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Tips for Expats Driving in Strasbourg

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Strasbourg.
|-Tips for Expats Driving in Strasbourg

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Strasbourg, like many European cities, can be a bit challenging for newcomers. The city is known for its narrow streets, heavy traffic, and strict parking regulations. It’s important to be patient, attentive, and respectful of other drivers. French drivers are known for their assertiveness, so don’t be surprised if you encounter some aggressive driving behaviors.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Given the narrow streets and limited parking spaces, a small, compact car is highly recommended for driving in Strasbourg. This will make it easier to navigate through the city and find parking. If you’re planning to travel outside the city, a car with good fuel efficiency would be a good choice.

3. Parking in Strasbourg

Finding parking in Strasbourg can be difficult, especially in the city center. Most parking spaces are metered, and the cost can add up quickly. There are also several parking garages available, but these can be quite expensive. It’s recommended to use public transportation or walk when possible to avoid the hassle and cost of parking.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in France with an international driving permit (IDP) for up to one year. After that, you will need to obtain a French driver’s license. It’s important to note that not all countries’ driving licenses are exchangeable for a French one, so you may need to take a driving test in France.

5. Obtaining a French Driver’s License

To obtain a French driver’s license, you will need to pass a written test and a practical driving test. The written test is available in multiple languages, but the driving test is usually conducted in French. It’s recommended to take a few driving lessons to familiarize yourself with the French driving rules and procedures. Once you pass the tests, you can apply for a French driver’s license at the local prefecture.

6. Familiarize Yourself with French Road Signs

French road signs can be quite different from those in other countries. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these signs before you start driving in Strasbourg. There are many resources available online to help you learn about French road signs.

7. Be Aware of the Priority to the Right Rule

In France, the “priority to the right” rule is commonly applied. This means that drivers coming from the right have the right of way. This rule can be confusing for newcomers, so it’s important to be aware of it and always check for traffic coming from the right.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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