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Discussion Starter #1
(Apologies if this is the wrong place for this thread - Mods, please feel free to move).

Hi all

Off to France shortly for a grand tour! But a couple of quick (and dumb :p) questions arise. Previously I've only ever driven petrol cars on the Continent, so when I fill up my JTDm, what am I looking for? Is French for Diesel, Diesel? Or Gazole? What colour is the pump - is it black like here? I assume most filling stations are self-service, same as here too.

Any other helpful tips for driving in France welcome too :)!

Cheers!
 
C

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Ok, Diesel is Gazole.
Take Hi Vis vests
No need to bother with the breathaliser, this has been shelved.
Spare bulbs.
Most pumps self service and you pay in the shop..like here.
Pumps are black or yellow.
Keep some change for the Peage's (pay motorway sections)
 

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To add to Crazycarbs post..

You can use UK credit cards in the Peage's (tolls). I find this is infinitely easier and very often much quicker. The CC lanes are often empty

The diesel as in the UK can be had for around 10-12cents less in the supermarkets..
 

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Some of the péages around Paris have special lanes for right hand drive cars.

If you intend using the Autoroutes a lot it may be worth getting a Liber-T tag - a little bit more expensive than paying as you go, but much more convenient:

https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/
Just had an email from EuroTunnel. Apparently they have done a deal with Sanef Tolling to supply UK drivers at a discount.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle has teamed up with Sanef Tolling, managing the French motorway tolls, to offer you an exclusive chance to buy a
Liber-t tag at a reduced rate.
Not sure if it only applies to customers as I get the emails having bought a return crossing for later this summer and the message is headed "Exclusive to you"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some of the péages around Paris have special lanes for right hand drive cars.
Is that for paying at the booths? Will be avoiding Paris in anycase. Are debit cards accepted in the peages (as opposed to credit cards)?

I have my Hi-Vi, triangle, breathalyser, spare bulbs and GB sticker. Just need to work out how to get the back of the dipped beam lights unit off to switch lights to the otherside now - off to read the manual :)

Thanks for the tips, all. Very helpful :).
 
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Debit cards are fine all over France.

I remember the days when you stood on Dover docks painting your headlights yellow and masking up the headlights with black tape.(I still use black tape now).
 

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It's also probably wise to check your card fees for foreign use. We have a nationwide cc and is free to use abroad. Snice most charge a fee per transaction and depending on the route there can be several small tolls it's worth a check...
 

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They are in shops. At un-manned petrol stations I have had issues in the past, so I would by all means try in the peage, just have a credit card in hand just in case.
On the Autoroutes, the stations open 24 hours, and accept foreign cards, but even on major National routes, you're stuck with automats that take CB only.

I had a particularly fraught drive from Nantes to Northern Brittany one night with the 147 running on fumes. The filling stations were unmanned from about 23:00, and the only cards accepted were French-only Carte Bancaire debit cards, or the operator's own fuel cards. No credit cards, no European debit cards.

Diesel is the orange-handled pump, and it's a LOT cheaper than it is in the UK :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks All - great advice!

Well, tried to do the beam adjustment thing. Got the back off the lights easily enough, but could barely get my hand in behind the light cone, and not sure I could move the lever (assuming I was pushing the right thing). Might just go for the black tape thing ;).

I think I'll just be careful about filling up during the day, as I'll be in some pretty rural and remotish spots - don't want to under go the sort of stress Kris reported!

I'll be sure to get some photos and post when I get back.
 

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They are in shops. At un-manned petrol stations I have had issues in the past, so I would by all means try in the peage, just have a credit card in hand just in case.
In my experience the French unmanned fuel sations only accept CB (French Carte Blue) cards. (Sorry Kris, just read your post)
 

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Mark, you will have a great time. Franch is a delight to drive through, get off the Autoroute and any motorways as soon as you can. RN and D roads are a delight. Last weekend we came from Switzerland to within 80Km of Calais without going near an autoroute, a wonderfull drive, forget time, and enjoy the open road with few other cars.
 
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Used my Barclays debit card at unmanned fuel stations at various locations 2 months ago, no problems at all.
 

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Used my Barclays debit card at unmanned fuel stations at various locations 2 months ago, no problems at all.
Thats good news, mabe our French friends are waking up to the existance of people other than CB card holders!
 

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Some of the péages around Paris have special lanes for right hand drive cars.

If you intend using the Autoroutes a lot it may be worth getting a Liber-T tag - a little bit more expensive than paying as you go, but much more convenient:

https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/
I have a tag, it's not expensive at all. I paid a £20 deposit on the tag which is refunded if you return the tag to Sanef. I pay £5 per year if I don't use it. You pay the same tolls but the big advantage is in time saved and if you're in a right hand drive car on your own you don't have to stop and get out to pay the toll. The tag lanes are usually empty so all you do is slow down as you approach the gate (10mph max) then a little beep from the tag, the gate opens and away you go. On a long journey in tourist season you could easily save an hour in waiting and queueing time at the booths. The money for tolls is taken by direct debit about 4 weeks later and they send you an electronic invoice.
 

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Well I'm 120 miles In to my euro tour!!!

Car is full!!!

Will be taking note of these things over the next few days!!

Arrive in France tomorrow and Spain on Tuesday!!
 
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