Cars & Passengers

Don’t be put off by the differences of driving in France – it’s all part of the enjoyment, once you get used to it. Just keep a few important things in mind when you’re driving and you should find it as enjoyable as we do:

Driving on the right
Calais has direct access to the motorway. After disembarking from the ferry, the road eases you gently into driving on the right.  Just stay on the right and, when you’re feeling ready, overtake from the left. You can even have fun looking at your frightened passengers as they face oncoming cars, but don’t worry, you’ll all soon get used to it. The key to safe driving in France, as everywhere, is not to drive when tired and remembering that drinking and driving don’t mix.
Also bear in mind the French use a lot of overhead road signs for directions, so keep a lookout up above. And if you reach an intersection with no signs or road-markings, remember priority is given to the car coming from your right.

Distance and speed
To convert kilometres into miles, remember 1km is 0.62 of a mile. Speed limits are given in kilometres per hour (kmh) but rather than converting them, you might find it easier to follow this simple rule of thumb:

  • In town: 50 is 30mph
  • On open road: 90 is 55mph
  • On the motorway: 110 is 68mph and 130 is or 80mph

French Roads
‘Routes Nationales’ are the same as our ‘A’ roads, while ‘Autoroute’ means ‘motorway’. French motorways are of a very high standard, but bear in mind you have to pay to use them based on how far you travel.