Car hire in France
Basic info and car hire in France
- Capital: Paris
- Population: 67,107,000 (2015)
- Official language: French
- Currency: Euro
- Weather: Mostly sunny warm summers with average temperature above 20 °C and cold or even cool winters, except in the south along the Mediterranean, where summers are hot and winters mild. (More on Holiday Weather)
Discover a perfect travel destination. Discover France! One of the most romantic western European countries that extends from the English Channel to the Mediterranean in the south and from the Atlantic coast to the Rhine in the east. France tastes like a croissant and a good smelling coffee for breakfast. It does not offer only one of the most famous and delicious cuisines and wines in the world, but it is also a country of artists and writers, rich in history and in culture, with a variety of dreamy and magical landscapes.
If you're up for a road trip, car hire at Paris Airport sounds like the most sensible thing to do, if, of course, you'll be arriving to Paris by plane. If not, there still a numerous options where to rent a car. If you are thinking of the southern coast of France then Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier, Marseille will probably be on your itinerary. If you'd prefer a more fresh wind and some rough northern coast adventure, a trip from Nantes to Calais sounds great!
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Driving in France
- Suitable for tourists: Very good connections. Motorways offers quick travel on large distances, but the tolls can be expensive. If you are not in a big hurry, use older main roads that are free, wide and well maintained.
- Problematic areas: Traffic in Paris can be heavy.
- Age limits: 18 (In order to rent a car some companies require that a driver must have a driver license for at least a year and be older than 21)
- International Driving Permit: yes
- Additional papers: ID (passport) and the proof of insurance (It is advisable to buy an insurance at the rent a car company, in case that your policy does not cover your insurance while driving in France.)
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle is compulsory and a reflective jacket must be kept within reach of the driver inside vehicle. There is no current legislation demanding a fine for not carry a self-test breathalyser (alcohol test) in the car, but it is required by the law.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 10 years must travel on the back seat. If they weigh less than 15 kg, a child seat is needed and if they weigh from 15-36 kg, they have to use a booster seat with an adult seatbelt.
- Drink & drive: maximum BAC = 0.05 % (0,02 % for new drivers with less than 3 years of experience in driving)
- Driving side of the road: right (except in the Channel Tunnel, that connect continental Europe with the UK and part of which is in France, where vehicles drive on the left).
- Lights: Dipped headlights are recommended day and night and must be used not only at night, but also in poor daytime visibility.
- General speed limits: 130 on motorways (110 in wet weather and on urban motorways), 90 on other roads outside built-up areas, 50 in build-up areas
- Parking suggestions: Prohibition and restriction of parking is indicated by road signs or yellow lines. White line indicates free parking for a permitted length of time that has to be displayed showing your arrival time. Wrong-parked vehicles can be not only fined, but also immobilized by wheel clamps or towed away and impounded.
Useful travelling tips
- Some places you should not miss: you will enjoy romantic Provence, spectacular scenery in the French Alps and the French Mediterranean Riviera as much as the world capital of culture, literature and other arts, fashion and food, Paris, and attractions near by: Chartres’s cathedral, palace and parks at Versailles or Disneyland.
- Language: Try to speak French and learn some basics like Bonjour and Merci. French people like that very much and even some simple French phrases can help you get better advice or cheaper deals.
- Accommodation: Book your hotels before leaving home, find a places to stay in smaller towns and save money.
- Eating out: Especially in Paris it is really advisable to make a reservation.
- Local marketplace: shop where locals do and find the best place to buy tasty French food and everything else at local marketplaces.
- Visiting museums: Once or twice a week most of the museums are open late and this is the best time to visit, if you want to avoid crowds. The tickets can be bought at the tourist office for affordable price.
- Emergency telephone numbers: In case of emergency, you can use European general number 112 or French emergency numbers: 15 for Medical ambulance, 17 for Police and 18 for Fire brigade.
- Health insurance: Citizens of EU and some other countries can apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is highly recommended. However, it is important to know, that it does not cover all medical costs.
- Transportation: Cabs can be very expensive. The best way of transportation in biggest cities like Paris are buses and metro, but outside the urban areas it is smart to use your own or rented car.
What to see in France
A diversity of many charming regions - that's what France is! It is almost impossible to see a diversity of all wonderful French regions in only one visit, but if you want to get as much from your trip as possible, consider renting a car. It will give you the freedom to discover not only the glorious city of lights, Paris, but also other beauties that with a car and good connections are never too far away.
If you'd like to make the most out of your vacation in France, find a tours that matches your needs at bookmundi.com