The last thing you want when taking your company car en vacances is a tussle with the gendarmes, so this week I’m looking at French road rules.

From 1 July, all drivers and motorcyclists (excluding mopeds) need to carry a breathalyser kit, with two disposable units.

The breathalyser must meet the NF standards (similar to the BSI here in the UK) and carry an NF certification.

On the continent drink drive limits are generally lower – 50 rather than 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

And if you’re organising a school trip or other a coach journey to France, the alcohol limit is even lower for bus drivers – 20mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

There are differences with speed limits, and speed detection too. While the maximum limit on a motorway is 130km/h under normal conditions, this drops to 110 in the case of rain.

Keep an eye out for any speed limit changes, and use road signs to give you information on coping with unfamiliar roads.

While radar speed camera detectors are legal in the UK, in France they are illegal whether or not you are using them.

Penalties include fines of up to ?1,500, confiscation of the device and of the vehicle. This legislation includes satnav or gps systems that show speed camera information.

According to the AA, the French government is installing around 400 new fixed cameras and is taking down road signs indicating the location of existing fixed speed camera sites. Stick to the limit to avoid a heavy on the-spot fine.

Drivers are required to carry certain safety equipment. It is essential to have a warning triangle, reflective jacket, and spare light bulbs as well as your breathalyser kit.

Cyclists must wear a reflective jacket outside of urban areas at night, or when visibility is poor.

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