La Poste des Gardes:

"The house is furnished beautifully. From the moment you walk through the door you know you are going to have a wonderful holiday."
Longère Louise:

“Lovely house, lovely stay! 
The location was perfect and the large garden was super for the children. The house is clearly well taken care of."

La Poste des Gardes:

“Beautiful house, perfectly presented, in a wonderful location. Much more than a holiday house - it is an entree into French village life."
Longère Louise:

"The cottage is stunningly beautiful and renovated to a very high standard. 
The gardens are private and totally relaxing."

La Poste des Gardes:

"A relaxing fun holiday in a home away from home. 
Our accommodation this year was the most comfortable and spacious we have experienced."


Longère Louise:

"If you are looking for an oasis of rustic French charm in the depth of the peaceful and rural countryside then this is the destination for you."
La Poste des Gardes:
 
"It was so comfortable that it was difficult to leave. The balcony is a real haven as the breeze from the river flows in and cools the hottest days."

Longère Louise:

"For us the real retreat was the haven just outside the front door, to sit there with all day sun or gain shade from the many plants."

La Poste des Gardes:

"A beautiful and well equipped house. It was superbly clean and had everything we needed at hand to keep a family of five very happy."


Longère Louise:

"Upstairs was a dream, two large romantic bedrooms, extremely comfortable beds/bedding along with the large downstairs bathroom."
La Poste des Gardes:

"From the beginning when you decide to concrete the quality of your holiday with staying at La Poste you will find the whole process seamless." 

Longère Louise:

"The garden is huge with lots to explore. We enjoyed lunch on the south-facing terrace and our evening meal on the west-facing terrace."

La Poste des Gardes:

"We adored the river terrace. It was a delightful start to the day and a relaxing end to the evening as well, after the children went to bed."

Longère Louise:

"An ideal retreat. It is beautifully presented with a super family size kitchen and a delightful garden for the children to play and explore in."

La Poste des Gardes:

"The house is absolutely gorgeous, well equipped and very clean; it catered easily for six adults and a baby.
We will definitely return."

Longère Louise:

"The house itself is in a quiet hamlet with only a few neighbours. You are surrounded by fields of corn and sunflowers. Idyllic!"

La Poste des Gardes:

"Perfect! Right from arriving it was relaxing. The house is comfortable, well equipped and the river terrace was definitely our favourite spot."

Longère Louise:

"Spectacular! A wonderful holiday meeting all my expectations and more. We achieved relaxtion - very rare for a mother of three!"

La Poste des Gardes:

"Availles is wonderful to walk around - all sorts of loops and little tracks present themselves. The village is much larger than it first appears."
Longère Louise:

"Tranquil hamlet, beautiful cottage, spacious garden, perfect stay! A wonderful holiday in a charming cottage. We'd love to do it again"
La Poste des Gardes:

"The house is beautifully located in the town and furnished to the very highest of standards, having everything you would need for a holiday."

Longère Louise:

"Super retreat in the Vienne! Home comforts abound, comfortable beds supplied, kitchen fully equipped. All you need is your food and drink."

French Rental Holidays

Poitou-Charentes Gîtes ... Your Way


French roads are a real pleasure to drive on. The motorway network covers 5000 miles and many of these are toll roads (péage) linking all the main cities and towns. These tolls allow French roads to be very well maintained and congestion is a rarity.

THE ROAD NETWORK 

French roads are a real pleasure to drive on.

The motorway network covers 5000 miles and many of these are toll roads (péage) linking all the main cities and towns.

These tolls allow French motorways to be very well maintained and congestion is a rarity.

But if you want to jump straight into the slower pace of life, take the national roads and immerse yourself in the beauty of France right from the start.

 


 THE HIGHWAY CODE

  • All road-users must drive on the right in France.
  • Every passenger in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.
  • Any vehicle on a main road has priority except where a "priorité a droit" sign is displayed.
  • Only buses, taxis and bicycles may use bus lanes.
  • You must always carry your driving licence, certificate of insurance and vehicle registration document with you.
  • Occsionally the right of way belongs to vehicles approaching from the right. A flashing "X" will indicate that you do not have priority.
  • Children over 10 years of age may sit in the front seat.

 


ROAD SIGNS


France is well known for its comprehensive signposting. Place names are given priority rather than road numbers.  Those who are navigating using a map can rest assured that any places shown in bold capitals will be signposted from a considerable distance away.

Signs you will come across are:

  • TOURES DIRECTIONS (all directions) - this is often used to divert traffic around a town so do follow it unless you plan to visit that particular town.
  • AUTRES DIRECTIONS (other directions) - always seen in conjunction with a second sign to a specific place. Unless you are headed for the specific place, follow autres directions.

