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I'm hiring a car in France soon, for approximately a week.

It's my understanding that in France yellow hi-viz jackets are required for each occupant, in addition to a warning triangle (is there anything else 'unusual'?).

Should I expect these are provided with my rental car, by the rental car agency? Is it required that they provide them by law even? I would rather not turn up, find they aren't there, then have to go on a hunt for some, but I'd also not have to waste money on items I probably won't even use and carry them with me!

In case it matters, I'm renting with Enterprise, and I cannot find anything about this in their Ts&Cs. A Google search doesn't turn up much except discussions about purchasing these for a private car. Ideally I'm looking for an authoritative answer from the French government or at least based on experience.

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    It's hard to imagine that any legal car rental wouldn't meet all legal requirements for actually driving the car. Having your customers fined and pulled over is bad for business. I have honestly never worried about this: no matter where I've rented cars, I've always assumed they are legal to drive "as is" and never run into any issue.
    – Hilmar
    Feb 4 at 18:00
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    The question is what is part of the car and what is occupant clothing. Feb 5 at 2:32
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    I've never had any of these in my car in over 20 years of driving in France, so I wouldn't worry too much. If you get stopped and asked, show them this comment.
    – PatrickT
    Feb 6 at 8:53
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica Hi viz jackets should normally be in the car and and in a pocket easy to reach. At least in some other countries that are stricter (often one vest is not enough). Certainly a part of the car equipment. Feb 6 at 17:59
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    @DarrelHoffman you completely misunderstood my comment. I know very well what the differences are - I live here. My comment mentioned that previously UK-registered vehicles were supposed to have "GB" sign/sticker/indicator on them. Now they must have "UK" sign/sticker/whatever.
    – Aleks G
    Feb 7 at 15:20

4 Answers 4

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https://www.stage-recuperation-points.com/actualites/location-voiture-bons-reflexes-avoir-170720/amp (in French) says:

Assurez-vous également que tous les équipements obligatoires sont bien à bord du véhicule (triangle, gilet jaune, roue de secours et le matériel permettant de l’installer ).

Which translates to:

Make sure to also check that all of the necessary equipment is present inside the vehicle (triangle, yellow vest, spare wheel and the tools necessary to install it).

which implies they should be provided.

Hertz say:

Chez Hertz Grand Ouest nous équipons chacun de nos véhicules de location d’un triangle et d’un gilet jaune

Which translates to:

At Hertz Grand West, we equip each of our rental vehicles with a triangle and yellow vest.

So they include the triangle and the hi-vis vest. They do however go on other required items such as a breath test which they don't indicate if they provide (but they are actually no longer mandatory)

Enterprise say (on their French site, but on a page for rentals in Netherlands?!):

Vous disposerez également, dans votre voiture de location Enterprise, de tout les équipements obligatoires : triangle, gilet jaune…

Which translates to:

You will also have all required equipment in your Enterprise rental vehicle: triangle, yellow vest...

So I would expect the triangle and hi-vis vest to be provided. To be sure, you should probably call them.

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  • As you seem to live in France, perhaps you could comment on the apparent change in the law on breathalysers (link in my answer, but it's reported that they're no longer needed) Feb 4 at 13:05
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    @ChrisH indeed they are no longer mandatory since 22/5/2020, I updated the answer.
    – jcaron
    Feb 4 at 13:15
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    It's interesting that those explanations both use the singular "gilet jaune", rather than the plural (given that the OP describes the law as requiring "yellow hi-viz jackets are required for each occupant".
    – Flydog57
    Feb 4 at 21:04
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    @Flydog57> Franck's answer explains why: it's actually one per vehicle, not per occupant.
    – spectras
    Feb 6 at 0:21
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    Just my two cents not worth an answer - if you are especially big (or especially petite), you should probably buy your own hi-vis vest. It is painful to not be allowed to go outside the car to push it without a vest, and not be able to force that vest on your body. You can expect medium sized or so called universal size vest, but that may not be good enough for some.
    – Mołot
    Feb 7 at 12:29
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It's my understanding that in France yellow hi-viz jackets are required for each occupant.

