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ZONE BLEU PARKING and rental cars

ZONE BLEU PARKING and rental cars

Old Feb 1, 13, 12:38 am
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Join Date: Jun 2008
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ZONE BLEU PARKING and rental cars

Many visitors to France may not be aware of a new law that came into force on 1 January, but the effects of which are only becoming obvious.

Towns and villages are introding - in what seems to be a random manner - car parking spaces, either on the street or in a car park, in a blue zone (ZONE BLEU in French).

To park here you need to display the time of your arrival in the parking spot by turning a wheel on this blue disk and put the disk clearly visible in the car on the dashboard top, so that it can be seen through the windscreen (windshield).

There is no standard time limit for parking. Sometimes it's TWO HOURS sometimes THREE, sometimes LESS. You'll need to check before you leave the car.

If you don't show a disk, you will be liable for an automatic fine of 17€ and if you overstay your time, you can be fined a further 17€ for the first time period of overstay and 17 € per subsequent period of overstay.

You may not know that you've been fined ... the PV (the standard Process Verbal when you get a 'ticket' to tell you you've been caught and need to pay a fine) process is also being refined so that sometime later you receive notification of your fine from the central police fines bureau in Nantes .... and therefore your car rental company are not going to be amused and will be chasing you for payment.

The other problem is that is it not clear where Zone Bleu disks are available for purchase - or if you're really lucky, you might be given one by a generous business having a marketing campaign.

I was unsuccessful in getting a 'freebie' and ended up paying 3.90 € at LeClerc Auto. So you may have to go to a car accessories shop or shop at a petrol station to track one down, and then have to pay what seems a 'generous' sum to acquire one.

So if you are renting a car in France, this is another thing to ask your rental company to supply before you start out!

This has been brought into law to stop people from leaving their car all day in a car park that needs to be accessed by more people for shorter periods, and I'm sure will be a welcome source of revenue for the Government. Those visiting from outside the area or country may well find themselves caught up in this scheme and its associated penalties, so forearmed is forewarned.
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