Driving in France...help

Driving in France...help

Author
Discussion

Vibb

Original Poster:

39 posts

16 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

663 posts

60 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

744 posts

67 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

69 posts

19 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

295 posts

97 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

1,130 posts

126 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

1,630 posts

132 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

3,941 posts

122 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

7,092 posts

150 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

5,232 posts

24 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

538 posts

69 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

327 posts

50 months

Thursday 14th June
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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.

1,226 posts

143 months

Thursday 14th June
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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

21 months

Friday 15th June
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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.
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

909 posts

58 months

Friday 15th June
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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

3,792 posts

111 months

Friday 15th June
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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 !!!!

pompeyal

12 posts

40 months

Tuesday 19th June
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Don't forget this if you are driving around certain cities... https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2017...

steveway

585 posts

18 months

Tuesday 19th June
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just been to Le mans and back and didn't see a police man on the whole 882mile trip

abh

32 posts

123 months

Tuesday 19th June
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Last year returning from the AMOC le Mans event we got stopped for speeding (when we we absolutely weren't). Gendarmes were being complete chancers. Only my better half's excellent French got me off an unwarranted fine. They took my photocopied docs and no questions about originals.

This year, I fitted a discreet dashcam for our own evidence. Not needed but we were stopped at a peage for a 'random' breathalyser test (we only saw Brits get stopped) . Gendarmes very pleasant. No docs requested....



They left me a small souvenir. We had a drink to that ;-)