±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Car Rental

France - Car Rental

There are a number of regulations which must be adhered to when hiring a car in France. In order to hire a car the driver must be at least 21 years old although there are some age variations depending upon the type of car you are hiring. All drivers of hire cars must have had their driving licence for a minimum of one year. Some companies may charge an extra tariff if you are under 25 years of age although this varies between hire firms. It is a good idea to check the policy in advance as it may cost you more when you collect the car. Ensure you have all the relevant paperwork with you when you collect your car. In France you must carry all vehicle documentation with you when you drive such as your driver’s licence and insurance paperwork. With a hire care you will also need a copy of the hire agreement.

If you are visiting France for less than 90 days and you have a driver’s licence that has been issued in the EU or the US, or have an international driver’s permit you are able to drive in France. The international permit is recommended as it makes the paperwork easier if you need to deal with the authorities in the event of a car accident or theft from the car.

Car rental insurance is included in the cost of the rental and it will vary depending on a number of factors such as age of the driver, driving history and length of hire. In France, the minimum amount of cover required is fire and third party insurance and this is the cover which is included in all car hire agreements. The third party coverage is to ensure that damage to people and property outside the car is covered.

In addition to the basic insurance you can also have cover to protect you from collision damage and theft. These additions are often available to add on to the policy when you collect the car. As with all insurance policies the driver will have an excess on the policy and this varies. You can opt for a higher excess but drivers should be aware that if you hire a car the excess can sometimes run to several thousand Euros. There are companies which offer the opportunity to purchase an insurance policy against the excess, so that this is paid for you in the event of an accident or other claim. Car hire companies sell this type of extra policy but it is worth noting that you do not have to buy this insurance through the company but can simply shop around and find a much more cost effective deal.

A car that has been hired in France can only be driven in certain areas. With a French hire car you can explore most of Western Europe without restriction. If you hire a luxury car then you may find that there are more restrictions in place. If you intend to travel into Eastern Europe with a car hired in France then you need to make the car hire company aware of it so that they can ensure that the vehicle you hire will be allowed into the countries you are visiting. Countries that restrict entry include Albania, Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Macedonia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. The car hire company you are using will be able to give you a complete list of restricted areas. If you want to go to one of these countries the type of car you hire will be restricted and the fees for hire will be increased.

It is possible to hire a car for a one way rental. These are generally unrestricted and there are few extra charges but if you are travelling to the island of Corsica or the city of Biarritz. If you need an international one-way rental then you will find that you need to pay much more and the type of vehicle you can hire is limited.

All the major airports have several car hire companies that you can choose from. These include internationally renowned names such as Hertz, Avis and Budget. In addition all towns and cities have several organisations that you can use. Booking in advance is the best option for the cheaper prices.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.