Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Monday, November 09, 2009

Driving in France - hints and tips

One of the things that I managed to do whilst we were on holiday in August this year was to finish writing the new 'driving hints' page for our Gite website.

I remember when I first registered the domain name and I'd placed a Gite advert in the village magazine before the website was finished. The race was on to get the website finished before the magazine was distributed around the village and so I spent night after night churning out the pages of the site.

Since then my output of writing new content has slowed down somewhat ... ok, it's slowed down and awful lot, and the time between writing new pages has stretched into months and months.

Looking back in the Blog archives I can see that I added a 'what is RSS' page in February 2007, the PictoBrowser-powered photo gallery in March 2007 and details of the nearby world heritage site of Mont St Michel in June 2008. So looks like I'm averaging about one page a year - so this could be the only new page I actually finish writing this year!

Anyhow, back to the plot (such that it is) ...

Although we've had a holiday travel options and routes page on the Gite website since launch which has some details about driving in France, it's mainly focussed on whereabouts in Brittany the Gite is, and how easy it is to get there whether you choose to go by plane or ferry, and from wherever you want to travel across the UK and Ireland.

I thought that I ought to supplement this with more specific details of what it's like to drive in France and what the key rules and regulations are for both you and your car. I spent quite a lot of time trawling through different sites on the internet to put this page together, including the AA and RAC motoring in Europe pages, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth 'advice for travellers' and various leaflets and brochures I'd picked up over the years.

There's details of French speed limits (which vary according to whether the road conditions are dry or wet), important things you need to know when driving such as 'Priorité àDroite', how and where to fill up with fuel (and what the different pumps contain) and the legal obligations for taking your car to France such as carrying a warning triangle, spare bulbs and a reflective jacket.

Finally I've included English/French translations for dozens of the most common road signs you could see on your holiday so you're not baffled by Toutes directions, Suivre Rennes or even Cédez le passage!

Hope you find useful the new Driving in France - Hints and Tips.

And as a bonus challenge, test your knowledge of driving in France with the roadsign above. Do you know what it means? On a holiday programme I saw last year they quizzed people on the cross-channel Ferry and hardly anyone knew what this sign meant - do you?

And if you don't know, suggest you surf over to our French motoring information page!!

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  • Thanks for the link through to the road signs of France. We have been driving here for years and now have lived full time here for 5 years. But.... I still can't get an answer as to the significance of one or two white posts with the red band at an in- town or middle of nowhere junction. It could just be information of the hazzard but could it be a mandatory give way to an unexpected vehicle? The use of white lines solid or dashed at junctions are rare and more often than not are not maintained.

    By Anonymous Lesley, at November 13, 2009  

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