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On today’s show Annie and guests share tips for driving in France. You’ll hear from Stephanie and Dawn from Canada who drove between Bordeaux and Paris and my friend Jeff who drove around Provence and the south-west. All of us together share great tips for driving in France. If you are considering driving yourself in France, also listen to Episode 16 of the podcast which explains more of the rules and the gotchas. Both of those episodes should have you well-prepared for driving in France.
There Are Places in France Where You Need a Car
There are times when driving is so much easier than taking the train or even the bus. For instance, if you want to visit Loire Castles, well, you will either have to join a tour or rent a car because all of those castles aren’t exactly in the middle of a city with a train station. Same with Normandy. A lot of the highlights are in the country far from public transportation.
If you want to explore the south-west where I am, it’s so much easier with a car! I am not saying that it's impossible to visit those areas without out car, but it's quite difficult. So yes, if you’re a do-it-yourself traveler, you need to become familiar with these tips for driving in France, so keep listening!
Book in Advance Especially if You Need an Automatic!
Renting an automatic is not as difficult as it used to be in France, but depending on the place where you’ll pickup they may or may not have a car that suits your needs. Shop for your rental car in advance!
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When driving in France, the biggest gotcha is the speed limit. There are lots of automatic radars in France and you cannot go 5 or 10 over the speed limit. So, if you don't have a lead foot, you should be OK. The car rental company will forward the ticket to you BTW, don't think just because you're not home they won't find you. Don't let your fears stop you and get a car in France if you want to visit places that are hard to get to without a car.