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#DrivingToEuros this summer?

Make sure you’re on the ball before #DrivingToEuros this summer by reading up on French motoring laws and checking if you have the appropriate kit to avoid heavy fines or penalties.

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As England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland all prepare to kick off their campaigns at the UEFA European Championship 2016, thousands of football fans will be driving over to cheer on their country.

If you’re one of those fans road tripping to Lille or Marseille, it's vital to make sure you know the French laws of the road.

What many football fans don't know...

1 in 3

don't know that you drive on the right hand side of the road in France

1 in 5

don’t know 70 miles per hour is faster than 70 kilometres per hour

Only 36%

of UK and Irish drivers always check the different laws of the road before they drive abroad


over half of UK and Irish drivers said they found driving abroad 'difficult' or 'stressful'

Research carried out by Censuswide between 26/04/16 and 29/04/16 amongst a sample of 2,250 UK and Irish drivers with valid insurance

Don't forget to carry the following items...

Failure to have these could result in on-the-spot financial penalty

Know your speed limits

Fines can reach up to €1500

31 mph

(50 km/h) built-up areas

56 mph

(90 km/h) outside built-up areas

68 mph

(110 km/h) dual carriageways and non-toll motorways

81 mph

(130 km/h) toll motorways

Other things to remember...

up to€135

fine for forgetting to wear your seatbelt


fine for using your mobile at the wheel

up to€4500

fine for driving over the alcohol limit, or worse, jail time*

*The alcohol limit in France is 0.5 grams per litre (one small beer) OR 0.2 grams if you passed your driving test in the last three years

Have you thought about insurance?

A third (33.6%) of UK and Irish drivers are in doubt over whether their insurance would cover them when driving abroad.

uSwitch can help you find car insurance providers for either temporary or annual cover in Europe.

Find out more

Insuring your car abroad

By now you should know that there’s more to driving in France than just sticking to the right hand side of the road. You also need to make sure you’re properly insured – as well as being essential if you’re involved in an accident, car insurance is also a legal requirement.

While all UK car insurance policies will offer you the minimum legal requirement of third party cover for driving in the EU, this level of cover won’t provide any compensation for vehicle repair or replacement if you’re involved in an accident or your car is stolen or vandalised. It’s important you check with your current insurer what level of cover is included while driving abroad – if comprehensive cover is not included outside of the UK you should consider adding this onto your policy for an extra fee.

Alternatively, you may want to take the opportunity to switch to a different insurer who will offer you comprehensive EU cover as standard. Run a price comparison with uSwitch to see if you could save by switching insurers.

Compare car insurance

uSwitch makes it easy to filter quotes with comprehensive EU cover by selecting ‘driving abroad’ from the quote results page.


European breakdown cover

As well as getting the right insurance cover, you also need to make sure you’re prepared in the case of a breakdown. While French driving laws require you to carry an emergency kit including a warning triangle and high visibility vests, you could still find yourself stranded if you break down with no cover.

If you already have a breakdown policy, ask your provider if you are covered for trips in the EU and be sure to note down their contact details in case you need to call for recovery while abroad.

If you don’t have a breakdown policy that covers you for driving in the EU, consider upgrading or taking out a more comprehensive policy with a new provider. Warranty Direct’s Breakdown Care Plus cover includes 90 days’ EU cover, and there’s currently a £20 discount when you buy through uSwitch.

Call 0800 097 8823 and quote uSwitch to get your £20 discount.


Driving with a friend

Finally, if you’re not driving your own car abroad or you’re planning to share the driving with a friend, you need to make sure all drivers are insured. If you’re hiring a car the insurance is likely to be included in the rental price, but be sure to check whether the cover is comprehensive or third party.

If you’re sharing driving in your own car or a friend’s, it’s unlikely all drivers will be automatically fully insured – even if they have Driving Other Cars cover on their own insurance policy, this will usually only provide third party cover.

One simple way of insuring all drivers is for each to take out a temporary insurance policy, many of which also offer an optional comprehensive cover within the EU. This provides immediate cover from 1-30 days, and does not affect the car owner’s no claims bonus in the event of an accident.

You can compare and buy temporary insurance policies through uSwitch from Sky Insurance.

Win a #DrivingToEuros survival kit

We're giving away four #DrivingToEuros survival kits each week until 28 June 2016. Each kit includes everything you need when driving on the Continent:

  • 1x magnetic GB plate
  • 2x breathalysers
  • 2x headlight beam reflectors
  • 1x warning triangle
  • 1x high visibility jacket

Enter the draw below and we'll email you if you're one of the lucky winners.

Enter competition

Take our quiz

Think you know your Bordeaux from your Marseille? Take our quiz to test your knowledge on the UEFA European Championship 2016 and driving in France.

Get the infographic

As thousands of football fans from England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland get ready to set off to France this summer for the UEFA European Championship 2016, uSwitch is urging fans road-tripping to the games to brush up on the laws of the road to avoid heavy fines and penalties.

You can find out more about the rules most likely to trip people up in our infographic.

Download now