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Driving in Cannes

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Cannes.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Cannes, like many parts of France, can be a bit challenging for newcomers. The roads are often narrow and winding, and the local drivers are known for their aggressive driving style. It’s important to be alert and cautious, especially in busy areas or during peak traffic times.

2. Choosing the Right Car

Given the narrow streets and limited parking, a smaller car is often a good choice in Cannes. Compact cars are easier to maneuver and park, and they’re also more fuel-efficient. If you’re planning to explore the countryside or go on longer trips, you might want to consider a car with a bit more power and comfort.

3. Parking in Cannes

Finding parking in Cannes can be difficult, especially during the summer months when the city is crowded with tourists. There are several public parking lots and garages in the city, but they can be quite expensive. Street parking is also available, but it’s often limited to a few hours. It’s a good idea to research parking options in advance and consider using public transportation or walking when possible.

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’ll need to get a French driver’s license. It’s important to note that an IDP is not a standalone document; you must also carry your valid home country’s driver’s license with you.

5. Getting a French Driver’s License

If you’re planning to stay in France for more than a year, you’ll need to get a French driver’s license. The process varies depending on your home country. Some countries have a reciprocal agreement with France, allowing you to simply exchange your home country’s license for a French one. If your country does not have such an agreement, you’ll need to take a driving test in France. This involves both a written theory test and a practical driving test.

6. Familiarize Yourself with French Road Signs and Rules

French road signs and rules may be different from what you’re used to. For example, in France, you must give way to drivers coming from the right unless otherwise indicated. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these rules before you start driving in Cannes.

7. Consider Alternatives to Driving

Given the challenges of driving and parking in Cannes, you might want to consider alternatives. The city has a good public transportation system, and many areas are easily walkable. Bicycles are also a popular mode of transportation in Cannes.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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