Roadwatch Guide to Marseille: French Rules of the Road

Here are some driving tips to keep in mind if you’re going to be driving while in France.

Here are some driving tips to keep in mind if you’re going to be driving while in France:

Firstly, there is a legal requirement for motorists to have a fluorescent yellow bib in the car in case you breakdown, so make sure your car has one and make sure you wear it if getting out of the car when broken down. Also make sure you have a warning triangle with you in case you breakdown and put it on display.

On-the-spot fines can be severe and can cost you up to €750. Bear in mind as well that vehicles that are illegally parked may be towed away and impounded.

Children up to 10 must travel in an approved child seat or restraint, adapted to their age and size. Children under 10 are not allowed to travel in the front seats of vehicles.

Speed Limits

Speed limits are fixed according to the place, the vehicle and the weather. Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers:

In built-up areas: 50km/h. Outside built-up areas: 90km/h, but 110km/h on urban motorways and dual carriageways separated by a central reservation and 130km/h on motorways. Lower speed limits of 80km/h outside built-up areas, 100 km/h on dual carriageways and 110km/h on motorways apply in wet weather and to visiting motorists who have held a driving licence for less than three years.

Additionally, speed limits are reduced on stretches of motorways in built up areas. Minimum speed limit on motorways is 80km/h.

Tolls In France

Driving through France can quickly add up when it comes to tolls. For example if you are travelling from Paris to Lyon by car on the A6, it can cost €33.30, with a caravan/ trailer it will be €52.10. From Lyon then to Marseille it will cost an extra €24.50. If that’s with a caravan/ trailer in tow it will cost €38.50.

One of the most expensive routes is the A26/A5 from Reims to Lyon which costs €40.50 by car. Again, if you’re towing a caravan or trailer, it’s €61.30 instead.

Full details of toll prices on all routes across the country can be found here.


  • Dipped headlights are compulsory during the day.
  • Crash helmets are compulsory for both the driver and passenger.
  • All helmets must display reflective stickers on the front, rear and sides, by law.

Main Image Credit: Wayne Shipley. Used under CC licence.

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