The ring-road ("peripherique") made easy
It’s quite straightforward: depending on where you come in from, you’ll join the ring road at one of the 30 gateways (“portes”) that punctuate the 35 km of expressway. Based on the area you are heading towards, you have the choice between the inner ring road (“périphérique intérieur”) which runs in a clockwise direction and the outer (“périphérique extérieur”), which runs anti-clockwise).
Traffic flow and journey time between gateways are displayed on illuminated overhead panels. Exit signs for each gateway into the city are given plenty of time in advance so as not to miss them, so make sure you position yourself correctly in the right-hand lane. The speed limit is 80 km/h (50mph), sometimes less whenever pollution levels peak… Watch out for the speed checks!
More Info (in french only) : Road traffic in Paris
Motorway system and tolls
France has a considerable network of tolled motorways, which extends into the neighbouring countries. Toll costs vary according to the motorway you’re on, the distance travelled and the type of vehicle. For a journey from Lyon to Paris by car, a distance of 464 km, allow just over €26. Make sure you stick to the maximum speed limits: 130 km/h (80mph); 110 km/h (68mph) in wet weather – the automatic radars will be watching…
For more details about the network and tolls, check the web site of the ASFA (Association des Sociétés Françaises d'Autoroutes).
More Info : Highways
Just a few reminders: in France you drive on the right; safety belts are compulsory in both the front and back seats; it is prohibited to sound your horn; and remember to come equipped with your international Green Card insurance. For motorbikes and scooters, the wearing of helmets is compulsory for both drivers and passengers. In the city, it is against the law to use the bus lanes.
Speed limits: urban areas: 50 km/h (30mph); ring roads: 80 km/h (50 mph); main roads: 90 km/h (56mph); motorways: 130 km/h (80mph) and 110 km/h (68mph) in wet weather. There are a few service stations within Paris and you will inevitably find some on the way in to the city.
Parking in the city
Parking in Paris is rarely easy and can often be quite a headache. To park your car, you have the choice between parking on the street or in an underground car park, between the cheaper peripheral “arrondissements” or the city centre. It is strictly prohibited to double park, to park in no-stopping zones (“axes rouges”), and in spaces reserved for the disabled or for deliveries.
In the street
If you decide to park in the street, please note that as a general rule it is payable from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 7pm. Night time and Sundays are free. On public holidays and during the month of August you can sometimes park free of charge in certain streets: this is indicated by a yellow sticker placed on the parking meter.
Tariffs are divided into 3 zones, ranging from an hourly rate of €3 in the centre of Paris, to €1 per hour on the outskirts. Parking meters do not accept coins and only take the “Paris Carte” card, available in tobacconists for €10 to €30. The machine will give you a ticket in exchange, which should be placed behind your windscreen, clearly visible from the outside. Street parking is limited to 2 hours.
You are not allowed to attach bicycles and scooters to street fittings (poles, fences, etc.). Make sure you have a robust anti-theft device. Parking of two-wheeled vehicles on the pavement is tolerated, as long as you are not blocking the way for pedestrians. Be careful though, fines are more and more frequent. So we recommend that you use the special parking areas provided for two-wheelers.
Parking campers or motor-homes in Paris should be avoided, so as not to block traffic. Instead you should head for the designated parking spaces at camp sites. In Paris, it is prohibited to sleep in your motor-home.
In car parks
Underground car parks, of which there are many in Paris, are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for cars. Some car parks are open for motorbikes too. They can be identified by a white “P” on a blue background, and can usually be found in busy shopping, tourist or business areas. Security is provided by guards and cameras.
Tariffs vary depending on the neighbourhood: in the city centre and busy tourist areas, you need to allow around €2.50 for 1 hour, €5 for 2 hours and €20 or more for 12 to 24 hours. On the outskirts of Paris; prices are generally lower and you might pay on average from €10 to €15 for 24 hours. Underground car parks can also offer special tariffs for the weekend or by the week or month.
On the way in to the car park, you press a button to obtain a ticket and open the barrier. You can make your way out via the pedestrian exit. On your return, insert your card into one of the machines in order to pay before collecting your vehicle. Once you have paid, the machine will return your ticket to you, and all you have to do is insert it at the exit to open the barrier.
Car parks in Paris
NC , Paris 75
NC , Paris 75
234 rue de Crimée , Paris 75019
Place Baudoyer , Paris 75004
26 Villa Croix Nivert , Paris 75015
32 rue Dussoubs , Paris 75002
60 rue de Ponthieu , Paris 75008
104 rue du Théâtre , Paris 75015
Accès par les 4 tunnels des rues de Turbigo, Coquillière, des Halles, du Pont Neuf , Paris 75001
5 rue d'Abbeville , Paris 75010