No, it's 1 hi-viz jacket per car, regardless of the number of occupants. Also, it doesn't have to be yellow unless one wants to go on strike: it can be orange, yellow, green, pink, red, yellow-green, yellow-orange, or orange-red.

Is there anything else 'unusual'?

No, but breathalyzers used to be compulsory till May 21, 2020, and as a result some outdated sources will mention breathalyzers.


Source for 1 hi-viz jacket per car:

En France : 1 gilet obligatoire par véhicule. Attention, lors de vos déplacements transfrontaliers car en Italie, c'est 1 gilet obligatoire par occupant.

Source (governmental source) for the color and other requirements for the jacket to be authorized:

  • le gilet doit être fluorescent, de couleur orange, jaune, verte, rose, rouge, jaune-vert, jaune-orange, ou orange-rouge ;
  • le gilet doit également posséder une capacité de rétroréflexion ;
  • il doit comporter un marquage « CE » ainsi qu'une référence à une des deux normes harmonisées applicables : EN 1150:1999 ou EN ISO 20471:2013 ;
  • il doit porter une étiquette mentionnant les conditions d'entretien ;
  • il doit être accompagné d'une notice d'information rédigée en français, indiquant, notamment, le mode d'emploi, les précautions d’entretien à prendre, les performances et limites d’utilisation, la date ou le délai de péremption, la signification de tout marquage concernant la sécurité, la référence au règlement (UE) n° 2016/425, le nom et le numéro d’identification de chaque « organisme notifié »(ON) intervenant dans l’évaluation de la conformité de l’EPI, la référence de norme harmonisée utilisée en conception/fabrication, l’adresse du site internet où la déclaration UE de conformité puisse être aisément consultée, à moins que cette déclaration n’accompagne l’EPI, auquel cas la notice peut s’affranchir de préciser les références au règlement (UE) EPI, aux ON chargés de l’évaluation de la conformité, ainsi qu’à la norme harmonisée utilisée .

Source (governmental source) on the breathalyzer:

Est-il obligatoire d'avoir un éthylotest dans sa voiture ? Non. Depuis le 22 mai 2020 il n'est pas obligatoire de posséder un éthylotest dans son véhicule.

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    The OP already knows they're required, the question was whether they should expect the rental car company to provide them (are they required by law to provide them, etc.?)
    – Midavalo
    Feb 4 at 23:50
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    @Midavalo they don't. And they've also asked "Is there anything else 'unusual'?". Feb 4 at 23:51
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I have always found a triangle, you shouldn't assume the hi-viz vest will be present in the car (whatever the law or terms and conditions say). I guess you could always go back to the desk and ask for a hi-viz vest but in my experience it's often missing. This has been my observation both for long-term rentals from big brands (e.g. Avis) and for short-term free-floating vehicles in Paris.

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I haven't hired in France for many years, but in both Germany and Spain, all the mandatory equipment was provided by the hire company. Even those trips were a few years ago.

They may not provide as many hi-vis vests as there are seats, though, so if you've got a car full of people, it's as well to check. More may be available on request, or they're cheap in the first big supermarket.

Note that in France you also had to carry disposable breathalysers, but apparently that's been abandoned now (with an injury then covid I haven't been since 2018). That's something to take into account if you're looking at articles on driving over there

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    Technically in France, my understanding is that only one hi-viz vest is mandatory, no matter how many people are in the car.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 4 at 19:24
  • @Relaxed I'm not saying you're wrong, because I didn't look at official pages but the sites I saw in yesterday's searching (aimed at people travelling from the UK) said things like "for all occupants" (different machine and I don't sync my browser history, so can't link now) Feb 5 at 15:59
  • @ChrisH-UK relaxed is correct travel.stackexchange.com/a/172051/1810 Feb 5 at 21:19
  • @FranckDernoncourt, OK,. As I said, I believe it, but sources that should be reputable say otherwise. Maybe I'll bother to check my history when I'm back on that machine to provide quotes. Until then, I'll take Relaxed's comment as a footnote -after all, I never stated directly that they were mandatory for everyone Feb 5 at 21:22
  • @ChrisH-UK may be mandatory in UK, idk. Feb 5 at 21:23

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