Driving in France, what's the story these days?

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  • Driving in France, what's the story these days?
  • bigG
    Member

    We’re driving to brittany for the summer hols in a few months.

    What’s the script with these breathalyser regulations? Some sites say I need them, some say I don’t, some say I need them but won’t get fined if I don’t have them?

    Also, has anyone used the liber-t Tag device to save time at the tolls? Looks like it’ll save a bit of faffing around?

    I assume I’ll need the hi viz jackets for everyone in the car, spare bulb kit and warning triangle like I did last time I drove in France?

    Mackem
    Member

    Just get the breatalizers. About a quid each, you need two, stick em within sight and you’ll get no bother.

    PaddyMcG
    Member

    Don’t think you need the bulbs anymore.

    But speed camera detection kit is not allowed. And this includes sat navs with speed camera location POIs. Tomtom have got round this by calling them danger areas or something similar. It not doesn’t give an accurate location for each camera, it just warns when you are in the vicinity.

    Premier Icon colinimrod
    Subscriber

    Get all the kit in advance and its cheap; buy it at the ferry / Eurotunnel terminal and it isn’t.

    The Liber-t Tag saves masses of faffing about and especially queuing. You too can fly past lines of stationary UK reg cars in the orange lane. You pay a bit for it in up front fee (about 30 euros) plus various annual and monthly add-ons. Its easy enough to can afterwards (full details on their site). For pure time saved its worth it for me. It’s never failed to raise a cheeky cheer from my car load every time the tag beeps as we whizz through a packed toll road on way to the Alps.

    fourbanger
    Member

    I went through a toll on Saturday night, looking a but frazzled after 700 miles straight, 4 double espressos and 3 redbulls. Driving into the automated booth and having to reverse out after spending a confusing couple if minutes searching for a ticket slot didn’t help. When I had managed to manoeuvre into the correct que, I was greeted by a gendarme with a friendly

    Avez-vous consommé de l’alcool ce soir?

    One look at the carnage of maps and junk food wrappers across the front seat along with a

    non

    and a grin was enough for a Bon voyage.
    Is it the law there now then?

    Mackem
    Member

    The theory is that if you’ve had a few drinks you can check yourself before driving off and being a danger.

    Nothing to do with the President’s mate who has a company that makes breathaliser kits and was short of cash. ( you have to use an officially approved kit btw)

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    ( you have to use an officially approved kit btw)

    And it has to be calibrated to the French limit. Brit ones won’t do.
    And it must be in date.

    Marge
    Member

    The breathalyser law was dropped already….

    Marge
    Member

    The breathalyser law was dropped already….

    Mackem
    Member

    Really? They kept that quiet.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Drove thru France yesterday – breathalyser law has been postponed. But you do need

    Bulb set
    Hi vis vest – in the main compartment of the car , not the boot
    Warning triangle

    Mackem
    Member

    Just delayed according to my random google search

    Ambrose
    Member

    Just back from Poitiers. Took bulbs, Hi-Vis jackets, triangle and Halfords purchased breath kits. No major hassle at all, what’s the fuss? It is France after all, different to here them French peeps is.

    I returned with saucisson sec, fromage, vin rouge et champignons. Formidable mes copains!

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    Cheapest place I found for hi vis vests was screwfix.

    ianv
    Member

    They sacked off the breathalyser thing.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    They have just implemented reflective stickers for motorbike helmets …
    I don’t understand why they just don’t ban the locals from driving pissed, or train them not to drive with their usual disregard for anyone else …

    Mind you, they are way better than the belgians …

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Apparently you also need an unused first aid kit. Presumably if you have an incident where you might want to use the first aid kit, then you don’t use it in case you get stopped and fined (or you carry two first aid kits).

    nealglover
    Member

    The breathalyser regulation is still in place, but the implementation of the €11 fine for not complying has been “postponed indefinitely”

    So basically, you are technically still required to carry them, but there is no fine or punishment for not carrying them.

    Simple eh 🙂

    Not sure you need a First Aid kit by law, but its not a bad idea anyway.

    Don’t forget your Driving License, Registration Document and Insurance Documents.

    (I spent 6 hours in a police station in Berlin waiting for the DVLA to open so they could check I was legit. It’s a requirement in France too)

    Premier Icon matthewjb
    Subscriber

    From memory the breathalyser law was implemented last year but they realised they wouldn’t be able to produce enough. So the fine has been postponed.

