Road Transport Operations France

As the largest country in the EU, with its capital Paris having a population of 12 million people. France has borders with 8 other countries, and is therefore the route across to many European countries from the UK via the channel which is the busiest seaway in the world. 

The main ferry route to France is Dover to Calais, but Dover to Dunkerque, Newhaven to Dieppe, Portsmouth to Le Havre and Portsmouth to Caen/St. Malo, Poole and Cherbourg, and Plymouth to Roscoff are all alternatives. Eurotunnel offers even faster access from Folkestone to Calais. 

Documents and other requirements for lorry drivers 

All commercial drivers should carry a full passport and their driver's licence, as well as a letter of authority from their operator that they have the authority to drive the vehicle, which explains the relationship between them and the vehicle owners, as well as the reason for travel. It also needs to state the member state of residence of the driver. 

Certificate for International Transport Workers 

Previously all those driving to France, including freight operators, had to complete an International Attestation to confirm that their journey met the criteria for essential travel.  This was designed to curb non-essential travel. 

More recently French authorities have confirmed that, for drivers of vehicles performing international transport of goods by road, a completed Certificate for International Transport Workers will be accepted and they no longer need the International Attestation. 

To download the form:

EU drivers regulations apply fully in France, and the driver should also carry a letter from his company in the correct languages for any countries he is passing through, with details of where past tachograph records can be found. 

Drivers that are on prescribed medication must carry a copy of their prescription or detail of the medicines. 

Using mobile phones unless they are hands-free is illegal, and snow chains are compulsory anywhere where there are road signs indicating they must be used – ‘Equipments Speciaux Obligatories’. 

There is also a legal requirement for drivers to carry:

  • reflective jackets for all occupants of the vehicle 
  • a warning triangle 
  • spare bulb kit 
  • breathalyser test kit (preferably 2) 


UK hauliers may carry goods to, through or from the country. Goods can also be carried from France to a third country and vice versa if permitted by the terms of any agreement between the three countries. Cabotage is permitted. 

Dangerous Goods 

France is a party to ADR, however, there are restrictions on the movement of Dangerous Goods on bridges and in tunnels. 

Restrictions are applied in the following areas and fines for any contravention are heavy:

  • Region of Haute Savoie 
  • Coastal Roads of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) 
  • All Alpine Tunnels 
  • Saturday and days preceding a Public Holiday 

For further information, visit the UNECE website at the link below & select the country name applicable 

Abnormal Loads 

Special authorisations are required for all abnormal load movements which exceed French vehicle dimensions (including weight). Applications for authorisations must be made to the 'Directorate of Equipment' of the prefecture of entry into France and every prefecture where the load is to move through en route to its destination. 

Abnormal loads cannot move if the weather conditions include snow, ice and fog or when visibility is below 150 metres. 

All abnormal load operators will require a keeper’s certificate to prove ownership of the trailer which must be carried as part of the vehicle documents at all times.
An application form can be downloaded below:


TIR carnets are accepted for vehicles crossing France. ATA Carnets are accepted for certain temporary imports. CMR documents should be used at all times. 

Movement Restrictions (HGV road bans) 

Most heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes are banned from the French road and motorway network every weekend. There are exceptions for trucks carrying (ambient) perishable produce or refrigerated produce, trucks servicing sporting events or trade fairs, and also fuel, air cargo and essential product movements. 

Restrictions apply as follows:

  1. Saturday 22:00 until Sunday 22:00 
  2. The day before public holidays from 22:00 
  3. Public Holidays to 22:00 

Additional summer weekend HGV bans 

The weekend truck ban is longer from early July to mid-August, when HGVs are banned from:

  • Saturday 07:00 to 19:00  
  • Saturday 22:00 to Sunday 22:00  

HGV's are also banned on public holidays from 22:00 the night before, until 22:00 on the holiday itself. The two big summer public holidays in France are 14th July and 15th August. When these public holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, lorries are banned for the complete 24 hour period. 

