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Prius gen 3 driving in France


thrope
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Hi,

I have a 2013 gen 3 Prius T-spirit.

I was wondering what needs to be done for driving in France (mainly in terms of the lights? Do I need to get stickers? I think the T-spirit has halogen lights which I think self-level as startup).

I know we need first aid kit and a triangle in the car, is there anything else to think of?

Thanks for any advice

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Just googled “travelling in France in a uk car”, and a big long list came up. I suggest you do the same. It’s too important to rely on others IMO.

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Hi, 

best to check on government website as these changes from time to time and also if you type driving in France on Amazon wil pop up products. As far as I remember you will need a first aid kit with triangle and fire extinguisher, yellow vests for all passengers, head lights stickers and GB sticker, alcohol testers too and to be within expiry dates. I think that’s all. Best to get a bottle of Oil in the boot just in case you need to top up as motor Oil is crazy expensive in the garages. 
Enjoy your trip. 

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Thanks - yes I can find the details (was surprised about the breatherlysers).

But the Prius specific part is about the lights - do I need to put a sticker over them, or not because they are self levelling halogen (is this right for 2013 T-Spirit)? or is there some configurable option either inside the cabin or a physcial switch on the headlamp unit to switch to EU beam direction?

 

 

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Hello , it's a good few years since I was driving in France , but a couple of things I remember may still be relevant/useful.

One is the priorite adoit , where vehicles joining a road from the right have a right of way ,no longer applicable I believe , but I did notice in some rural areas with single carriage way roads the occasional driver would pull out anyway , unlikely I know , but best to be aware of the possibility , I used to ease off and cover the brake if I saw a vehicle waiting or approaching on the right.

The other thing was buying fuel , more than once the cashier got the exchange rate the wrong way round when paying with sterling ,so I soon learned to make sure I had enough Euros to fill up.

Of course ,it may be all card payments now so not relevant.

Sorry can't help with your lights , have a good trip 🛣️

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If they are halogen, then they won't be self-levelling and you will need the masking stickers applied.  If you definitely do have self-levelling lights then they are most likely HID (high intensity discharge) lamps.  Whether you need to apply the stickers to these lights depends on whether the shutters are level or whether they rise up to the left to illuminate the left side.  If the latter you will need the stickers, but if the former you won't.

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Thanks. From doing some research I don't think gen 3 has HID - I think mine (2013 T-Spirit) are LED with self-levelling. I think these may have a flat beam so perhaps no stickers are necessary. 

 

 

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One good way to check on the beam pattern is to drive close to a wall and turn on your lights.

This will show you if there is a kick up on the left. If there is then you need the beam deflector stickers.

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When I took my gen 3 Prius to the continent I emailed Toyota to ask this question, I can't remember the exact words of their reply but it wasn't helpful. I checked the pattern of the headlights on my garage door and it was flat topped, but slightly higher on the left. In the end I decided that even if the headlights didn't technically need deflectors the Gendarmerie or whoever may not be aware of that and opted to play safe and put them on anyway. I continued to do this with my Auris and my gen 4 Prius (although I'm pretty sure the gen 4 doesn't need them) - I toured the continent every summer for the last 4 or 5 years and drove to several overseas football matches until Covid put a stop to that and I always put the deflectors on - it doesn't cost much, it's easy to do, it doesn't significantly degrade night vision and it avoids any unpleasantness with the authorities.

On another note priorité a droite IS still a thing in France, particularly in rural areas, although it's not as widespread as it was in the past. If you see a yellow diamond with a black stripe through that means you do not have priority and must give way to traffic joining from the right, even from what appear to be minor roads. Similarly if on approach to crossroads you see a sign which looks like a black X in a red triangle you must give way to traffic from the right. You need to particularly watch this if you're out in the sticks where people will still drive out of side roads without looking, especially on rural roads where there may be no signs at all.  Also in central Paris, there are roundabouts where traffic on the roundabout (carousel) has to give way to traffic joining - best advice is just to be cautious at roundabouts, better to get hooted for being slow than to get into a bump. If roundabouts are signed on approach with give way signs or road markings (often with the words, "vous n'avez pas le priorité") on approach then they work as they do here. If you see a sign with a yellow diamond on a white background then priorité a droite is suspended until such time as you see the diamond with a line through it.

If you're intending to drive in Paris you need a clean air certificate which you can get off the French government here -  https://www.certificat-air.gouv.fr/en/demande - the website is in English and the sticker is only 3 or 4 euros. Make sure you use the official government site, there are scams where they charge you additional fees. They can impose emergency clean air zones in quite a number of urban areas and you can be fined if you don't have the sticker in your windscreen when the emergency zone applies. Hybrids get a Crit'Air 1 sticker (it goes up to 5 depending on Euro Emissions ratings) and that will get you everywhere. You'll need a scan of your log book to upload. It tells you to put it on the right hand side of your windscreen but I emailed them and they told me that I can put it on the left on a RHD car.

I also carry reflective vests (two, for me and She Who Must Be Obeyed), a first aid kit, breathalysers, a warning triangle and some spare bulbs - and now you need a GB sticker too. Also if you have radar warnings on your satnav you have to turn them off in France where it's illegal (although some satnavs warn of danger zones in the general area of a camera, this is allowed) and if you intend to go into Luxembourg you need to take your Dashcam off, they're illegal there, as they are in Portugal and Austria. 

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Usually cars that need light deflection sticker has a dot on the light cover, this is a point where you need align the sticker. My car has a dot and uses h11 halogen bulbs, same as most Priuses gen 3 except excel specs which have blueish lights. 

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Thanks for all the advice. I've got plenty of experience driving in France, just not taking my car from UK (have family there).

Thanks for the photo of the dot - mine has that (seems maybe even smaller but its definitely there) so I will apply the stickers.

Was planning to look against a wall in the dark but I'm Scotland so not getting much darkness at the moment - would have to go out to the car in the middle of the night!

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