Monday, 20 August 2012

Stay legal in France!

Next month we are having our first family holiday! I have to tell you I'm incredibly excited!
We decided we didn't want to go somewhere too far flung as we don't know how well Holly would adjust to the change. We also thought that taking Holly on a flight might have been difficult since she has started teething and become more mobile and active. It might be quite a challenge to keep her occupied during a flight!

So we decided we would drive to France!  It seemed like a good option. Although we have a long drive to Dover (about 7-8 hours), we know Holly likes the car and it means we can stop as many times as we need to.

The ferry itself only takes 90 mins so we plan to drive to Dover have an overnight hotel stay and be up fresh and ready for the ferry the next day!  Easy peasy!

I genuinely thought my biggest issue taking the car to France would be how much cheap wine we could bring back...However, when we were looking into it we realised that driving your own car to France requires some preparation or you may just find yourself on the wrong side of the law!  We've driven abroad many times before in places like Tunisia, Italy, Malta & yes...even in France!  However, we always hired a vehicle when we arrived.  It seems if you take your own car you MUST check that it fits all the legal criteria of the country you are driving in. So if you are going to France (or anywhere else in Europe) the first thing to check is your car insurance, make sure it is valid for travel abroad.  If it isn't already included in your current policy maybe check out that option next time you compare car insurance .  Also, did you know there are certain items & equipment you must carry in you car at all times whilst driving in France? If you do not have these items you risk being fined by the police!

  • Set of Beam Converters
  • Hazard Warning Triangle
  • Magnetic GB Plate
  • Reflective Emergency Jacket (MUST be kept in the front of the car for easy access)
  • Bulb Kit
  • Disposable breathalyser
You can buy a kit including all these items quite easily for around £20-30. When we talked about this with friends we were surprised how many of them had driven in France and didn't know they needed this equipment.  They were extremely lucky not to have been fined!

In addition to all the equipment you NEED to take, there are things which are safest left at home.  Did you know that the use of sat nav or GPS equipment is illegal?  If you are found to have these in your car (whether in use or not) you may face a fine of up to €1,500 and possibly face having your equipment and your car confiscated!! This is because it is illegal to have any type of equipment which has the potential to detect speed cameras.  Scary stuff!

As far as I know that seems to be all the info I could find on staying "road legal" in France.  I'm just glad I found out before we got there!  I really don't fancy being stranded in France with no car and a baby!

One last thing...if you were wondering just how much wine you can bring back from France, it is up to 120 bottles!

Hope this info is helpful to some of you, I don't want anyone else getting caught out!

*This is a sponsored post


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