    They only cost a fiver so I’m not sure what the fuss is.

    We’re driving to brittany for the summer hols in a few months. has anyone used the liber-t Tag device to save time at the tolls

    Depending on route there aren’t many toll roads. Certainly not in Brittany.

    b r
    Member

    (I spent 6 hours in a police station in Berlin waiting for the DVLA to open so they could check I was legit. It’s a requirement in France too)

    Since when? I use to live in Germany (upto 2001) and never carried anything – which use to amuse my German m/c buddies who even had to carry theIR TUV papers for anything ‘non-standard’.

    ianv
    Member

    Definately need documents in France. I’ve been stopped quite a few times by the gendarmes to check my papers, also if you need to by spare car parts, they want to see your registration documents.

    Legoman
    Member

    All you need to know here
    Linky to AA

    Note – high vis jacket must be inside the car (not the boot) and if you’re taking a company or lease car you’ll need a ‘vehicle on hire’ form in lieu of the registration document

    nealglover
    Member

    Since when? I use to live in Germany (upto 2001) and never carried anything – which use to amuse my German m/c buddies who even had to carry theIR TUV papers for anything ‘non-standard’.

    I don’t know if its a legal requirement in Germany (although it is in France) but its obviously not a bad idea.

    If I was carrying mine I would have been on my way in 5 Minutes, but they obviously thought I was suspect so wanted proof before I was sent on my way. Which meant I had to wait until the DVLA opened in the morning after being stopped in the middle of the night looking for an industrial unit on the outskirts of Berlin.

    milky1980
    Member

    My car broke down on the way to the Alps last summer (alternator failed) and the recovery truck turned up and wanted to see all my paperwork before towing me to the garage. As we left the Autoroute he gave a thumbs up to a gendarme, presumably to show I was sound and not worth checking out. Picked up a hire car for the remainder of the journey and was told by the English girl there that the recovery trucks there (Dijon area) earn extra money by reporting you to the gendarmes if you don’t have a hi-vis and a warning triangle out when they arrive. All official too!!

    Had one of those Liber-T tags too, only worth it as I was driving alone and didn’t want the hassle of carrying the cash or clambering over to the passenger side (full of bike spares!!) at the exits. Added about £30 to the cost but worth it for the time saving. The others in my group reported being stuck in the queue at one booth for two hours!!

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Get it all from eBay – it is cheap as chips.

    Premier Icon MrOvershoot
    Subscriber

    matthewjb – Member
    Depending on route there aren’t many toll roads. Certainly not in Brittany.

    There are no toll roads in Brittany (can’t remember the exact reason but it involves Charles De Gaul getting a quick response from the Breton’s & him waiving tolls there?)
    The Hi-Vis thing is a good idea IMO the bulb thing a joke as most French cars seem to need the front end taken apart by a dealership to access the lamps so what good carrying them to replace at the roadside is?
    First aid kit & a warning triangle are also good ideas for anyone in any country.
    As for the breath test kits?? before my mother moved back from France most of the locals just laughed at the notion!

    andrewh
    Member

    Don’t forget your Driving License, Registration Document and Insurance Documents

    Never quite sure about this.
    I think the rules say you must have your licence and insurance certificates with you (easy enough) but also proof of ownership of the vehicle. Technically the reg doc isn’t proof of ownership but we don’t really have anything else so I took that. Never got asked for it so it didn’t matter.
    .
    Also, longest queue I saw at a toll booth was about 6 cars long so really not worth the £30 for the special tag thingy.
    .
    Whole new can of worms, why do we have pay tolls on European motorway when they can drive here for free? Why can’t we sell foreigners a one month (or whatever) tax disc at the point of entry?

    konabunny
    Member

    why do we have pay tolls on European motorway when they can drive here for free?

    Because they’re toll roads. Everyone pays.

    nealglover
    Member

    Whole new can of worms, why do we have pay tolls on European motorway when they can drive here for free? Why can’t we sell foreigners a one month (or whatever) tax disc at the point of entry

    That’s not really a “can of worms”

    You just seem to have misunderstood the situation.

    They don’t pay for a Tax Disk here, we don’t pay for a Tax Disk there.

    They pay to use Toll Roads here, and we pay to use Toll Roads there.

    Is quite straight forward.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Yep we charge everyone for Dartford and the m6 toll. Not sure how me speaky no frenchy would go down at the toll.

