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Speed limits in France

Speed limits France

Make sure you know the speed limits in France, you can be fined or have your vehicle confiscated for breaking the rules.

What is the speed limit in France:

The normal speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/hr (just over 80 mph) – or 110 km/hr in rain – 50 km per hour in fog where visibility is 50m or less

The normal speed limit on dual carriageways (divided highways) is 110 km/hr (68 mph

The normal speed limit on main roads is 80 km/hr (outside built-up areas) (50 mph) this follows a change in the law in June 2018 reducing the speed from 90km per hour.

The normal speed limit in built-up areas is 50 km/hr – unless otherwise indicated. (31mph)

Look out for the speed signs but also a town name sign is an indication of a built up area and therefore the requirement is to slow down even if there is no indicative speed limit sign. Look out for this as you may pass many small towns along a dual carriageway or main road which require you to be vigilant.

Contrary to a sometimes-heard myth, toll tickets machines are not used to compute a car’s average speed between two points.  However we have been told that sometimes French police check your toll ticket as you’re leaving a toll road and from this they will be able to calculate your speed over a long distance.

These days the police (and gendarmes) are making much more use of mobile radars in unmarked cars or at the side of roads.  It is common for fellow car drivers to indicate that these mobile speed checks are in place by flashing their lights to oncoming traffic however this is frowned upon by the police so you should avoid doing that yourself.

If you are caught speeding you can face an on-the-spot fine and if you are caught driving more than 50 km/hr over the limit – an instant ban and an impounding of your vehicle will take place – we have heard of several cases where this has occurred and it takes a considerable amount of money and effort to retrieve a vehicle.

For more rules on driving in France see:

Checklist for driving in France

Rules of the Road – Driving in France

Priorité à Droite (priority to the right)

Motor Ways and Toll roads


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