Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.
For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) in France: Read the latest travel alerts to find out how COVID-19 restrictions may affect you.
There are many ancient, towns throughout France that weren't designed with modern vehicular traffic in mind, some with crazy sharp corners (as evident by the scrapes on some buildings) so drivers need to slow down.
Even Paris is reasonably easy to negotiate – with the exception of the 'radial' around the Arc de Triomphe. This mega-roundabout with 12 connecting roads doesn't have lane markings or traffic signals. Watching it is fascinating – but driving it can be nerve-wrecking.
Like many other countries, France has its own road rules but here are some which may catch out any unsuspecting traveler on the road:
The legal blood alcohol limit in France is 0.05 (or 0.02 if you are a learner or new driver of three years or less). One in three road fatalities are caused by drink-driving and it's also estimated that over ~50% of road accidents on weekends are caused by intoxicated drivers. The penalty for drink driving is €4500 (US$5100). Driving under the influence of drugs attracts the same penalties as drink driving.
You may have heard about the rule where you need to carry a breathalyzer in the car which was introduced in 2012.
Well in March 2013, the Interior Minister removed the sanction because of doubts over accuracy of the devices and device supply problems.
So while it's technically still compulsory to have one, you won't be fined for not producing one when asked. Effectively the law is shelved. Vive la France.
It's illegal to have a device capable of telling you the exact location of a fixed speed camera, and that includes your in-built or hand-held SatNav and apps on your smartphone.
SatNav and traffic alert companies have responded by updating their maps, replacing the exact camera location with a "danger zone" alert indicating a camera is likely to be in this vicinity.
Car rental companies should have downloaded new software that makes the change to in-built SatNav devices, but check if they have – fines are heavy.
If you‘re using your own SatNav, update the software or disable the function. Although it's worth noting police cannot inspect your SatNav or smartphone to verify you have the system without "cause" – so don't give them one.
Try "Je n'ai pas SatNav" (I don't have SatNav), and when they point to the one in the centre console try "Est-ce ce que c'est?" (Is that what that is?).
The breathalyzer-busting Interior Minister has also ordered road signs warning of speed camera locations to be reinstated - bravo!
It remains illegal to have a radar detector in your car, even if it is not switched on. Expect to cough up €1,500 (US$1700) if caught.
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.
France is a mostly safe place for travelers. However, theft, pickpockets and scam artists are common. Here are our tips to travel safely.
Find out the best ways to see France and what to know before you travel. These six tips can help you plan your time well and make the most of your visit.
You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.Get a quote