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France Checklist Car

What is mandatory in the car in France?

If you go on holiday to France by car keep in mind that you have to take a number of items with you. For example, think of an alcohol tester. We list the mandatory products for you. Not only for cars but also for drivers of a motorcycle and moped.

Mandatory in the car

  • Warning triangle. It is mandatory to have a warning triangle in the car. In the event of a breakdown or an accident, a driver is obliged to switch on the hazard warning lights and place a warning triangle. The warning triangle must be placed at least 30 m behind the vehicle. Note: In the event of a breakdown or an accident on the autoroute (motorway), the driver may not place a warning triangle because it is too dangerous. In that case, the driver and any other occupants must get out as soon as possible on the passenger side and wait for help behind the guardrail. Also on other roads, the installation of a warning triangle is not mandatory if this poses a danger to the safety of the driver.
  • Safety vest. It is mandatory to have a safety vest in the car. The driver is required both at night and during the day to put on a safety vest in the event of a breakdown or accident before he leaves the vehicle. The safety vest must therefore be stored in an easily accessible place (not in the trunk). It is recommended that drivers take a safety vest in the car for all passengers. Safety vests must comply with the EN471 standard (fluorescent yellow, orange or red and with retro-reflective lanes) within Europe.
  • Alcohol test. An alcohol test (√©thylotest or alcool test) is mandatory in every vehicle (including foreign vehicles), but drivers who do not carry a test are not fined in the event of a police check. With this test drivers can, in doubt about the amount of alcohol in their blood, decide for themselves whether or not they are able to drive their vehicle. The maximum permitted blood alcohol content is 0.5 per mille (which corresponds to 0.25 milligrams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air). For drivers who have their driving license for less than three years, a limit of 0.2 per mille applies.
  • A first aid kit and fire extinguisher are not mandatory.

Recommended in the car

  • Spare lamps. Drivers are advised to carry spare bulbs for at least the headlights, rear lights and direction indicators, unless the vehicle is equipped with xenon, neon or LED lighting.
  • When renting a car always check that the mandatory equipment (warning triangle, safety vest and alcohol test) is present in the car.
  • Check also which items are mandatory in the other countries you are traveling too before croosing the French border

Mandatory on the motorcycle

  • Safety vest. Motorcyclists must have a safety vest on the motorcycle (they may wear this vest or keep it in a net or suitcase for example). The driver of a motorcycle is required both at night and during the day to wear this safety vest in the event of a breakdown or an accident.
  • Gloves . Motorcyclists and passengers are required to wear gloves. These must be gloves with a CE marking.
  • Alcohol test. Motorcyclists are obliged to carry an alcohol test, but drivers who do not carry a test will not be fined in the event of a police check.
  • The rule that a motorcycle helmet must be fitted with reflective elements only applies to helmets sold in France. Foreign motorcyclists do not have reflective stickers on their helmets.
  • Motorcyclists do not need to have a warning triangle.

Mandatory on the moped and speedpedelec

  • Safety vest. Drivers of moped or speedpedelec must have a safety vest (they may wear this vest or keep it in a net or suitcase for example). The driver of a moped or speedpedelec is required both at night and during the day to wear this safety vest in the event of breakdown or an accident.
  • Gloves. Drivers of moped or speedpedelec and their passengers are obliged to wear gloves. These must be gloves with a CE marking.

Other car checklist recommendations

  • Spare goggles. The inclusion of a pair of spare goggles in France is not mandatory, but it is recommended that drivers who wear glasses or contact lenses take a pair of spare glasses.