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US license driving a private car

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Sarasota, Florida
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US license driving a private car

I know it has been asked before but I am asking again since everyone seems to refer to rented car. As an American with a valid US license, Do I need an International drivers license to drive a borrowed car in France?

Thank you,

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: US license driving a private car

An International Driving Permit is not needed in France.

Bedoin, France
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2. Re: US license driving a private car

I presume you mean you will be borrowing a French licensed car from a friend - NOT a rental car. We discussed this with the company that insures our French cars (Groupama) and the answer was - all drivers should hold a French driving license and any infractions obtained by the 'guest driver' would be the responsibility of the insured. In other words if they get flashed by a speed camera, I would get and be responsible for the ticket and the point(s). We asked this question a few years ago, so things might have changed. Having said that, I know many people who allow foreign visitors to borrow their cars. Luckily, nothing ever happened to them.

The owner of the car should check with their insurance company as I have heard that different insurance companies give different answers to the question.

They may wish to have the insurance company print out the portion of the contract that stipulates the rules for 'other drivers' of the insured vehicle.

Not much help, but the answer really needs to come from the insurance company.

As a tourist, on vacation, the police, from my experience, only care that you hold a valid license and the car has valid insurance. Having an International License certainly wouldn't hurt as it has a translation of the license you hold.

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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3. Re: US license driving a private car

The only harm done by obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) is that you just wasted $20, money that could have been spent on better wine with dinner.

The French Police are perfectly capable of reading your license as long as it is written in Latin characters. The Italian police apparently lack this skill so if you plan on going into Italy, you´ll need an IDP. And if you plan on going into Italy, the insurance company might have stipulations so in the end, you really need to ask the insurer.

4. Re: US license driving a private car

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