GENERAL INFORMATION (France)
This is meant as general information only. We cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.
HEALTHCARE & EMERGENCIES - We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance, including health cover, prior to starting your journey. Your country may provide you with an emergency health care card for use in Europe, for example, the EHIC CARD is the UK Government card used for medical treatment in the European Economic Area.
Most doctors speak English and pharmacies should be able to help find one.
FROM PUBLIC OR FRENCH TELEPHONES Dial 18 for the fire brigade (pompiers), 17 for the police, 15 for an ambulance (SAMU). Directory enquiries is 12 and the operator is 13
Most PUBLIC telephone boxes do not take euros cash, they take credit cards and instructions are in the phone booth.
ELECTRICITY - Buy an adapter before travelling. France is 230 volts. Adaptors can be bought easily in UK and can be found in some French DIY stores.
SHOPPING - Shops often close for lunch often between 12.00 and 14.00. Large Supermarkets/Hypermarkets are usually open all day and sometimes during Sunday and Bank Holiday mornings. All towns have pharmacies open 24 hours a day. Very often MONDAYS are quiet days when many small shops are closed out of season.
MONEY - The currency in France is the Euro (since 2002). Credit and international payment cards are accepted almost everywhere. Check your card will work in cash machines before travelling and how much commission your bank will charge.
- Autoroute (Motorway) toll charges. Have one euro coins easily accessible in the car and some 5 euro notes.
- Minimum age for driving is 18.
- Keep driving licence and all car paperwork with you as it must be produced on the spot if requested by the police.
- A letter giving authority to drive the car must be kept with the paperwork if the car is not yours – including company cars.
- Get an international accident declaration form from your insurance broker. It is simple to follow and will help when sorting out any mishaps. Be sure before signing anything in French.
- A fluorescent tabard is compulsory
- A set of spare bulbs is compulsory
- A warning triangle is a good idea – compulsory if you’re towing.
- Make sure headlights are adjusted or use deflectors to avoid dazzling other drivers or being pulled over by the police.
- Always stop completely at STOP signs – or the police can fine you.
- Never drink and drive. Tests are random and common. Fines are very heavy and instant.
- Seatbelts must be worn by all. No children under 10 in the front unless in a specially adapted rear-facing seat.
- All UK cars in France must also display a GB sticker which is usually available from cross Channel operators.
- Motorcyclists must wear crash helmets.
- 130km/h on toll motorways (110 km/h when wet).
- 110km/h on dual carriageways and non toll motorways
- 90 km/h on other main roads
- 50 km/h in towns and villages – sometimes slower so watch for signs.
- Speeding fines are normally charged on the spot.
00 33 2 99 40 10 15 a l i s o n @ mont-saint-michel.co.uk