Advice on Driving to France

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maximus

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Me, the wife and her brother have decided to go for a drive over to france on August 2nd. Apart from to take my passport and make sure that I drive on the right, can anyone give me any useful advice for driving over there. I can't speak much french! We've decided to go up near the Belgium border and go for a days drive to Belgium too. I'm just a bit worried about the driving as I don't want to meet up with loads of traffic and also worried about not understandong the road signs.
Has anyone else made a trip like this?
 
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crowder

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ive got some advice for you... DONT GO! its horrible, boring, and the french are just downrigt nasty, i went on a school trip and you couldnt go anywhere without getting the dead eye, there are some nice people obviously but i just didnt like it.
 

banksy

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I made weekly trips around France in the 70's 80's and 90's, through Paris, Strasbourg and down as far as Lyons, with very few problems.

In the early days, the "priority to the right" rule was a bit of a nightmare, but that's pretty well phased out now.
The signs are essentially the same as here, so you can easily see whether a joining road has a give-way sign.
http://driving.drive-alive.co.uk/driving-in-france.htm

Not speaking French is not necessarily a disadvantage. I'm pretty fluent, but always reverted to English if pulled by police or customs. They soon got fed up !


Don't forget your car registration and insurance documents and driving licence with green paper counterpart (check that your insurance covers you for Western Europe). And stick a warning triangle, spare lightbulbs and a yellow fluo jacket in the boot.
Make sure that everyone has an EHIC medical insurance card (this replaced the E111).
http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/PolicyAndGuidance/HealthAdviceForTravellers/GettingTreatmentAroundTheWorld/EEAAndSwitzerland/DH_4114793

Comments such as "it's horrible, boring, and the french are just downrigt nasty, I went on a school trip..." make me despair. [:(]

Get over there and enjoy ! [:)]
 
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Beebs

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Pleasurenut got it spot on. Driving in France is superb. Just be careful on roundabouts and make sure you've got the spare bits he mentioned above. Nothing wrong with France or the French. Act ignorant and you'll receive the same back. Treat them with a bit of respect and you'll get it returned.
 

Benji

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Remove any snooper/road angel/etc from your vehicle, the gendarmes will remove them, and fine them for even having them in your vehicle. I have heard accounts of them just smashing them at the side of the road.
 

maximus

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Thanks for the advice lads.
Pleasurenut, I've been through France by coach to spain and we went through Lyon then at about 1.30am and then on the return at 3.00pm the place is lovely. What river is it by? You drive up one side go over the bridge and back down the other side.
It looks a terrific place to fish! Also there were loads of people about at 1.30am queueing up to buy cheese burgers. They seemed quite freindly and waved at those of us who were still awake.
 

Enigma

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Get a Tom Tom sat nav - obey their laws, drive on the other side to the UK and the rest has already been said. Have a good trip.

Don't forget to fill up with cheap fuel before you come back to old blighty (and wine, cigs etc). You'll love thefrench food (not as good as Italian) eat where the locals do and be adventerous and try something other than steak and chips.
 

banksy

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Two rivers in central Lyons, the Rhone and the Saone. Lovely place, the gastronomic capital of France. [:)]
 

Isaak

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Practical Advice

I take it you are going by car.
Been both by car and Motorcycle

Overtaking is a problem on country roads your frontseat passanger has to work very hard and you have to trust what they say.They need to look along the road for you.
Be careful of speed limits especially with a car which does not have French Plates on.
Have your front seat passanger repeat to you every time you set off from a stop where you get out of the driving mode. Drive on the right side of the road.]It is so easy to forget especially if you are trying to find your way somewhere or you get a bit fraught.

Be very respectful to the police. They are not soft on people like the English police and they carry BIG guns.
DOnt argue because they are always right.

Dont get into the winetasting and then drive.

Do have a lovely time in a country that has lots of links with the British and where the sacrifice made by British Soldiers in 2 world wars is still remembered and respected by the locals.
 
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simonelsey

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you cant drive to france you need a ferry or the eurotunnel train[:p][:)]

sorry had to say
 
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Clive

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I worked in France for years driving all over the country and tbh its a doddle driving over there as most of the roads and motorways in particular lead you onto the correct side of the road only time I ever had a problem was leaving the hotels in the mornings even after 10 years I still used to pull out on the wrong side of the road
But if it was me sod going to Belgium [xx(] I'd come outta Calais and turn right and head up the A16 towards the Somme valley either Dieppe or Abbeville theres much more to do and see and the people are friendlier [8D]

but as the others said dont forget your EU drivers kit the police are very hot on that [;)]
 

HarryOatcake

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Am I right in thinking the car headlights
require resetting or some sort of reflector,
also there is a continental driving kit that
can be hired, as in warning triangle for one.

A thing I do not enjoy with continental drivers is
there incessant use of the horn especially if there is
a slight hold up,
in a lot of cases they may be able to see the problem
why someone in front cannot move, even so they still
blast the horn.

Another driving habit they have when driving,
its all accelerator and brakes.

Parking can have its moments as well, I have even seen
cars parked on top of other car bumpers as though its the
normal thing to do if space is tight.

Mind you there are not as many metal bumper bars out today.

Finaly all i can say is,
rather you than me, so be careful better to be safe than sorry.

Good Luck.
Harry.
 

poolsfodder

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harry,id go with crowder.dont,but if you have to beware.the french arnt to bothered about road laws,especialy if your on uk plates.i have had the unpleasent joy of doing paris on a bike[zzr1100]not slow.
glad i had the power to escape.the rounderbouts are insane,russian rulette springs to mind,here we give way to the right,there they give way to the left.oh joy,go have fun and enjoy.its a nice place[apart from the french lol]but be warned,watch out for clapped out froggy cars that WILL try and cut you up.they will claim all sorts once they hit you,and guess what? who will they believe?pf
 
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