We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

speeding tickets in France

New York
Level Contributor
66 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
speeding tickets in France

Rented a car two weeks ago for a road trip from Grenoble to Mt. St. Michel and back. Traveled seven days on secondary roads, stayed within the speed that most cars were going. Upon return home in NY found three speeding tickets from France in the mail. Radar guns. Speed was clocked 9, 15 and 28 kilometers over the limit, totaling 225 euros (if paid on time).

Just for your info, should you consider renting a car. I'm wondering whether in France the license plates indicate, as they do here, that the car is a rental. Also wondering whether the rental cars are specially targeted by traffic police. Any ideas, comments, suggestions? (Other than drive slower next time.) Merci!

Level Contributor
2,434 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: speeding tickets in France

Lots of the radar in France are automatic ones that are located in grey boxes along the road and they also are announced in advance. In France, they have a 0 km/h tolerance above the limit. So you could go 2 km/h above and still be ticketed.

It's not the speed of the other cars that you have to follow but the speed limit of the road you are driving on.

And knowing that even if the speed limit are not indicated. Every time to pass by the indication of a town or village it's 50 km/h. Otherwise on secondary roads it's 90 km/h. Sometimes even 70 km/h but then you'll see it indicated.

If you were following the other cars at the same speed. They probably got fined as well.

I really don't think that rental car are more targeted.

I'm sorry for you :-(

Guildford, England
Level Contributor
5,402 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: speeding tickets in France

No rental cars are treated the same as other cars.

It seems you may have now learnt that it is best to respect the speed limits :)

Toowoomba, Australia
Level Contributor
1,294 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: speeding tickets in France

Of course tourists are not targeted. In France the speed limits in towns and villages begin as soon as you pass the town sign. As already mentioned a lot of radar or speed cameras are automatic, so all those other people you were keeping up with probably got a ticket as well.

Sorry almost a repeat of Planner's post !!

Andrésy, France
Level Contributor
5,937 posts
89 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: speeding tickets in France

In fact there is a 5km/h grace above the speed limit. So you can add 5 to all those figures you gave. There is no way to identify a rental car from its number. Perhaps you did not realize that when you see the red bordered town or village name the limit is 50 until you see the same barred by a red line on leaving.

Level Contributor
1,842 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: speeding tickets in France

This won't help the OP after receiving the notification of fines but slowing down as soon as you reach a built area is something every motorist in France should do.

Time after time as you enter villages and towns you can see a couple, always a couple and never just one, of Police motorcyclists parked just off the road and almost out of sight waiting for the unsuspecting speeding driver.

Being stopped by a Police patrol is not something that is advisable.

The Officers never, ever speak a word of English and as most of us rarely speak or understand the French language the meeting is fraught with problems and they are usually the Motorists problems!

As for the OP being 28 kph over the limit (around 18 mph) on secondary roads he should be ashamed of his poor, and possibly reckless, driving.

As he suggests – slow down!

Information on the penalties for breaking the French traffic laws can be found here -

www.french-property.com/guides/france – Driving in France – Offences and Penalties

Level Contributor
2,434 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: speeding tickets in France

Tradeform are you really sure about the 5km/h grace ?

I have a few friends and family members that have said they got fined with 2 or 3 km/h above speed limit.

That's why I was under the impression that it was 0 tolerance.

Val-de-Marne, France
Level Contributor
8,621 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: speeding tickets in France

It has gone from 5 km to 3 km up to 100 kmph and 3% of the speed above that.


Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
50,457 posts
146 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: speeding tickets in France

Speeding interpretation in the US is quite different. Most drivers probably expect to be able to go 10-15 km/h above the speed limit on freeways without getting a ticket. On neighborhood roads, the tolerance is smaller. Since most US roads I now of don't have speed cameras, being caught for speeding is much less likely to occur.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
21,255 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: speeding tickets in France

Let's see, two weeks.

Have you checked your credit card charges? Typically, the rental car firm will charge you 20€ to 25€ for each enquiry of a drivers address by the police in reference to a car receiving a speeding ticket. You might owe the rental company an additional $100 you do not yet know about.

If, some time in the future, you return to France and rent a car, you might familiarize yourself with the speed limit rules. Speed limit changes are not always posted as such and it might be easy to enter into a small town and not realalize that the marker with the town's name on it also means that the speed limited just lowered to 50km.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
464 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: speeding tickets in France

An earlier respondent mentioned that the cameras are housed in "...grey boxes along the road and...announced in advance." Our experience in the south and southwest part of the country last autumn was that they're housed in dark green steel pedestals (about 10"x10"x5' tall) with absolutely no signage beforehand.

The biggest problem we had in this matter though was in trying to follow the speed limit without slowing up the locals who, as you would expect, know where all the cameras are located. While I appreciate the French drivers (who I do believe are, on the average, better than most I encounter at home) they don't have the same sense of "tailgating" that we do and so it seems like we were always being pushed along.

But glad to hear that there is some leeway though. I spent three months expecting the dreaded mail notice after our return!