The road system in France is one of the best in Europe and it also has the most kilometres of road with a total of 965,916 kilometres of local, secondary, main roads and motorways. The system in France is very well sign posted and caters for those who are driving through the country while on holiday offering alternative holiday routes that may be slightly slower, but will help avoid traffic jams on the main roads.
There are also sign posts that are very visible to indicate when there are toll roads coming up and thus alerting the driver to prepare to slow down and pay.
The majority of motorways in France are nearly all toll roads meaning you will have to pay a fee to drive on them. The exceptions to this are roads surrounding major towns and cities and where the autoroute has been created from an already existing road.
As you drive up to the entrance of these toll roads you will take a ticket from the machine and pay when you exit the motorway. At the payment end of the motorway you will need to put the correct amount of money into the machines as there are no people working at a booth.
You can pay by notes and get change in return or pay by credit card as well. The ticket you collect at the beginning will give you an indication of how much you will have to pay so you will have ample time to get the money ready before you leave the motorway.
The French authorities have now also made available the Liber-t automated toll payment service to UK motorists which is handy if you are from the UK and make regular journey’s through France. Once you have enrolled with via the Sanet site you can pass through the gates marked with a large orange ‘t’ on a black background.
This is handy as well if you are driving a right handed car and alone as it saved you having to get out of your vehicle to pay the toll. It will also save you holding up the drivers behind you who might become annoyed by you slowing their journey down. Find the best deals on car rentals in France by shopping around online which will save you on money.
Road Signs and Roundabouts
When you are travelling to your destination ensure you follow the destination signs rather than the road numbers as there are lots of different authorities involved in the management of the roads that the road number can change without warning. Also remember that you will have to give way to drivers who coming from the right.
Roundabouts can be tricky in France as if there are signs saying vous n’avez pas la priorite then traffic on the roundabout have priority while if there are no signs the traffic entering the roundabout have priority.
Busy Times on French Roads
The busiest times of the year on French roads is the summer around July time when the schools break up and September when the schools reopen. Public holidays and other school holidays will give a marked increase in traffic on the roads.