Driving to France for the Euros?

So you’ve managed to get yourself a ticket for the Euros this June and decided the best way to go is by car. Driving abroad is no easy task at the best of times so it’s important to prepare for your journey. Here’s some useful advice to make your journey as pleasant and stress free as possible!

Documents

Some documents are mandatory for driving abroad. Make sure to pack the following:

Your licence – Make sure your drivers licence is valid and up to date. You won’t get far without it.

Log book – The Vehicle registration document V5 is a mandatory requirement when driving abroad. In France this may be referred to as a "Carte grise" (Grey Card).

Passport– You’ll need your passport anyway but it’s also a requirement for driving.

Certificate of motor insurance – Again this is absolutely mandatory so don’t leave home without it. See insurance section below for more details.

Equipment

The following equipment is required by law for driving in France:

Headlamp beam deflectors – Headlights on Irish cars dip to the left. You’ll need deflectors to prevent your beams pointing towards oncoming traffic.

Hazard warning triangle – To place behind your vehicle if you break down.

High visibility waistcoat – To be carried in the car (not the boot) so you can ensure you’re visible when getting out of the car after breaking down.

Breathalyser kit –  Compulsory since July 2012 although no fine has been introduced yet.

For more information please visit: http://about-france.com/driving-checklist.htm

Your vehicle

If you’re taking your own car or van there’s a few things you should keep in mind.

Insurance – Ensure your car insurance policy covers you for driving abroad. Allianz Ireland comprehensive and third party, fire and theft car insurance policies provide cover for up to 60 days driving with in the EU including France*.  If you are not an Allianz car insurance customer, please check your cover with your insurer before you travel.

Allianz Ireland policy holders, please note: Your certificate of motor insurance includes your Green Card. The Council of Bureaux Green Card is a protection mechanism for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents. It consists of 47 member countries.

Maintenance – It’s vital to check that your vehicle is in top shape before you leave.  

  • Remember to check your tyres for overall condition, pressure and tread depth
  • Make sure to test your headlights, brake lights and indicators are fully functional too
  • Check that engine oil and water levels are healthy
  • Check the dashboard to ensure electrics are working properly
  • Fill your car up before your go so you’re driving with a full tank

Driving in France

In case of emergency – 112 is the emergency call number in France and indeed throughout the EU.

Plan your journey – Having a route planned will reduce the chances of you getting lost and make it much more likely you’ll get to your destination on time.

Security – Ensure your vehicle is locked and secure at all times. Do not leave bags and valuables in plain sights at any time. Valuables should be locked in the glove compartment or boot.

Drinking and Driving – It goes without saying. Never ever drink and drive.

Know your side – One of the most difficult aspects of driving in France is getting used to driving on the right hand side of the road. Pay particular care when approaching roundabouts and when merging lanes or leaving petrol stations.

Remember the basics – The same rules apply to driving in France as at home. Remember to belt up, slow down and allow plenty of time for your journey.

A little preparation, knowledge and care can go a long way towards ensuring your journey is as safe and pleasant as possible. Keep the advice above in mind and have a great trip! #COYBIG

*Your Policy is automatically extended to cover you to travel to or on the Continent of Europe for up to 60 days in any period of insurance. The insurance also operates during the course of Sea Transit, Channel Tunnel Transport or Rail Transport (including loading and unloading). For travel to any country not referred to above, or if your intended period of foreign travel exceeds 60 days you must contact Us. Allianz plc. will also provide the minimum legal insurance required by law to use the Car in any European Union country and any other country which has made arrangements to meet the minimum insurance requirements set by the European Union.

Information correct as of 01/06/2016

This guidance is for general information purposes only and does not purport to provide legal advice or other professional advice. This guidance is intended to supplement the Rules of the Road and is not intended to replace or to be used as a substitute to the Rules of the Road. Allianz accepts no responsibility or liability for any losses that may arise from any reliance upon the information contained in this guidance.


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