In a couple of weeks I am driving down to a wedding in the south of France.
Our route is (Daventry-Dover-Calais-Paris-Les Lecques-St Tropez-Monte Carlo-Avignon-Chateau Neuf Du Pap-Calais-Dover-Daventry)
As this is the first time I have driven on the Continent, I have a few questions:
Is there anyway of changing the speedo readout on the rev counter to kmph?
Do I have to do notify MINI emergency rescue breakdown thingy?
What do I need to do to my headlights?
Does anyone know where the "Sky Bridge" is? I beleive it is somewhere near where I am going.
Do you you know of any must drive roads?
Any other tips?
And I wouldn't worry about your headlights. I brought my left-hand drive MINI over to the UK last summer and there were no problems, no flashing or anything. They are xenons by the way. Standard headlights may need some correction.
I've always used the deflector stickers you can buy in Halfords, they've always worked Ok. I believe you can change the angle of the Xenons by adjusting them but I've never actually tried. The stickers are dead easy to use and remove once you get back
I don't think you need to inform the breakdown service, I never have
You'll find that the French motorways tolls aren't cheap - I expect you'll pay around 50 euro to get down to the south of France - but they are excellent, almost no traffic
Maybe pop to the old Grand Prix circuit near Reims on the way?
The stickers stick to the glass not the light so cant see a problem with them...if your going to be driving at night then best get either BMW to realign the lights or use deflectors as xenons are really blinding if out of alignment (they are in yours is set for UK and not EU) I was stopped by the french cops for this (lucky I had a spare set of deflectors)
There is one particular element to continental driving that you as a first timer MUST consider... tiredness.
Your levels of concentration will be five times greater than if you were driving a similar distance in the UK. You WILL be absolutely knackered. And French weddings are extremely tiring too, an average one lasts more than 24 hours!
You will need.
1. Spare set of light bulbs.
2. Warning triangle.
3. First aid kit.
4. Reflective jacket.
5. Copy of licence + insurance docs.
6. NEVER NEVER exceed the speed limit, you will be fined on the spot and can have the car confiscated. (Seriously!) The "flics" police, stop you with machine guns! also you speed is calculated from motorway terminal to exit terminal and the flic wait there.
7. Do not take any laser detectors eyc, the flic will destroy them in front of you and then fine you.
I have personally experienced all the above either as a victim or an observer during my travels through France in the last 24 months. Also be prepared for "tailgating" on minor roads, this is VERY common. There are rest stops on the motorways called "Aires" about every 30 mile or so. Some have restaurants others not. Bon voyage mon brave et bon chance.
danb... No the fine is imposed after you leave the tollgate. The flic will take you to the nearest cash machine if you dont have enough cash available. As far as machinre guns are concerned, I can guarnantee they can be pointed at you. Another thing about speeding is that the flic often sit off the motorway using lasers and then radio their mates further down the road if you pass at speed. THEN the guns come out. Happened to me last year in my Series 3 Cabrio. Cost me about £100! instant.
Beware of speed cameras - the number in France is increasing fast. The cameras there are grey and often camouflaged by road barriers. One warning sign before the camera. They are facing front of cars. Quite easily missed them when driving at speed. I was there three weeks ago and I did not even notice them until my friend (French resident) pointed them out to me. TG, I was not driving there for a change !
Speeding fines are on the spot for foreign drivers or vehicle impounded if not paid.
I thought that only UK headlamps have the left dip requirement to illuminate the kerb to allow pedestrians to be made more visible. Continental cars don't have this requirement as their beams point straight ahead.
The AutoGuide.com network consists of the largest network of enthusiast-owned enthusiast-operated automotive communities.
AutoGuide.com provides the latest car reviews, auto show coverage, new car prices, and automotive news. The AutoGuide network operates more than 100 automotive forums where our users consult peers for shopping information and advice, and share opinions as a community.