Obviously after a day in France I am an expert on the driving rules and top tips………………
OK obviously I am not, so here are some very interesting bits I picked up on the way there (and back) that are well worth taking note of if you are thinking about popping over to Calais like we did!
1. You have to have a full driving license and you have to be over 18.
2. You have to have the vehicle registration document to show proof of ownership (V5C document) in the car with you
3. Proof of insurance has to be with you. Also note that even if you are full comp in the UK you may only be third party in mainland Europe so check you are covered at the level you want to be.
4. Headlamp adjusters – Because we drive on the other side of the road to France our headlights dip to the left. This can cause problems for other drivers so you can get kits to fix this while you are away. You may or may not need these on your particular car model so worth checking.
5. French law states you have to have a spare set of bulbs. Its actually the law and matters not if you cant even change the bulbs yourself. I am curious to know if anyone has ever been asked to show their light bulbs?
6. Breathalyzer kit – Used to be a penalty if you didn’t have one but now there isn’t. You are supposed to have 2 for each person. (Also worth noting the low tolerance on drinking and driving its about 1/2 the limit in the UK) This means you cant go crazy testing the wines at the supermarkets if you have to drive (as Liz found out)
7. Hazard warning triangle – for if you break down and you have to have one in the car
8. Yellow or orange high viability vests. They are not allowed to be kept in the boot they have to be in the car so you can pop them on before you get out of the car
9 They have really fancy speed cameras that you can not even see so watch the speed limits. They have set high targets of numbers of people they want to catch.
10. Just because you are abroad does not mean you can drive and talk on your phone. You will get a 130euro fine if you get caught! Do not talk on your mobile and drive
11. Children under 10 have to sit in the back seats unless there aren’t any and babies can go in the front but have to be in a rear facing car seat with the airbag turned off.
12. Diesel is really cheap in France but petrol is not too much different
13. The wine stores and major supermarkets were open 8am to 8pm but check before you go!
We got a brilliant kit to take with us on Amazon and the AA one is really good with everything in it.