Flights & Transports travel
CAR RENTALS/HIRE IN FRANCE
A car is a convenient and pleasant way to travel throughout France.
The road system is of high quality. The France road and
highway network system is about 5000 miles long.
Many highways have tolls, especially between cities like Paris
and other main cities of France.
Before driving in France,
you need to make sure you know and understand local traffic
Official Site for French Traffic Laws
Learn French road and street signs
US driver's license is enough
international driver's license (not required for U.S.
Driver must be at least
Vehicle's registration document
card for the vehicle.
code sticker is required.
their customers with all these documents required by law.
Eurotunnel to Drive From/To United Kingdom
If you drive from or to Britain, the Eurotunnel can be
handy. Eurotunnel's car carrying service runs via the
Channel Tunnel from Folkestone to Calais/Coquelles. Taking as
little as 35 minutes platform to platform, it is a fast and
exciting way to France and beyond. The service operates 24
hours a day, 365 days a year with up to 4 departures an hour
at peak periods.
www.eurotunnel.com or phone 08705 35 35 35.
Consult the website
The road network is very well developed in France: nearly a
million kilometres, of which almost 8,000 kilometres are
motorways. There is usually a toll for motorways. To find out
everything about toll charges, service stations, rest areas,
restaurants, filling stations, and hotels along your route,
and for details of your journey, consult the website
Finding your way
There are numerous guides and road maps available at
bookshops, service stations…
The main reference maps are Michelin and IGN.
Some Internet sites suggest different ways of getting from
one place to another (from the quickest to tourist routes with
Times to avoid
At peak times (7.30 – 9.00am and 5.30 – 7.30pm generally
during the week), take care on the approaches to large towns
and town centers: the traffic is often very dense. Some
problems can also be found at "sensitive" places at the start
of holiday periods (approaches to large towns, toll booths…).
To find out about traffic conditions:
In your car, you can listen to the Autoroute FM radio
station on frequency 107.7
Parking in towns is controlled and there is usually a
charge. Authorized parking spaces are shown by road markings
(white dotted lines). To pay for parking, you need to take a
ticket from the ticket machines (installed on the pavement)
and place it in view on your dashboard. The price of a parking
space can vary a lot, depending on the town and the area.
All towns also have underground parking available, in the
town centre, or also on the outskirts, which are usually
served by public transport.
Most motorway service stations have 'baby corners' with
changing facilities and high chairs.
All passengers must wear seat-belts.
All riders of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles must wear
Bus lanes are reserved exclusively for buses, taxis and
Drivers license, insurance certificate and vehicle
registration documents must be presented at controls.
Parking is strictly regulated in many areas. Dotted
road markings indicate parking spaces. Remember that you can
only park on white spaces; those marked 'Payant' are
pay-for-parking spaces and unmarked spaces are free. Yellow
markings indicate spaces reserved for utility vehicles and
other markings (GIC-GIG) for people with the relevant card.
Dotted yellow lines on the edge of a pavement indicate that
brief stops are authorized (for dropping off passengers). Many
parking spaces in major cities are regulated by parking meters
that can be found along the edge of pavements. You can pay for
between 15 minutes and 2 hours (from 5F to 15F an hour). Your
ticket must be displayed clearly inside your car. In case of
non-payment or parking longer than the time allowed, you risk
a fine of 75F. A large number of modern and safe underground
parking lots exist in town centers. They cost more than
parking at ground level, but guarantee a space and flexible
hours of stay.
For information on road conditions, consult regional
information centers before you set off: Ile-de-France/Centre
33 (0) 1 48 99 33 33 North 33 (0) 3 20 47 33
33 East 33 (0) 3 87 63 33 33
West 33 (0) 2 99 32 33 33 South-West
33 (0) 5 56 96 33 33
Rhone-Alpes/Auvergne 33 (0) 4 72 81 57 33
Mediterranean 33 (0) 4 91 78 78 78
For motorway conditions throughout France: Autoroute
info 33 (0) 1 47 05 90 01
Types Of Roads
Autoroutes (Marked on signs with A) Express highways
for which you must pay tolls. Routes Nationales (Marked on
signs with N) National motorways for which there are no tolls,
often with several lanes. Routes Departementales (Marked on
signs with D) Smaller scenic country roads with less traffic.
Highway tolls in France are generally more expensive than in
the U.S, and travelers should be prepared to stop several
times during their trip to pay (toll booths are called peages).
Cash and all major credit cards are accepted.
Seat belts are required for all passengers riding in
Hitch-hiking in France
The French often stop to
take on hitchhikers. It's a good idea to indicate your
destination clearly on a sign. To be sure of a ride, contact
the organization 'Allostop', which puts hitch-hikers in touch
with drivers in exchange for a modest fee (inscription fees +
22 centimes per km).
(0)1 53 20 42 42 or 33 (0)1 53 20 42 43 from outside Paris.
- French language only
You can of course hire all sorts of vehicles, from a
bicycle to a lorry, but mainly cars, from specialist agents
(or shops and garages for two-wheeled vehicles). France is
well stocked with car hire agencies. At list can be obtained
at local tourist offices. Fly-drive arrangements are available
through airlines and tour operators.
The minimum age limit for hiring a car in France ranges
from 21 to 25, with some companies operating a surcharge
system for drivers under the age of 25. The maximum age limit
varies from company to company, the average being 70 years.
The main car hire companies have offices at all railway
stations of large towns, at airports and in the centre of some
If you prefer to arrange your car hire before you leave,
contact one of the following companies:
Avis Rent a Car
Hertz Rent a Car
Tel: 1 800 654-3001
Budget Leisure Car
Toll free for France:
(reservation) 08701 56 56 56
National Car Rental
Toll free: 1 800 227 7368