Never fail to take with you necessary papers when you plan to take a drive on the roads of France. This is because the French police may interrupt your path any time. It is the responsibility of the police to conduct regular checks in this matter to ensure that everything is going on legally regarding driving.
If police in France demand you to bring forward the documents for conformation while driving on the roads of France, you may produce these documents : driving license, documents related to the proprietorship of the car you are driving, an official ID card and of course insurance documents. The police are strict because of the crime of car theft is on the rise in France.
The ID card need to be a national identity card or a passport. Most foreign driving licenses are acceptable in France for up to one year of your arrival in the country. Card ownership papers are known as cart gris in French which means grey car, while insurance documents are known as cart vert, or green card.
If you own a used car then ensure to collect the related documents from the previous owner as police has every right to impose fine on you if you are caught driving in France without the car ownership documents.
Keep Photocopies of these car related papers and do not ever place them anywhere in the car because they could be found by others. This is due to the fact that the thefts related to car are ever growing in France and take care you should not fall a prey to these thefts. Besides you should not be held by the police in France.
Always keep it in mind that you are driving in a foreign country and things are a bit different in France. It is unlawful to turn right at a red light in France where as in the US it is okay. Otherwise driving should be a pleasant experience in France.
While driving in France be particularly conscious of the fact that all drivers coming from the right have priority. This is irrespective of the sizes of the two roads and even applies on T junctions. French drivers are familiar with this so will often pull out of smaller paths onto busy main roads expecting you to slow down. The exception to this rule in France is when you are on traffic circles. In such cases preference goes to the person already on the circle.
The ordinary limit while driving through built up areas in France is 50km p/h. When you are on the open roads of France you have to slow down to 50km p/h when you see a white sign with red borders displaying the name of a place in black, this indicates that you’re getting into a built up area. You can restart higher speed driving when you see the same sign with a red crosswise line through it which means you’re leaving the built up area.
The driving limit on auto routes, which are the largest motorways in France, is 130 km p/h. Otherwise the driving limit is 110km p/h on dual carriageways while it’s 90km p/h on smaller district highways.Unluckily speed limits in France are seldom posted on the roads so you have to be aware of these by yourself.