and self-inflicted accidents and also protects you and your passengers.