Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Do rental cars come with visibility vests in France?

Do rental cars come with visibility vests in France?

Old Feb 12th, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do rental cars come with visibility vests in France?

Can anyone tell me if our rental car must contain visibility vests or we could face fines in France and some other European countries? Is this a pending requirement or is it already being enforced?

If this is true, under what conditions do you need to wear them. If you park your car outside the town and walk into the town do you have to wear a vest? or are they to be worn when waiting for roadside assistance.

Maybe there is no such requirement and my friend who told me I would need one thinks I'm gullible, which I am

Thanks, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 10:14 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,553
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www2.securiteroutiere.gouv.fr..._14-04-08.html

Apparently they are, but I can't remember ever seeing one in any rental car I've had. Maybe I just didn't look. No one at a rental office ever mentioned it, either.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 10:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,263
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The good news is that most European countries DON'T require a high-vis jacket.

So, since France does, most French motorway service stations sell them (sometimes as part of a kit full of stuff France doesn't require but, say, Spain does) in their shops for feckless Dutchmen or Germans venturing into France without one. They're less often available in ordinary petrol stations.

So if, when you've hired your car, you find it didn't come with a high-vis jacket, just stop at the first service area. IN case your French isn't up to it, the law in France is that the driver must wear one before getting out of the car if it's immobilised on the road or at the roadside after an emergency stop.

It's not a requirement for walking along a country or suburban road. Though doubtless someone's cooking up an EU directive as we post trying to make it so.

There's a reasionably up to date list of which countries demand what at http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice...equipment.html
flanneruk is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 11:15 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,261
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a new requirement in France. I think I remember seeing a lot about it in the press or on TV last summer or Fall. I think they started enforcing it Oct. 1st. YOu have to have a red warning triangle, also.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 11:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi,

I would check with the rental agency - but I bet they sell them in the airport - but if not I would buy one as soon as poss - because it is a requirement for France & it must be in the car, so that the driver can put it on before getting out.

Also check that the car comes with spare bulbs, hazard triangle, as that is also a requirement.

Mark
isplumm1 is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 12:14 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,725
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Granted it is a lease rather than a rental but when I picked up my car there was a vest and a triangle. The triangle may be kept in the trunk (boot) but the vest must be in the cabin of the car. You will see cars with them over the passengers seat back - kind of a protest I think.
robjame is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 12:28 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 728
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have the vests replaced car bras as avant garde auto accessories, or is this a safety measure for the occupants?
hmmm is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 12:32 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 677
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I rented a car last October through Auteurope (picked it up from Europcar at the Toulouse airport) it had the vest under the front passenger seat and the triangle in the trunk. I would bet that car rental agencies are required to provide those now, since I doubt that Europcar did that out of the goodness of their heart!
Betty1 is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 01:10 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the info. Looks like I'll add vest and triangle to my check list when I pick up the rental car. Thanks again, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 01:23 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 3,214
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our rental from Auto Europe last September came with brand-new vests. It was a new requirement then.
It's a good idea to put on a checklist because by now the vests could have been used and not replaced by the rental company. I'm going to do that right now!
Coquelicot is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 01:41 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,707
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Requirement came into force in summer of 2008 in France, but because stores were unable to keep up with the demand, there were no fines if you didn't have vest and triangle. So if you rented a car then you may not have had one.

The law began being enforced in October/November 2008, and now you must have one with you. The triangle can be in the trunk, but the vest should be inside the car (generally in the glove compartment) so that it is available to you in emergency - as mentioned earlier, generally on autoroutes, not on country roads.

I would be surprised if it is not part of general equipment in rental cars. If leased cars, which technically belong to you have them, rental cars most likely will.
Carlux is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 01:52 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,955
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We rented through Europcar in Lille in November, and there were vests and a triangle in the trunk. I moved the vests up front while we had the car.

AA
AnselmAdorne is online now  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 02:04 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
here in 'health and safety' crazed britain, wearing a high-viz waistcoat is mandatory from birth to death. it must be worn when driving, walking, skating, eating fish and chips, when it's raining or humid, or when sleeping rough. them are the rules in our society. they are strictly enforced by our 35 million cctv cameras. if you are caught without one, you get an anti-social behaviour order.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2009, 02:10 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,667
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
i forgot to add...it's priceless comedy to hear americans talking about buying high-viz vests to drive in europe. oh dear.

and hire a car in spain or italy and you are lucky if it has a cap on the petrol input, hubcaps and all windows intact.

start to ask for a reflective vest, spare bulbs and a reflective triangle and you'll have 2 fingers wagging in your face very quickly!

welcome to europe.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2009, 07:59 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,732
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was never aware of the vest requirement until I picked up my BMW in Munich and was told to buy one. I have two now. To think all these years of driving in Europe and never a vest (unless there was one hidden under the seats or something).
flygirl is online now  
Old Mar 13th, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If your compiling a checklist of required automobile accessories, I recommend including:

1. a blank copy of a constat, usually found in the glove box. These are filled out in the event of an accident and submitted to the police. Most have an English translation on the reverse side.

2. a pencil or pen for filling out the constat.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2009, 02:26 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 677
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On a related matter, I saw a story on TF1 the other day saying that authorities now recommend that, if you have to stop in the emergency lane on an autoroute, you not try to set up the triangle behind your car. They say it is too dangerous with cars speeding by at 130km/h. They said you should turn on your emergency blinkers, get out of the car, and step over the barrier to wait for help.
Betty1 is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2009, 11:33 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,837
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
The vest and triangle are in all of my rental cars.
kerouac is online now  
Old Mar 14th, 2009, 03:27 AM
  #19  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey DA,

You are concerned over a minor triviality.

If, by some strange chance, you do end up disabled on a motorway at night, pull off to the side and stay in the car. A handkerchief floating from the window is helpful.

The policeman who stops to check on you is not going to write you a ticket for being a foreigner in a rental car without the proper equipment.

It will be more useful if you learn to say, "I have a flat tire" in French.

Enjoy your visit.
ira is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2009, 06:25 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,256
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ira, I'll keep that phrase in mind, hopefully never to need it.

I'm sure I'll be able to come up with a reasonable facsimile; like the time I told the French EMT that my husband was broke, after he took a fall at the airport

Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:45 AM.