Ooh la la! Be aware when driving in France

Off to France this summer?

Take note if you’re planning to take a car as drivers are now under extra scrutiny on French roads.

Traffic police recently unveiled a new 36-megapixel speed camera that can survey eight lanes of traffic at a time.

The camera aims to identify drivers who are speeding, tailgating, jumping red lights, using a phone or not wearing a seat belt.

The French authorities have also announced that they have outsourced an additional 450 mobile speed traps.

It is estimated that up to 500,000 British motorists get caught on French speed cameras every year, so it is important for drivers to have all relevant documentation, such as a Vehicle on Hire Certificate (VE103), in case they are questioned by the police.

Drivers travelling to Paris, Lyons or Grenoble will also need a Crit’Air sticker on their windscreen to display the vehicle’s emission rating. The fine for not having one is between £59 and £117.

Some BVRLA members are actively contacting lease customers whom they know usually drive to France in the summer, and others are applying for stickers for their entire fleet to ensure that all their vehicles are ‘ready for European travel’. The stickers don’t expire so can remain in vehicles throughout their fleet life.

PLUS: There are new anti-pollution rules in Paris. Since January 22, all cars driving in Paris need to have a windscreen sticker showing which European emissions standard they meet (Euro 6 is the latest, applying to all new cars produced since September 2015). The sticker costs 3.70 euros (£3.25) plus postage, at certificat-air.gouv.fr You can check which standard your vehicle meets at the RAC website. On-the-spot fines range from 68 euros to 135 euros.