The map below indicates our preferred route to the house from Calais, avoiding Paris. The distance is approximately 500 miles; the journey time is around 8 hours not including stops.
Sat Nav coordinates are: 44.970235, 1.079302
The majority of this route is on motorways or dual carriageways.
Tolls are in the region of £20 each way.
France is just over twice the size of the UK with a similar population. The roads, even in the busier summer months, are generally quieter than those in the UK. Driving is generally relaxed and most roads are well maintained.
A large proportion of the autoroute network is privately funded and subject to tolls (Peage). On entering a toll section you take a ticket and at the end of that section or when leaving the autoroute a fee is paid. The easiest and quickest way to pay is via credit card. Just follow the over head gantries to “cartes” place your ticket in the machine and then your card. There is no verification required.
French national holidays lead to the first Saturday in August being exceptionally busy on the routes from Paris to the South. Two weeks later the Parisians are heading home! Please allow extra time and expect delays.
Motorway speed limits vary between 110 KPH (68 MPH) and 130 KPH (81 MPH). When it’s raining 110KPH is automatically reduced to 100 and 130 to 110.
Out of town single carriageways are generally limited to 90KPH (55MPH)
In towns, villages and built up areas the limit is 50KPH (31MPH) On entering a town or village the 50KPH speed limit is applicable as soon as the sign with the name of the town with a red border is passed.
Please be mindful of the speed limits. The French authorities are deploying greater numbers of speed cameras and are removing signage. There are increasing numbers of unmarked police vehicles with camera equipment. Vehicles tend to be stopped at toll booths for an incursion that may have occurred earlier.
It is a requirement to carry a breath test kit in vehicles at all times. However, there is no penalty for not doing so!
Radar detectors, Sat Navs with speed camera locations
It is contrary to French motoring legislation to use radar detectors. If using a sat nav the speed camera waring facility must be disabled. If you are found using such items they may be seized.
Diesel (gazole) tends to be cheaper than the UK but petrol (essence) is of a similar price.
The links below take you to the main motoring organisation’s sites