The positioning of signposts can sometimes be quite confusing. The sign for going straight on is often very close to the junction pointing across rather than straight ahead.

 


A FEW SIGN TRANSLATIONS

 

allumez vos feux switch on your lights
attention au feu fire hazard
attention travaux road works
chausee deformee uneven surface
fin d'interdiction de stationner           end of parking restrictions
gravillons loose chippings
interdit aux pietons no pedestrians
rappel repeat of sign - usually "slow down"
route barree road closed
vouz n'avez pas le priorite give way


DRIVING LICENCES

  • The driver must have held a valid driving licence for at least one year
  • The driving licence must be in Western Script.
  • The driver must be at least 18 years of age with a full UK licence for most locations.
  • Drivers who have passed their test within the previous two years are restrcted to speeds of below 110kph on motorways, 100kph on urban motorways and 80kph outside built up areas.
  • The driver must be at least 20 years old and have held a full driving licence for at least one year to rent a car. Insurance is compulsory.

 


TYPES OF ROADS

  • Autoroutes (Marked on signs with A). These are well-maintained and sometimes empty express highways for which you must pay tolls if you go through a "péage".
  • Routes Nationales (Marked on signs with N). These are national motorways for which there are no tolls. They often have several lanes.
  • Routes Departementales (Marked on signs with D)
  • Smaller country roads with less traffic.

French roads are a real pleasure to drive on. The motorway network covers 5000 miles and many of these are toll roads (péage) linking all the main cities and towns. These tolls allow French roads to be very well maintained and congestion is a rarity.

 

The Autoroutes offer rest areas (aires) every 10km for short stops. Service stations and restaurants for coffee, snacks and toilets occur every 30 or 40 km. Motels where you can stay overnight are found every 100km or so.  Most motorway service stations have 'baby corners' with changing facilities and high chairs. Information on the cost of tolls, total mileage, hotels, restaurants and service stations can be found at Auto RoutesToll motorways may seem expensive but if you need to cover large distances quickly they really can't be beaten.

However the older main roads (prefixed with N or RN) and sometimes the smaller roads (prefixed with a D) are often as wide and well maintained as major highways in Britain. They are often quiet and enable you to discover more of the countryside on your journey. An excellent guide to these alternative routes, (often referred to as "Bis" and indicated with large green arrows) is the Bison Futé map, available free from most petrol stations. 

 


TOLLS/PÉAGE


Tolls in France are generally reasonable but they do vary between autoroutes and drivers will have to stop several times during their trip to pay at the toll booths (péages). The booths are easy to use. You may approach the autoroute through a peage, at which point you just drive through and take a ticket from the machine, or you may be on a road that turns into an autoroute. In this case you will have to stop at a péage after a distance and pay a set amount. When you exit the autoroute through a péage, you will submit the ticket taken on entrance either to a real person in a toll-booth where you can pay by cash or credit card or you can use the automatic payment machines, which take credit cards such as Visa or Mastercard. On a long autoroute trip you may have to stop at several péages at intervals along the way. Use the Route Planner on the Michelin Mapfinder website to find out exactly how much you will have to pay on any given route. Tolls vary in price and autoroutes are free on some stretches. The AA publish maps which show the toll-free sections.

 


ROAD MAPS OF FRANCE


Road maps can be ordered from Go-to-France or bought in most bookstores and in all service stations. IGN maps give the most detailed coverage of France. Michelin maps cover main road networks and regions.

 


PARKING

  • Dotted road markings indicate parking spaces. Vehicles may only park on white spaces. Those marked 'Payant' are pay-for-parking spaces. Unmarked spaces are free.
  • Yellow markings indicate spaces reserved for utility vehicles. Other markings such as GIC-GIG indicate spaces for drivers holding the relevant card.
  • Dotted yellow lines on the edge of a pavement show that only brief stops are authorised (for dropping off passengers or loading).
  • Many parking spaces in major cities are regulated by parking meters. These are located along the edge of pavements. You can pay for between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
  • Vehicles must display a ticket clearly. Drivers risk a fine in case of non-payment or for parking longer than the time allowed.
  • Town centres offer plenty of modern underground car parks. They cost more than parking at ground level but do guarantee a space and flexible hours of stay.

French roads are a real pleasure to drive on. The motorway network covers 5000 miles and many of these are toll roads (péage) linking all the main cities and towns. These tolls allow French roads to be very well maintained and congestion is a rarity.

