This page could simply say “just don’t do it” read a bit more to find out why you shouldn’t!

The long and straight roads of France can be very inviting to the motorist in a hurry. Sadly the Gendarmes like to take advantage of speeding motorists and issuing €90 on the spot fines. 

Avoid the temptation to speed and ensure you always have at least  €90 cash with you should you be unfortunate enough to be caught. 

Making a detour to a cash-point can add  a considerable amount of time to your journey, just what you don’t need when you are in a hurry, this advice is based upon bitter personal experience.

Fines are levied as follows:

  • 1-19 Km/h over the speed limit the fine is  €45
  • 20 – 39 Km/h  over the speed limit the fine is  €90
  • 40- 49 Km/h over the speed limit you will have a court deposit of  €135 levied PLUS a 3 day driving ban in France only (your licence is confiscated) – this will be followed by a court case possibly months later where the ban can be extended to up to 3 years, typically the ban applied is 2 months. 
  • 50 Km/h or more over the speed you will have a court deposit of €750 levied against you and your car impounded. The subsequent court case can also result in the fine being increased to €1500 or €3000 for repeat offenders.

In some cases where speed is in excess of a certain level over the speed limit you can have your driving licence confiscated and even have your vehicle confiscated – if you are travelling alone being deprived of your driving licence can be a major inconvenience.

Watch out, new legislation means you can be more easily traced and fined if you break the speed limit in France – take your time and relax. If you have planned your route and allowed the time suggested by Google Maps or Via Michelin you should be fine.

Be aware that on some stretches of Auto-Route the speed limit can be dropped to 90 Km/h – this will be signposted and if you are using a Sat Nav may be shown on the display.

There are apparently 2 motorcycle speed patrols on the A16 Autoroute between Calais and Abbeville that can operate mobile speed traps in addition to the fixed speed cameras that are situated beside the road. 

Radar Detectors are illegal in France even when they are not in use. If you are caught with a radar detector in your vehicle, you could be fined up to €1500, have the detector confiscated, or even face confiscation of the vehicle. So make sure you remove any such device before taking your car to France. As of January 3rd 2012 even SatNav and GPS systems which can show where speed cameras are located are illegal, so ensure this function has been disabled on your device. Software updates are available for some systems which remove this function. If your device still shows speed cameras in France we suggest you leave it at home since you can be fined up to €1500 and have the system, and even the vehicle, confiscated.