What Not to Forget When Driving to France
France is the promised land for motorists - with motorways and signs that are of the highest quality in Europe. However, travelling by car across France puts great demands on drivers to uphold their road traffic regulations, many of which have no parallel anywhere else. Therefore, when planning a trip, you will need to check the compulsory in-car equipment, purchase an alcohol tester and order a plaque to enter Paris and other low-emission zones.
Environmental Badge Crit’Air
What is it and what is it for?
The Environmental badge is a sticker placed on a vehicle's windscreen and helps to regulate air pollution and noise in cities across France and in other countries. France has introduced six types of environmental badges, distinguished by colours that correspond to six different levels of pollution. The type of badge depends on the age, model or engine of the vehicle, and the sticker is issued for a specific vehicle (i.e. license plate) and has unlimited validity. Fines for non-compliance start at 68 euros (i.e. approximately £ 62) and will increase.
Where do I need it?
Environmental badges are required in Paris and in other ecological zones - usually in large cities.
A specific feature of the ecological zones in France is their time limit. For example, in Paris, the badge is only required during a limited time period, from 8:00 to 20:00, Monday to Friday. You can drive a passenger car without the sticker at night and at weekends.
Read more about individual zones HERE.
How do I get it?
You can order the badge online with free delivery within 14 days. You will need the information from the registration certificate of your vehicle when filling out the online order.
The compulsory equipment includes a first aid kit, a warning triangle, a spare bulb set, a spare tyre and a high-visibility vest. Anyone who needs to get out of the car on a motorway must wear such a vest, so it's good to have a few of them. A famous French speciality is an obligatory alcohol tester.
Motorways in France are charged; tolls are paid at a gate at the highway's exit, either in cash or by credit card. The fee for passenger cars is about 10 euros per 100 km. All passengers are required to use seatbelts, and children under 12 must sit in a child safety seat.
- maximum speed on a motorway - 130 km / h.
- maximum main-road speed - 90 km / h.
- maximum speed in municipalities - 50 km / h.
You may pay a fine of up to 135 euros for exceeding the limit of alcohol in the blood, which is 0,5 per mille.