Driving in France...help

Driving in France...help

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Discussion

Vibb

Original Poster:

39 posts

12 months

Thursday
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Like many of you, we are due to drive down to Le Mans tomorrow for what I hope will be a very good (and dry) weekend. I am due to be driving down with my father, but unfortunately royal mail have decided to lose his driver's licence in the post.

Has anyone driven in France without it? We have a photo copy if that would work? Unfortunately our French is non existent, so if we do get pulled over, we don't have much chance of arguing.

Help/suggestions welcome.

boxedin

609 posts

56 months

Thursday
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Everytime I've been stopped in France they've wanted the full set, plus it removes any room for a long conversation, which you don't want. I also recall being asked to show the purchase invoice, but that was around twenty years ago. I suspect they may not need to see that these days.

Also bear in mind that French Customs vans roam around Normandy and will happily pull you over for a paperwork and illegal drug check.


Phil74891

702 posts

63 months

Thursday
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I wouldn’t let it ruin your trip. I’ve been stopped once in France and I showed them my Bermuda driving license which is pretty basic. No issues.

If you have a copy you should be ok. Why not type something like ‘I am very sorry, my original driving license is with the UK Government being renewed. Here is a copy of the recent one’ into Google translate or similar? Hand the printed French version over with a smile.

Make sure you have everything else to hand like the spare bulbs, emergency kit etc.




IJWS15

49 posts

15 months

Thursday
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And don't do anything to attract attention.

Iv'e never been asked to provide anything except for a sample of breath at 0615 one morning.

moveover

290 posts

93 months

Thursday
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Phil74891 said:
I wouldn’t let it ruin your trip. I’ve been stopped once in France and I showed them my Bermuda driving license which is pretty basic. No issues.

If you have a copy you should be ok. Why not type something like ‘I am very sorry, my original driving license is with the UK Government being renewed. Here is a copy of the recent one’ into Google translate or similar? Hand the printed French version over with a smile.

Make sure you have everything else to hand like the spare bulbs, emergency kit etc.
Spare bulbs is an interesting one. We'd have to carry spare entire front and rear light assemblies! I've just got a couple of torch bulbs to show them if I'm ever stopped, rather than having to explain that you can't replace the bulbs in Astons.
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Sebastian Tombs

1,086 posts

122 months

Thursday
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I have an actual Aston spare bulb kit in the boot. Main beams, indicators and number plate lamps I expect.

8Tech

1,605 posts

128 months

Thursday
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Far far more important is the in date breathaliser kit you must carry and a hi-viz jacket for every occupant, accessable WITHOUT EXITING the car, so it must be in the cabin, in the boot is not acceptable.

sunbeam alpine

3,843 posts

118 months

Thursday
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8Tech said:
Far far more important is the in date breathaliser kit you must carry and a hi-viz jacket for every occupant, accessable WITHOUT EXITING the car, so it must be in the cabin, in the boot is not acceptable.
Breathaliser is no longer required. smile

cayman-black

6,773 posts

146 months

Thursday
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8Tech said:
Far far more important is the in date breathaliser kit you must carry and a hi-viz jacket for every occupant, accessable WITHOUT EXITING the car, so it must be in the cabin, in the boot is not acceptable.
Fines for no Breathalyser kit are now postponed, so one less worry.

Warning triangle!

Cold

4,372 posts

20 months

Thursday
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Is it just me who has never been stopped in France? I first drove there over thirty years ago and have never attracted the attention of the Gendarme even after many visits (and possible speed limit naughtiness).
You can't do outrageous things like you used to be able to, but as long as you're not taking the piss with your driving you shouldn't come under any scrutiny.

soofsayer

427 posts

65 months

Thursday
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Cold said:
Is it just me who has never been stopped in France? I first drove there over thirty years ago and have never attracted the attention of the Gendarme even after many visits (and possible speed limit naughtiness).
You can't do outrageous things like you used to be able to, but as long as you're not taking the piss with your driving you shouldn't come under any scrutiny.
I got stopped about 25 years ago for speeding in an escort 1.4l and got frogmarched around various places in the local town in an attempt to extract some francs from me. I was completely broke at the time (and I mean proper skint). The unfriendly police officers eventually let me go for free when their cash extortion attempts failed (petrol station cashier, 2 cashpoints, a bank, another bank...).

Not been stopped since despite once driving to la Rochelle and back without a GB plate or sticker.

I think it depends on how the local plod are feeling on the day and how skint they are. Le Mans is a gold mine opportunity I suspect.

dig123

325 posts

46 months

Thursday
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Some web sites state that you need two warning triangles in France one place at 50m and one at 150m....

David W.

1,149 posts

139 months

Thursday
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IJWS15 said:
And don't do anything to attract attention.

Iv'e never been asked to provide anything except for a sample of breath at 0615 one morning.
What ^ said. It’ll be fine.
DW

frenchbantam

1 posts

17 months

8Tech said:
Far far more important is the in date breathaliser kit you must carry and a hi-viz jacket for every occupant, accessable WITHOUT EXITING the car, so it must be in the cabin, in the boot is not acceptable.
The requirement for breathalyzers was rescinded in 2013. However the requirement for having a hi-viz is still valid. According to the law, you must be able to have it to hand before getting out of the car.
French police will normally want to see an original driving licence. One time I was stopped, didn't have the licence and was not able to drive the car. Luckily my wife - who was with me did - and she drove us home. All in all it depends on the actual policemen. Some of them are petrolheads and like nothing more than talking to you about your Aston.

CSK1

793 posts

54 months

One advice: try to stay under 40 KM/H above the speed limit as that is the threshold they are taking your license (even a UK one), above that speed, they will give you a ban to drive in France for a period of time but they will send your license back to the UK so you can still drive but not in France. So on a motorway you get into big trouble from 170 KM/H (although they will take 7 KM/H off the recorded speed as an error margin so 175 KM/H should still be good), be careful on the 110 KM/H sections and the road works at 90 KM/H were they will easily catch you out (like Clarkson and his team experienced during a trip to France). Under that speed they will just ask you for €90,- cash and you can arry on.
Please note this is not an incentive for speeding, you should of course keep strictly to the speed limits for your own safety and other road user's , I'm just making you aware of the risks involved. smile
Another good advice, you should upload the Coyote App on your phone as it will tell you where the fixed cameras and hidden men in blue with speed guns are located (the fixed ones are taken from a database but the gendarmes who like to hide behind a bush are signaled by the users who are driving in front of you (you are always informed of the number of users ahead) so you can slow down and wave to them as you drive past very slowly! smile

LordBretSinclair

3,694 posts

107 months

On our last to Le Mans we got stopped by 4 burly, and well armed, gendarmes.
Turned out all they wanted to was take pics of the car and chat about It !!!!