If you are thinking of going to France for a camping holiday, a booze cruise or just a quick jaunt aboard, you might well be considering taking your own car.


Driving to France, as opposed to taking a plane or going by train or ferry as a foot passenger, offers plenty of benefits. It is often cheaper, it means you can take more luggage, you can travel at more flexible times and it means you don’t get need to get used to driving a new vehicle.

What you do need to do, however, is to make sure your car is ready for France.

Essential luggage
The rules of the road in France are ever so slightly different and you will need to make sure your car is correctly stocked. In France motorists are expected to have a high visibility jacket stored in the car, as well as a fully stocked first aid kit, an alcohol breathalyser kit and warning triangles (for use in the event of an accident or breakdown).

Is your motor admin up-to-date?

Driving without insurance or MOT is obviously a no-go at any time, but before going abroad make sure you are completely up-to-date, with time to spare. If you are away on a long trip, ensure your tax is not imminent and also advise your insurance provider about your trip. In some cases you will need to pay a premium to cover your car while aboard. You might also want to think about breakdown cover, depending on how much driving you will actually be doing.

A simple ferry trip to Calais to a hypermarket and then back again might not require breakdown cover. However, if you are driving the length of the country overnight and then staying for a fortnight it would be a good idea to get some cover. If you plan on taking more than one European trip in your car this year then an annual European breakdown policy might be worth considering.

If you have moved recently make sure you have updated your licence with the correct information, well ahead of time. You can do this through the DVLA customer enquiries office, simply Follow the link to get the DVLA customer enquiries contact number.


Those who do not have Europlate number plate will need to get a GB sticker for your car. You will also need to take originals of your insurance, licence (paper and card version), MOT and vehicle registration documents.

If the idea of driving on the wrong side of the road worries you, you can always buy a specially made Drive Right sticker to remind you what side you should be on. It is also not a requirement, but don’t forget to buy a road map. Sometimes a road map can do things a sat nav never can.

Driving in France with your own car has so many positives, but it does take careful planning. Write a checklist of everything you need and check all your admin well before you go.

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Is your car ready for a French holiday?