    Just a damm good road network really. Tag would have been useful last time as the passenger side window stopped working coming out of the tunnel.

    andrewh
    Member

    I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay for the toll roads, it’s how their system works and when in Rome etc (actually, never attempt to drive in Rome) I’m suggesting that we introduce a ‘foreign cars temporary tax disc’ for when they come here. Anyway, that is a whole other discussion which could go on at length! Back to the OP…

    nealglover
    Member

    I’m suggesting that we introduce a ‘foreign cars temporary tax disc’ for when they come here.

    Why ?

    They don’t charge us tax to use French Roads do they ?

    andrewh
    Member

    They have a much, much greater proportion of toll roads than we do, basically a short section of M6 and a couple of bridges, 80%+ of their motorways are toll roads, and fairly pricey too. We pay to use their roads, but they don’t pay to use ours. (fueld duty excepted, but both drivers pay that in both countries so that’s fair)

    nealglover
    Member

    We don’t pay to use their Roads no.

    We pay to for their Toll Roads when we choose to use them

    In the same way they do.

    Don’t want to pay, then don’t use them. Just the same choice as they have.

    We don’t pay road tax in France, they don’t pay road tax here.
    We pay for tools in France, they pay for tolls here.

    Seems fair to me.

    fourbanger
    Member

    Whilst the toll roads are excellent and will get you across the country in a day, other roads are available if you dont want to pay…

    Mackem
    Member

    They are but take a lot longer and probably cost more in fuel than the tolls. Just use the tolls, hassle free, fast, and not really that expensive.

    DrJ
    Member

    What IS cheeky is the Swiss vignette thing – everyone needs one for the motorway, but obviously foreigners will only use it for a week or so, so the price per mile is much higher for non-residents.

    Edukator
    Member

    Sticky tape on your headlights so you don’t dazzle me, please.

    Toll roads are good, the user/polluter pays.

    Enough fuel to get you to a petrol station with a living person as your credit card may be rejected by pumps.

    Enough cash for your whole holiday so when your CC company decides that your holiday is causing “abnormal activity” and block your card you still have money to enjoy your holiday.

    nealglover
    Member

    Toll roads are good, the user/polluter pays.

    The User Pays while the Polluter drives from Calais to Monaco on National Routes and uses more fuel 😉

    Edukator
    Member

    I save about 15l when I use the nationals to the Alps as well as over 100e in tolls. That’s in the van, in the car the fuel use is siimlar but as the tolls are only 68e I pay.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    You can buy the breatherlisers and high viz in the local supermarkets (cheaper than halfords), my French friends have been buying high viz jackets but haven’t bothered with the breatherlizers so I suppose that says something about requirements. I’ve seen a few broken down cars over there recently and the drivers have been wearing their high viz jackets.

    For the motorway tolls I’ve always just used cash/credit card and I tend to drive in France 4 or 5 times a year, too lazy to get the automatic thing !

    nealglover
    Member

    I save about 15l when I use the nationals to the Alps as well as over 100e in tolls. That’s in the van, in the car the fuel use is siimlar but as the tolls are only 68e I pay.

    On some routes it works, but to Monaco the route is shocking when Avoiding tolls.

    Takes about 9 hours longer and the fuel used is probably 20 litres more.

    It does work out cheaper, but pollutes more and takes 9 hours longer which turns it into a 2 day drive rather than 1, so you need to factor in an overnight stop, which ruins the cost saving.

    Edukator
    Member

    True, in the car we aim at arriving at the ski resort a few of hours before the lifts open. Madame gets home from work, we get on the autoroute, stick to the limits for 900km and arrive in Tignes where there’s a warm underground car park to sleep in.

    The van is slower so we sleep in the back when we’ve had enough. Brick-wall aerodynamics mean fuel consumption goes exponential goes exponential over 90kmh.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I save about 15l when I use the nationals to the Alps as well as over 100e in tolls.

    Did it take longer?

    As for sticky tape – many modern cars have an adjuster to switch from RHD headlights to LHD without needing tape. I didn’t know this until after I got back from Germany and spent 6 months being able to see bugger all at night.

    Edukator
    Member

    Yup, it takes longer. Van travel is a different style of traveling. In the car we hop in, drive, change drivers every hour or so and keep going until we arrive. In the van we trundle along at a bearable noise level (90kmh is bearable), make tea, walk around to ease aches caused by the awful seats, sleep, drive and get there eventually regardless of road type.

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 47 total)

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