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Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

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Melbourne, Australia
posts: 1,840
reviews: 82
Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

Hi, We are coming from Australia and plan on hiring a car in Tours to take a trip in the Loire Valley.

just 2 days. We drive on the left hand side of the road and I am having concerns about driving on the right hand side seeing we have never done this before. My husband actually and he would kill me if he knew I was writing this.

I would imagine that the roads wouldn't be too busy because it's in the country, right? Are there any road rules that are specific to France or any important information about travelling in the Loire. We have international licences which don't require any tests, easy to get, which is a bit of a worry.

I'd appreciate any help at all, or anyone with the same experience, thanks to all.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 31,580
reviews: 9
11. Re: Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

Do be careful not to drive if you're tired, stressed, or upset -- at those times, instinct takes over, and you'll be dead wrong in your choice (with any luck, not literally!)

I do just fine driving in the UK (coming from the US) -- and so long as I follow that rule, I'm just fine.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 36,844
reviews: 77
12. Re: Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

Driving on "wrong" side of the road: I learned to drive in Texas, and have subsequently driven in Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, but I still drive in the States a few times a year plus some European vacation time. A good trick when you turn onto a road is rememeber you should always be sitting at the middle of the road as a driver. For example, if you are in a right-handed drive car, your car will be on the left side of the road so as a driver, you'd be at the middle of the road. This is true in the reverse way if you are in a left-handed drive car.

As noted, do look out for the yield to the right. I drove almost two weeks in France and had one close shave because of that. This yield to the right is more typically on the D (secondary) roads. Study the road signs before your trip. Parking signs (when can you park on a sidestreet?) are also difficult to understand so don't risk getting a ticket.

Australia
posts: 1,603
reviews: 36
13. Re: Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

My husband does the driving when we drive in Europe...my only extra comment is to be very, very careful. Our tip is to sit in the car when you collect it at the car hire place, really check your map and talk through the first stage of the trip - before you actually start to drive anywhere!!! It really is quite challenging to overcome the habits of a lifetime!! The other thing is - there are roundabouts everywhere in France - if you aren't quite sure what road to take, just keep going round as you check the map! We haven't used a GPS but always buy (before we leave Australia) Michelin maps of the area we are going to get - and do buy the most detailed one - it is amazing how many little roads are not shown on the less detailed maps. I also find it pays to contact the tourist office of towns we know we are going to, and request they mail out a map of the town - this really helps, at least you have a bit of an idea where car parking is and so on. The other thing is to get 9and print in advnace) detailed maps and directions on mappy or viamichelin. Have fun!! Vicolivia

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 36,844
reviews: 77
14. Re: Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

Speaking of collecting your rental car, be sure to note all the scratches. When I got my car from Europcar at Nice, they gave me the paperwork and never mentioned about scrtaches, etc. I was just supposed to drive the car out of the garage. Fortunately, I noticed there were scratches all around so once I took the car from the garage, I immediately asked them to come out and note everything, or they could have charged me for damages when I returned it.

15. Re: Aussie drivers in Loire Valley. Yikes!

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