For some, the idea of hitting the highways in a foreign country can be rather unsettling. However, if you choose to rent a car in France, a car can be a great way to see the beautiful French countryside.
If you would like to discover France, it is a good way to drive around the region by car.
You don’t need a visa to enter France for visits of less than three months. Naturally, a valid passport is required.
You can use carpool services and find car going in your direction. It is cheaper and it can be fun. You can also book car rental in France from any country, there are several car hire websites to compare. Online services are simple and fast way of car booking.
If you rent a car in France, you must own a valid driver license for at least one year. Minimum age is 23 years old and 21 for credit card holders. Rates include maintenance and oil.
In the case of driving overseas, you have to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). An International Driving Permit (IDP) allows you to drive abroad when accompanied by a valid U.S. driver license.
IDPs are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. These licenses are not intended to replace valid U.S. state licenses, you have to use them together. Keep driving license and all car paperwork with you all the time.
To apply for an international driving permit, you must be at least 18 years old, and you can obtain it at the American Automobile Association (AAA) or at the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
U.S. citizens may notice that road conditions differ significantly from those in the United States. Like all the countries, the French have special driving habits. They typically drive faster and more aggressively than Americans (they are also faster on foot, actually they almost run).
Some rules may differ from those in the United States.
For example drivers entering intersections from the right have priority over those on the left (unless specifically indicated otherwise), even when entering relatively large boulevards from small side streets.
Note that all distance and speed measurements are in km. Before you start driving, study the rules deeply.
Don’t forget the auto insurance. Usually your U.S. auto insurance does not cover you abroad. When renting a car abroad, consider purchasing insurance coverage that is at least equivalent to that which you carry at home.
When you park in the city, it is safer to park in a hotel car park or in underground parking lots. These are indicated by a blue sign with a white background, marked “P.”
Pay-and-Display park meters accept only special cards which can be purchased in tobacco shops. Check the information on the machines, because parking is often free during lunchtimes and after 8 pm. Never leave anything of value on view in the car.