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Guide to HGV Driving in France

Handy advice for Truck drivers in France

HGV Driving Advice In France

As the largest country in the EU, with a capital city of 12 million people, lorry driving in France can range from a very remote experience to an extremely busy one. France has border with 8 other countries; therefore, the route across to many European countries from the UK, across the channel, 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, Portsmouth to Caen/St. Malo, Poole and Cherbourg, and Plymouth to Roscoff are all alternatives. Eurotunnel and the Channel Tunnel offer even faster access.

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.

EU driver’s regulations apply fully in France, and the driver should carry a letter from his company in the correct language for any countries he is passing through, 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 is a road sign 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.
  • A spare bulb kit.
  • A Breathalyzer test kit.

Toll roads

As with many European countries, France has an extensive toll road system. For a list of roads and charges, you can visit Tolls are also levied on the Mont Blanc tunnel ( and the Frejus tunnel (

Although the ‘ECO’ tax has been suspended indefinitely, the ‘Heavy Vehicle Transit Tax will apply to all vehicles in France with a tractor weight of more than 3.5 metric tons. Although there are no details available yet as to how the tax will be collected, you can find out more information here: