Getting around by car, car parks and parking

It is not always easy to drive in Paris or find a parking spot; in fact it can be quite a headache.


Voiture dans le 4e arrondissment © Ricardo Isoton via Unsplash

Just a few reminders: in France you drive on the right; safety belts are compulsory in both the front and back seats; it is prohibited to sound your horn; and remember to come equipped with your international Green Card insurance. For motorbikes and scooters, the wearing of helmets is compulsory for both drivers and passengers. In the city, it is against the law to use the bus lanes.

Speed limits:

  • In Paris : urban areas: 30 km/h (19mph), sometimes 50 km/h (30mph) ; ring roads: 70 km/h (43 mph)
  • In France : main roads: 80km/h (50mph) or 90 km/h (56mph); motorways: 130 km/h (80mph) and 110 km/h (68mph) in wet weather.

Service stations

There are a few service stations within Paris and you will inevitably find some on the way in to the city.

Parking in the city

Parking in Paris is rarely easy and can often be quite a headache. To park your car, you have the choice between parking on the street or in an underground car park, between the cheaper peripheral “arrondissements” or the city centre. It is prohibited to double park, and in spaces reserved for the disabled or for deliveries.

In the street

Voiture noire stationnant dans une rue de Paris © Thinkstock

If you decide to park in the street, please note that as a general rule it is payable from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 8pm. Night time and Sundays are free. On public holidays you can sometimes park free of charge in certain streets: this is indicated by a yellow sticker placed on the parking meter.
Tariffs are divided into 2 zones, ranging from an hourly rate of €6 in the centre of Paris (1st to 11th arrondissements), to €4 per hour from the 12th to 20th arrondissements). If you pay for parking at parking meters, the machine will give you a ticket in exchange, which should be placed behind your windscreen, clearly visible from the outside. Street parking is limited to a 2-hour duration. You can use a credit card or the PaybyPhone, ParkNow, Flowbird apps.
Parking campers or motor-homes in Paris should be avoided, so as not to block traffic. Instead you should head for the designated parking spaces at camp sites. In Paris, it is prohibited to sleep in your vehicule.

Underground car parks

Parking souterrain à Paris © Paris Je t'aime

Underground car parks, of which there are many in Paris, are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for cars. Some car parks are open for motorbikes too. They can be identified by a white “P” on a blue background, and can usually be found in busy shopping, tourist or business areas. Security is provided by guards and cameras. Tariffs vary depending on the neighbourhood. Underground car parks can also offer special tariffs for the weekend or by the week or month.
On the way in to the car park, you press a button to obtain a ticket and open the barrier. You can make your way out via the pedestrian exit. On your return, insert your card into one of the machines in order to pay before collecting your vehicle. Once you have paid, the machine will return your ticket to you, and all you have to do is insert it at the exit to open the barrier.


Saemes manages more than 63 car parks and is the second largest parking operator in the Ile-de-France region. In Paris you can choose between 20 public car parks that offer hourly parking close to top sights : The Quai Branly-Eiffel Tower car park, under the museum, Lagrange-Maubert Notre-Dame car park to discover the Latin Quarter...... See the complete list of SAEMES car parks.
You can also take advantage of a number of services: you can have your vehicle cleaned, pay with a Total GR card, access a break-down kit, helmet lockers for motorised two-wheelers and even book your parking space in advance!


Casapark - Private parking

Voitures garées à Paris © Casapark

Casapark offre la possibilité aux visiteurs circulant en voiture de garer leur véhicule chez un particulier ou sur des emplacements privés. L’offre couvre Paris et la France entière. Les tarifs sont très attractifs. La réservation s’effectue sur le site internet de Casapark en toute simplicité.
Casapark offers visitors travelling by car the opportunity to park their vehicle with a private individual or in private parking spaces. The service covers Paris and the whole of France. Rates are very attractive. Reservations can be made easily via the [Casapark website] Casapark.


Yespark - Easy car park rental

Cars parked in Paris © Yespark

Yespark is a solution that makes it quick and easy to reserve an underground parking space at an attractive price for all types of vehicle (cars, bikes, motorbikes). Available in Paris and throughout France, by the hour or for longer periods, this service is without obligation and available 7 days a week thanks to the Yespark application. For electric cars, Yespark ReCharge offers places with recharging stations. A range of high-end parking spaces for classic or sports cars is also available.


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