Many people decide to take their cars with them to the South of France each year, often driving after making the trip across the Channel using a ferry. While there are many well-known problems associated with driving in this part of France at especially busy times of year, with some simple steps, no one should feel too daunted by the journey.
Drivers should also be aware that the roads around the major resorts in the South of France, such as Cannes and Nice, can be very busy during the summer holiday season. Negotiating the congestion can be frustrating and extremely stressful, so it is wise to prepare yourself psychologically for this by expecting it to happen. Build the extra time such congestion might add to journeys into your plans, by leaving extra time in the day. That way, you should be able to handle the hassle associated with French roads at this busy time of year.
When driving on motorways in France, you will also be expected to pay tolls. Prices vary, depending on where you are, but the logistics of using toll roads are not complex, as long as you stay calm. You can pay the tolls with cards or cash, and cars go through different booths depending on the method of payment that you are using. Many of the booths are self-service, so make sure that you have a means of paying handy in the car as you travel.
If you have long distances to travel then it can also be a good idea to avoid the main motorways and use Bison Fute routes, also known colloquially as ‘Bis’. These roads often follow old Roman roads, and though they are not high speed, they can take your through some gorgeous countryside. As there are no tolls on these roads, it can also make your journey cheaper as well as more pleasant.
Taking a break at regular intervals is also to be recommended, for the sake of your peace of mind as much as anything else, though it also reduces the risk of accidents. Thankfully, as part of a program of encouraging drivers to take breaks, there is often some kind of entertainment laid on at service stations. This can vary from some kind of sporting event to performances by clowns and similar.
Another vital thing to do is to follow the rules of the road while you are in France. All cars in France drive on the right hand side of the road, and seat belts are compulsory in both the front and back seats of vehicles. Children over the age of 10 are allowed in the front seat. It is also wise to keep licences and other travel documents handy for roadside checks from police.