This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
The British Consulate in Paris has issued advice to British Nationals driving to Le Mans for the 24h du Mans race, on 22 and 23 June.
Sir Peter Ricketts, British Ambassador to France, said:
The 24h du Mans race is a unique event and I welcome British Nationals who drive over from the United Kingdom to attend.
But every year Consular staff have to assist families after serious and fatal road traffic accidents on the way to or from the race.
And the French authorities also send us, every year, a large number of driving licences that have been confiscated after speeding offences.
I’d urge everyone to leave speeding to the experts this year and to make sure that you get home safely and without any police involvement.
Top tips for drivers in France
The motorway speed limit is higher in France than in the UK, but other limits are the same or lower. The usual motorway speed limit is 130 km/h (80 mph). In rainy conditions, this is reduced to 110 km/h (68 mph). Once you’re off the motorway, you’re limited to 50 km/h (30 mph) in towns, and 90 km/h (55 mph) outside built-up areas (although these limits may be reduced locally).
Speed limits are strictly enforced and roadside penalties up to and including the confiscation of your driving licence and the immobilisation of your vehicle can be imposed.
If you are stopped by police officers or gendarmes, you will need to present your driving licence, insurance documents (green card) and V5C certificate (logbook).
Before you leave, make sure that you have breakdown cover and that it is valid abroad. And have a look at our travel checklist too.
If you need help
If you need emergency help, call the emergency services by dialling 112 from your mobile. On motorways, use the orange emergency call boxes.
The closest Consulate to Le Mans and the ferry ports in Northern and Western France is in Paris. If you run into serious trouble, call us on +33 144 513 100 (24hrs a day, 7 days a week). We can’t help you if you miss your ferry or run out of fuel though!