As of June 2012 France requires all cars / drivers to carry two self-test breathalyzers.

Do all rental car companies supply them and if I use one what is the charge associated with it?

  • 10
    Not answering your question, but this law application has been postponed again to 01 march 2013. I think this law will be stillborn, dead before it's effective, because we discover that these breathalyzers are fragile and not trustful (and the law passed with the help of a guy working in breathalyzer making).
    – travelot
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 13:41
  • I rented a car in July 2012 in France and can't remember seeing one inside.
    – Vince
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 14:35
  • I don't know if they are provided, but you can buy them at almost any gas station and cost less then 2 Eur each.
    – user141
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 14:36
  • I've read the fine is minimal, 11 euro or something. To begin with I thought it was a cost saving exercise by the French police by making you supply your own breathalyzer, but it seems they're for personal use, crazy.
    – Stuart
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 14:50
  • France doesn't require cars to carry breathanalyzes, it requires drivers to carry them.
    – mouviciel
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 19:11

3 Answers 3


It's normally the driver's duty to bring the "éthylotest" (or "alcootest"), but some renting companies are providing one or two.

Otherwise it costs 2 € in shop / pharmacy.

Links (in french) for companies saying they provide it (in brackets, price you pay if you used it):
Avis (? €), Budget (? €), Europcar (6 €), Hertz (5 €), Sixt (5 €).

Always ask to be sure.


Yes, every French car will be required to carry a breathalyser, even rentals.

However, as noted on the AA website, as of October last year:

The implementation of the sanction for drivers not carrying a breathalyser – a fine of €11 – has been postponed from 1 November 2012 to 1 March 2013.

This was due to a shortage of 21 million or so breathalysers(!), as manufacturers struggled to keep up with demand.

In January 2013, the decision to implement the sanction has been postponed, it will be taken in February{fr}. The reason is the reliability of breathalyzers, plus the shortage and the high prices.

There's also a website created, FrenchBreathalyzer.com, which is a little biased against it, but has a lot of the latest news and FAQs about the law, if you have further questions.

And other news sites are indicating that yes, French car rental companies WILL provide the breathalyzer devices.

Hertz has definitely confirmed that they will do so.

Rhino Car Hire has also confirmed this.

Avis has as well.

  • I saw the frenchbrathalyzer.com website but they appeared to be selling them so i was skeptical about there information.
    – Stuart
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:10
  • @Stuart - yeah, they almost sound against it, like it's the government being Big Brother, then they're all "hey you can buy one". Dodgy. But their news links were useful.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:11
  • That doesn't quite answer the question. You've said rental cars are required to carry to a breathalyser, but not whether the rental company will supply one, which is surely the key point for a traveller. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:36
  • @AndrewFerrier - Thought it was reasonably clear that a rental company would supply it if they're required in cars, as passengers from outside couldn't really be expected to bring their own, it's really legally part of the car now! However, I've updated with more info indicating they will, as well as evidence from three companies individually stating that they will do so.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 18:57
  • "Yes, every French car will be required to carry a breathalyser, even rentals." This statement is false. Please see my answer below. Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 22:37

There is no legal requirement for having a breathanalyzer. There was a plan to introduce such a requirement. However this plan is postponed sine dine.

P.S. Here are two links (in French) for those who do not trust me:



P.P.S Regarding the future, nobody knows. But at the time being there is no requirement.

  • 3
    Do you have a reference for this statement. If it has been postponed then that implies at some time in the future there will be a requirement.
    – Stuart
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 11:30
  • 1
    indeed it will be, but the Minister decided to wait for a council to give recommendations (on Feb 13 2013) after reliability issues: lemonde.fr/societe/article/2013/01/24/… (By the way it is sine die)
    – Vince
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 14:59
  • Thanks @MarcelC. it's not about trust, its so that in the future when things change people can determine if the information is still correct.
    – Stuart
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:10
  • Judging buy the dates on both the articals this seems to be an actual current event, While I thought this was an old and esoteric rule.
    – Stuart
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:20
  • 2
    I dunno why this answer has been downvoted because it is a fact that the law is still not in force now (December 2013).
    – рüффп
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 16:27

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