Bank Holidays 

  • 1 Jan – New Year’s day 
  • 10 April – Good Friday 
  • 13 April – Easter Monday 
  • 1 May – Labour day 
  • 8 May – Victory day 
  • 21 May Ascension day 
  • 31 May – Whit Sunday 
  • 1 June – Whit Monday 
  • 14 July – Bastille day 
  • 15 August Assumption day 
  • 1 Nov – All Saints day 
  • 11 Nov - Armistice day 
  • 25 Dec – Christmas day 
  • 26 Dec – St Stephens day (Boxing day) 

Paris area HGV restrictions 

There are restrictions in force for HGVs in the Paris area as follows:

  • HGVs cannot enter the Paris area on Mondays and the day following a public holiday. Restrictions are from 06:00 to 10:00. 
  • HGVs cannot leave the Paris area on Fridays and the days preceding a public holiday, from 16:00 onwards. 

This, therefore, means that lorries cannot transit via the inner ring road of Paris (boulevard périphérique) during these hours.

HGV restrictions on alpine motorways 

There are also extra weekend lorry bans on alpine motorways in February, though given the traffic jams that are possible here, these routes are best avoided by anyone not needing to use them. 

Weather Conditions 

It is advisable to check weather forecasts for France, especially in winter. With the general exception of western routes via Tours and Bordeaux, routes crossing France towards Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain and Portugal may be subject to heavy snow, notably in mountain areas (Alps, Vosges, Massif Central).  

Trunk roads not accessible to HGVs 

There are a small number of trunk routes in France from which HGVs over 7.5 tonnes or over 19 tonnes are permanently banned.  

The most important of these are:

  • The underground section of the A86 Paris orbital motorway, round the northwest of Paris (not just banned, but impossible due to height restriction) 
  • The A6 - A7 motorway route through the centre of Lyon (use the Lyon orbital routes) 
  • The N59 from Lunéville (Lorraine) to Sélestat (Alsace) 
  • The N66 from Remiremont (Lorraine) to Cernay (Alsace) 
  • The N73 from Chalon sur Saône (Burgundy) to Dole (Franche-Comté) 
  • The N20 between Linas and Massy on the western exit from Paris 
  • The D2020 (ex N20) south of Orleans to La Ferté St Aubin  
  • Motorways through the centre of Lyon (it’s better to take the orbital routes) 

In other places, HGVs may be banned from short sections of routes and are obliged to use a nearby alternative. 

Road Tolls 

Road tolls are governed by the vehicle category which is determined by three criteria:

  • Overall height 
  • Gross vehicle weight (GVW)* (for trains, the towing vehicle only) 
  • The number of axles. 

One of the most comprehensive and best resources for checking tolls, bridge and tunnel charges is This online publication also gives similar information for a total of 25 European Countries (including the UK). 

For buses, trucks and road trains or large caravans with two axles or more and with specific heights, the following applies:


Vehicle Types 







Intermediate vehicles 

 A vehicle with an overall height from 2 to 3 metres and GVW not exceeding 3.5 tonnes


A vehicle with an overall height from 2 to 3 metres and GVW not exceeding 3.5 tonnes 


Train with an overall height from 2 to 3 metres and GVW of towing a vehicle not exceeding 3.5 tonnes 





HGV or bus with two axles 

On the A14, all two-axle buses are in category 4 

A vehicle with an overall height of 3 metres or more

A vehicle with an overall height of 3 metres or more 


A vehicle with a GVW of more than 3.5 tonnes






HGV or bus with three or more axles 

A vehicle with more than two axles and height of 3 metres or more, or GVW of more than 3.5 tonnes

A vehicle with more than two axles and height of 3 metres or more, or GVW of more than 3.5 tonnes 


Train with an overall height of 3 metres or more  


Train with a towing vehicle having a GVW of more than 3.5 tonnes 

For more information on Motorway tolls in France - 

Toll Bridges and Tunnels 

There are several road tunnels and bridges in France. The most formidable barrier to negotiate however, the Alps, are home to two of the most famous tunnels in Europe, the Frejus and Mont Blanc Tunnels. 