 


SPEED LIMITS

In dry weather the speed limits are:

  • Speed Limits in Dry Weather
  • Toll Motorway  130kmh/ 80mph
  • Dual Carriageway  110kmh/ 68mph
  • Other Roads  90kmh/ 56mph
  • Built-up Areas  50kmh/ 31mph

In wet weather the speed limits are:

  • Speed Limits in Wet Weather
  • Toll Motorway  110kmh/ 68mph
  • Dual Carriageway  100kmh/ 62mph
  • Other Roads  80kmh/ 50mph
  • Built-up Areas  50kmh/ 31mph

 


SPEED LIMITS & RADAR TRAPS


Radar speed traps are very common in France and on-the-spot fines are heavy. If oncoming vehicles flash their headlights at you it often means there is a speed trap ahead. However, flashing headlights can also mean the driver is warning you that it is his right of way, the complete opposite of its accepted meaning in the UK.
In France it is illegal to be in possession of a radar detector, even if it is not fitted or being used. The French police can issue heavy on-the-spot fines and confiscate equipment if found. Please be sure to remove detector and fittings from the vehicle before driving in France.
 


ITEMS TO CARRY WHEN DRIVING

  • Warning triangle: if your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, you must give warning to approaching traffic by placing a warning triangel 50 - 150 metres behind your vehicle. The use of hazard warning lights alone is not enough.
  • A complete set of light bulbs: all lamps, including lenses and reflectors must be in working order, even during daylight hours. Failure to be in a position to replace an exterior bulb could result in temporary cessation of your journey and/or an on-the-spot fine.
  • Headlamp beam adaptors: failure to adapt your headlamps at any time, day or night, will render your vehicle unfit for use on the road and could invalidate your motor insurance.
  • GB sticker: required by law to indicate country of registration.
  • First Aid kit and fire extinguisher: The European Good Samaritan Law requires every driver to stop and provide assistance when an accident is encountered, providing it is safe to do so. This may require a first aid kit and fire extinguisher and it is advisable to have these items when driving in France.
  • First Aid kit and fire extinguisher: The European Good Samaritan Law requires every driver to stop and provide assistance when an accident is encountered, providing it is safe to do so. This may require a first aid kit and fire extinguisher and it is advisable to have these items when driving in France.
  • All cars must carry a single-use breathalyzer kit.The new breathalyzer requirement has been added to the existing rules compelling drivers to carry a warning triangle and a fluorescent safety vest. Failure to have these in the car can lead to a 90 Euros fine. Every driver of a motorised land vehicle, excluding mopeds, must possess an unused and immediately available breathlyzer. A fine of 11 Euros will be charged to anyone not carrying the breathalyzer kit, but police have been told to start fining only from November 1st 2012. The legal blood alcohol limit in France is 0.5 grams per litre.
  • Reflective vest: Anyone providing roadside assistance or leaving a stranded vehicle should always wear a reflective vest for their own safety. Cars should carry sufficient vests for all passengers. This is now a legal requirement in a number of European countries. (EU ref: RD1428/2003 and Art.162 Cod4 Bis4 Ter - CDS 2003.)

 


BREAKDOWN PROCEDURE


If your car breaks down in France:

  • Move it to the side of the road so that it obstructs the traffic flow as little as possible. Seek help locally - there is no nationwide roadside assistance service in France. On autoroutes, emergency phones are located every 2km.
  • Use a warning triangles or hazard warning lights -  mandatory in France in the event of an accident or break down.

 


ACCIDENT PROCEDURE

  • In the event of a car accident, you must complete a damage assessment form (usually left in the glove compartment of your rental car or obtainable from your insurance company) It must be signed by the other party, and in the event of a dispute or a refusal to complete the form, you should obtain a constat d'huissier immediately. This is a written report from a bailiff (huissier). In the event of any dispute, call the police who will make out an official report.
  • In the event of an injury, telephone 15 for SAMU (Ambulance) or 18 for the POMPIERS (Fire Brigade). The POLICE - 17 - are only called out to accidents when someone is injured, a driver is under the influence of alcohol or the accident impedes traffic flow.
  • Notify your car hire office/insurance company as soon as possible Regional Information Centres.

 


CONTACT NUMBERS FOR INFORMATION ON ROAD CONDITIONS

  • Ile-de-France/Centre 33 (0) 1 48 99 33 33
  • North 33 (0) 3 20 47 33 33
  • East 33 (0) 3 87 63 33 33 
  • West 33 (0) 2 99 32 33 33
  • South-West 33 (0) 5 56 96 33 33
  • Rhone-Alpes/Auvergne 33 (0) 4 72 81 57 33
  • Mediterranean 33 (0) 4 91 78 78 78
  • Autoroute info 33 (0) 1 47 05 90 01


 ALL INFORMATION COURTESY OF GO TO FRANCE

AND FRANCE CAR HIRE RENTAL

PLEASE VISIT THEIR SITES FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DRIVING IN FRANCE

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