Some tips for English drivers in France:
* Drive on the right (fairly obvious)
*Carry spare bulbs, reflective jackets for all vehicle occupants, a hazard warning triangle and breathalysers. You will also need headlight deflectors fitted as right-hand drive vehicles headlamps are set up for driving on the left of the road.
* Most A roads (autoroutes) charge a toll, this is based on the distance of your journey. You will receive a ticket when you join the road and then will be charged based on the length of your trip as you leave the road. A way of avoiding these charges, if you are not pressed for time, is by taking one of the D roads. These are free, scenic and in our experience very well maintained.
* Don’t speed! Easier said than done as a 30kmh speed limit feels very slow at times. Learn the speed limits for the different road types and also be aware that the limits change when it is raining.
*Priote a droite, this literally translates to “priority right” and applies in small villages and parts of the countryside. When this rule applies vehicles joining a main road from a minor road on the right have priority, essentially meaning vehicles will pull out into oncoming traffic. The areas where this rule applies are clearly marked with the below sign:
In our experience, the vehicles joining the major road, although they have priority in theory are still cautious and do not simply pull out into oncoming traffic.
* Traffic lights differ from the English signals and go straight from red to green as opposed to red and amber to green. It is not always clear where to stop but try and ensure you stop where you can see the lights! Flashing amber lights have the same meaning as the UK and flashing red signifies a danger up ahead such as an accident or the road ahead being closed.