Please use the links to the right of each tunnel or bridge in the table below which will take you to the relevant website and in most cases the tariff charge page for road tolls or bridge / tunnel charges. Please also remember that charges vary for the time of year you use the facility.  


Place / category 







Tunnel du Puymorens 






Tunnel Maurice-Lemaire 






Pont de Normandie 







Pont de Trancarville 







Viaduc de Millau 







Tunnel du Fréjus 



EURO cat. 

EURO cat. 


Tunnel du Mont Blanc 



EURO cat. 

EURO cat. 



Tunnel Prado Carénage 

€2.80 toll for vehicles up to 3.5 tons and a height up to 3.2 m 

Tunnel Duplex
A86 Rueil-Malmaison 

Fee €9, 30 - €2, 6 (depending on day and time of passage) for vehicles with a height of up to 2m. No entry for motorcycles and vehicles on LPG. 

Tunnel Information 

  • Frejus (A43) - Connects to A32 M/Way in Italy 
  • Mont Blanc (A40) - Connects Haute Savoie region (F) to Aosta Valley (I) 
  • Maurice Lemaire (N59 Lorraine Region) - Connects Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines and Saint-Dié 
  • Puymorens (N20 Pyrénées Region) - Connects Worn-Puymorens (Pyrénées-Orientales) and L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre (Ariège) 

Bridge Information 

  • Pont de Normandie (A29) - Normandie at the Seine river delta, eastern part of Le Havre, near Honfleur 
  • Pont de Tancarville (A15) - Tancarville at the Seine river delta 

Vehicle Legal Documentation 

  • Green Card required, plus original vehicle registration docs.
  • A GB plate must be fitted to the rear of the vehicle/trailer.
  • A trailer Registration Certificate is a requirement.. To register for a trailer certificate visit 

Safety Equipment 

In the best interest of road safety the following compulsory safety equipment or requirements and advice should be adhered to:

  • A warning triangle 
  • Seat belts must be worn at all times 
  • Reflective jackets must be worn (day or night) if the driver leaves the cab in the event of an accident or breakdown 
  • Dipped headlights in adverse weather conditions or restricted visibility 
  • First Aid Kit 
  • Fire Extinguisher 
  • The use of snow chains is advisable in snow/icy conditions 

Driver Legal Documents 

  • Full passport required but no visa required.
  • Full UK driving Licence.
  • Letter from employer giving driver permission to drive vehicle (attestation letter and form).

If the UK fully leaves the EU on 31 January 2021, HGV drivers will require travel insurance with healthcare cover 

Speed Limits

Vehicles Concerned 

Built-Up Areas (kms) 

Outside Built-Up Areas (kms) 

Expressways / Dual 

Motorways (kms) Max 80 kms in left lane 

All Trucks 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes 





Rigid Truck over 12 tonnes 





Artic/Road Train over 12 tonnes 





Dangerous Goods Transport 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes 





Dangerous Goods Transport over 12 tonnes 



70 (Only if ABS fitted) 


Indivisible Loads (Cat 1) 





Indivisible Loads (Cat 2) 





Indivisible Loads (Cat 3) 





Maximum Weights & Dimensions 

The following are applicable:

Height - There is no fixed height. However, we suggest that operators conform to 4 metres, or plan their vehicles routes accordingly. 
Width - 2.55 metres (Fridges 2.6 metres). 
Length - Artic 16.5 metresRoad Train 18.75 metresThere are also other maximum lengths on vehicles and trailers according to the number of axles. 
Weight - Artic 40 tonnes (ISO containers (40ft) - 44 tonnes)Road Trains are 44 tonnes. There is also various maximum permitted weights on vehicles, trailers and road trains which are applicable according to the number of axles.  

The following links provide guidance and further information 

British Embassy 

35, rue du Faubourg St Honore 
Paris Cedex 08 Paris  
75383 Paris  
Tel: +33 (1) 44 51 31 00  

Transport Organisations 

Association Francais du Routier International (AFTRI) 
48 rue de la Bienfaisance 
75008 Paris Tel: +33 (1) 53 53 02 40  

National Federation of Road Transport - 

Traffic/Road Conditions in France -