Road trip in France in 2024: what to see, what documents you need?

Bonjour, fellow travelers! If you’re captivated by the allure of cobblestone streets, vineyard-draped landscapes, and iconic landmarks, then France is your ultimate road trip canvas.

Let’s embark on a voyage through the enchanting roads of France, while uncovering the essential documents for foreign drivers and shedding light on the need for an International Driving Permit (IDP) and insurance coverage.

Unveiling France’s Scenic Routes

France’s roads beckon with an array of experiences that read like a novel you can live in real-time. Here’s a glimpse into the chapters of your road trip adventure:

  • Provence’s Lavender Fields: Journey through the rolling hills of Provence, where fragrant lavender fields stretch to meet the horizon. Don’t miss the medieval villages and vineyards that dot the landscape.
  • Châteaux and Castles: The Loire Valley invites you to explore its fairytale châteaux, each narrating tales of royalty and romance. The Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau are but a few highlights.
  • Coastal Charms of the French Riviera: The azure waters of the French Riviera entice you to relax on glamorous beaches and revel in the artistic vibes of cities like Nice and Cannes.

Documents Every Foreign Driver Should Know

The International Driving Permit - Details and Benefits
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As you prepare to embark on a French road odyssey, understanding the documentation required is key:

  1. International Driving Permit (IDP) in France: If you’re a visitor from abroad, If your license is not brought to the UN standard, you need an international driving permit in France. This permit translates your native license into multiple languages, ensuring smooth interactions with authorities.
  2. Original Driver’s License: While an IDP is indispensable, rental companies may also ask for your original driver’s license. Carry both documents to ensure a seamless experience.
  3. Insurance Coverage: Before you set out on your journey, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Rental companies often provide basic insurance, but consider additional coverage for extra peace of mind.

Navigating French Roads: Pragmatic Pointers

  1. Road Signs and Regulations: France’s road signs are international symbols, making navigation relatively easy. Follow speed limits, adhere to seat belt laws, and avoid using your phone while driving.
  2. Toll Roads: France’s extensive highway network includes toll roads, known as autoroutes. Keep some euros handy for these tolls, which help maintain the excellent road infrastructure.
  3. Parking Etiquette: In cities, finding parking can be a challenge. Look for designated parking lots or garages, and be mindful of parking regulations to avoid fines.
  4. Cultural Respect: Embrace the art of “savoir-vivre.” Engage with locals respectfully, and remember that a polite “bonjour” can go a long way.

what should you bring back?

exploring the rich culinary traditions of occitania in france
Exploring the rich culinary traditions of occitania in france

As you cruise along France’s roads, remember that every curve reveals a new facet of this multifaceted country.

With your IDP in hand, you’re primed to embrace the grandeur of France’s landscapes and culture. Buckle up for an unforgettable journey that will take you from the vineyards of Bordeaux to the elegant boulevards of Paris. Bon voyage and delightful discoveries await you on your French road trip adventure!


Yes, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required in France for non-European Union (EU) residents.

To get an international driving permit in France, there are a few steps to follow.

Firstly, it is important to note that France is a signatory of the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which recognizes international driving permits. To obtain the permit, you will need to visit the local Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) or Prefecture in your area. Here, you can complete an application form and provide necessary documents such as your national driving license, proof of identity, and proof of residency.

Additionally, you will need to submit two passport-sized photographs and pay the required fee.

Once your application is submitted, the OMV or Prefecture will process it, and you will be issued an international driving permit, allowing you to legally drive in various countries worldwide.

Yes, IDP (International Driving Permit) is valid in the UK. It is recommended for international visitors who wish to drive in the UK alongside their valid international driving license. The IDP provides a translation of your driving credentials and should be carried along with your national driving license when driving in the UK. It is important to comply with all traffic laws and regulations while driving in any country.

Yes, it is possible to drive in France with a UK license.

The United Kingdom and France have an agreement that allows drivers with a valid UK driving license to use it in France for a certain period of time.

However, it is important to note that this right is only applicable for temporary visits to France. If you are planning to reside in France for an extended period, you will need to exchange your UK license for a French one. Additionally, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the driving regulations and requirements in France, as they may differ from those in the UK.

After Brexit, individuals who wish to drive in France will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). An IDP serves as an official translation of a valid driver’s license and is recognized by foreign governments.

While specific requirements may vary, it is advisable to have an IDP as it serves as additional proof of your driving credentials, alongside your national driver’s license.

The IDP will ensure that you comply with the regulations set by French authorities and can drive legally in the country. It is always recommended to check the latest information and guidelines provided by relevant authorities before traveling to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience on the roads of France post-Brexit.

The fine for speeding in France for UK drivers varies depending on the severity of the offense.

The French authorities have strict regulations regarding speeding, and it is essential for UK drivers to adhere to these speed limits while in France.

If caught speeding, UK drivers can expect to receive a fine ranging from €45 to €750, depending on their speed and the applicable speed limit. It is crucial for UK drivers to be aware of the speed limits in France and to obey them rigorously to avoid any penalties or fines.

As a UK citizen, it is important to understand the regulations for driving in France while waiting for your licence renewal.

According to the current guidelines, if your UK driving licence has expired or is about to expire, you may still be able to drive in France for a limited period of time.

However, it is advised that you contact the French authorities and inform them about your situation to ensure that you are compliant with their specific requirements.

It is also crucial to note that the validity of your insurance may be affected during this period, so it is recommended to consult with your insurance provider as well. It is always recommended to obey the traffic laws and regulations of the foreign country you are driving in, regardless of the status of your licence.

Yes, it is possible to drive in France with UK insurance.

As a member of the European Union, both the UK and France have reciprocal agreements that allow drivers with valid UK insurance to also be covered while driving in France.

However, it is crucial to ensure that your insurance policy includes European coverage, as some policies may only provide coverage within the UK.

Additionally, it is recommended to carry proof of insurance with you while driving in France, as authorities may request it during routine checks.

Yes, a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) is required to drive in Italy for non-European Union (EU) residents.

The IDP serves as a translation of your home country’s driver’s license and must be carried along with your valid national driver’s license. Italian authorities generally request to see both documents during traffic checks.

While some car rental companies may allow you to rent a vehicle with just your national driver’s license, it is advised to have an IDP to avoid any potential issues or complications while driving in Italy.

Yes, you can drive in Spain with an International Driving Permit (IDP).

The IDP is a globally recognized document that allows you to legally drive in various countries, including Spain, as long as it is accompanied by your valid home country driver’s license.

The IDP serves as a translation of your driver’s license, ensuring that authorities can understand your credentials.

It is important to note that the IDP is not a standalone document; therefore, you must always carry your original driver’s license alongside it. Whether you are visiting as a tourist or residing in Spain temporarily, having an IDP can simplify the process of driving legally and ensure compliance with Spanish driving regulations.

Yes, individuals who wish to drive in the United States need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to their valid driver’s license from their home country.

An IDP serves as a certified translation of the individual’s license and allows them to legally drive in the US. It is important to note that an IDP is not a valid driver’s license on its own and must be accompanied by a valid driver’s license from the individual’s home country.

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