How to drive on a French motorway

As new legislation is set to allow learner drivers on motorways, there is no better time to discover how France’s major roads aren’t just demented Mad Max-style tarmac battlegrounds, they apparently have ‘rules’. 

How to drive on a French auto route

It’s surprisingly easy to drive on the motorway, even if you are an insane bastard.


Here are the main guidelines:


  • Many people assume the motorway speed limit is 130kph. It’s actually 180-250kph although if it’s late at night and there are no police around you can go as fast as you want. Above all, make sure you never reduce your speed on wet roads.
  • It’s best practice to try to drive within 0.5mm of the bumper of the car in front, then overtake without indicating – don’t forget to ‘sneer’.
  • The right lane is for lorry drivers so that they can swerve into the hard shoulder while texting or watching the football. Lorry drivers are also encouraged to avoid using their mirrors or eyes at all costs.
  • The middle lane is for quietly determined pensioners and Modus drivers.
  • The left-hand lane is for German cars and their prey. BMW, Audi, SUV and “sports car” drivers have the divine and legal right to undertake traffic jams and generally behave however they want - they are superior beings.
  • Motorbikes are entitled to weave psychotically between any lane at any speed.
  • If you need to change lanes or exit at a junction – UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES USE YOUR INDICATORS OR MAKE ANY PRIOR SIGNAL WHATSOEVER.
  • There is no law as such on the motorway, and it is actually fine to shoot other drivers with a crossbow, especially if they have a caravan.
  • The motorway is basically a straight line so you don’t need to pay attention to driving. It’s better to focus on your smartphone, laughing at people who have broken down or simply letting your imagination take you to a distant planet.






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