Paris Travel Guide

  City Overview
  City Stats
Getting There
  By Air
  By Ship
  By Car
  By Train
  Getting Around
  Paris Maps
  Key Attractions
  Other Attractions
  Tours of the City
  Paris Nightlife

Visit for Paris Tours and Day Trips From Paris Information.

Getting to Paris by Car

Motorways bear the prefix 'A' and national roads 'N'. Minor roads are classed as 'D' (departementales) roads. Traffic drives on the right and drivers must give way to the right, unless the route is marked with Passage Protege signs (a broad arrow, a yellow diamond or an 'X' on a triangular background) or the driver is at a roundabout indicating vous n'avez pas la priorite. Speed limits are 130kph (81mph) on motorways; 110kph (68mph) on dual carriageways separated by a central reservation; 90kph (46mph) outside built-up areas and 50kph (31mph) in built-up areas.

Visitors who have held a driving licence for less than two years face tighter speed restrictions. The minimum age for driving is 18 years. Seat belts must be worn by all front- and rear-seat passengers. Under-tens may not travel in the front seat. A national driving licence, the car's registration document and a red warning triangle must be carried at all times, or the driver can be fined. All headlamp beams must be adjusted for right-side driving by use of beam deflectors or by tilting the headlamp bulb-holder. The French police fine motorists on the spot for driving offences such as speeding. Random breath tests for drinking and driving are common; the maximum legal alcohol to blood ratio is 0.05%. For further details on driving in France, a free booklet is available from French Government Tourist Offices. EU nationals taking their own cars to France are strongly advised to obtain a Green Card, without which insurance cover is limited to the minimum legal. The Green Card tops this up to the level of cover provided by the car owner's domestic policy.

Emergency breakdown services:
SOS Depannage (tel: (01) 4707 9999)
Adan Depann Auto (tel: (01) 4266 6758)

Routes to the city: The M20 motorway leads from London to Folkestone and the M2 from London to Dover. Both Folkestone and Calais have numerous daily sea crossings to France. The A16 leads from Boulogne (near to Calais) directly into Paris. The E19 motorway leads from Brussels into Paris (via the A2 and A1). Lille is linked directly to Paris via the A1. Paris is surrounded by the often congested Peripherique ring road, its intersections (portes) are used to access the nearest point of entry to the desired destination.

Driving times to Paris: from London - 4 hours 30 minutes; from Bordeaux - 6 hours; from Marseille - 7 hours 30 minutes.

Coach services: The majority of international coaches arrive and depart from the main coach station Gare Routière Internationale Paris-Gallieni at Bagnolet, 20th (tel: (01) 4972 5151). Reservations can be made (in English) with Eurolines (tel: (08) 3669 5252 in France or (01582) 404511 in the UK).

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