France bans bikes and scooters weaving between lanes of traffic after ‘disappointing’ safety trial

It's a common sight on French roads, but motorbikes and scooters are now banned from passing between two lanes of traffic anywhere in France.

France bans bikes and scooters weaving between lanes of traffic after 'disappointing' safety trial
Passing between lanes is now illegal. Photo: AFP

Since 2016 France has been conducting a trial in certain cities with allowing motorised two-wheelers and three-wheelers to pass between two lanes of cars.

The trial, which happened in the greater Paris Île-de-France region plus the départements containing Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon, ended on January 31st 2021, with its results described as 'disappointing'.

QUIZ: How well do you know your French driving laws?

The trial was authorised on roads within the test areas that had at least two lanes and a central barrier and where the maximum speed was equal to or greater than 70km/h.

Contrary to what the French road safety authority had hoped, accidents increased by 12 percent on the roads where the trial was taking place.

The temporary exemption has therefore ended and the practice is now illegal across France – although quite likely to still be widely practised.

READ ALSO Driving in France – what are the offences that cause you penalty points 

Member comments

  1. No point in having a motorbike if one can’t drive down the centre of stationary traffic. That’s the point of having a bike to get from A to B quicker then a car.

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Which fuel providers in France sell the cheapest petrol and diesel?

As motorists are hit with rising petrol and diesel prices, it's important to know which providers are selling the cheapest fuel albeit much depends on where you might be driving.

Which fuel providers in France sell the cheapest petrol and diesel?

Fuel prices have been on the rise in France in recent months – so much so that President Emmanuel Macron announced a new fuel subsidy to help low-income drivers, which will come into force next year. 

The government has asked fuel distributors to Carrefour, Leclerc, Intermarché, Système U, Casino and Auchan to sell at a loss – something that so far has been categorically refused.

In response, President Macron indicated that the government would push distributors to sell petrol and diesel at “cost price”. It may be some time before a universal settlement covering all service stations, which would lower bills for motorists, can be reached.

READ ALSO Who could benefit from France’s planned new fuel subsidy?

But the price you can pay for fuel in France varies widely depending on which petrol station you have stopped at, in other words Total, BP or Intermarché and also where you are driving, whether on a motorway or in a town.

The following rankings are susceptible to evolve as service stations begin to roll out special offers, from September 9th onwards. 

Non-motorway service stations

If you are filling up your car at a non-motorway service station and are looking to cut costs, you are probably best off seeking out Leclerc and Système U, while avoiding the likes of BP, Avia and ENI. 


According to data collated by French news channel, BFMTV, the top three cheapest non-motorway service stations to buy diesel are as follows: Système U (€1.917 per litre), Leclerc (€1.918 per litre) and Auchun (€1.926 per litre).

The top three most expensive providers are BP (€2.09 per litre), Avia (€2.039) and ENI (€2.019 per litre). 

SP95-E10 (Unleaded petrol)

SP95-E10 is a commonly sold unleaded petrol blend, suitable for most cars manufactured after 2000. It contains around 90 percent regular unleaded petrol and 10 percent biofuel and is widely sold in France. 

According to the BFMTV data, the top three cheapest service stations to sell SP95-E10 are: Leclerc (€1.908 per litre), Système U (€1.912 per litre) and Intermarché (€1.92 per litre). 

The top three most expensive providers are: BP (€2.091 per litre), Avia (€2.45 per litre) and ENI (€2.04 per litre)

SP98 (Unleaded petrol)

SP98 has a higher octane content than SP95-E10 and is better suited for high-performance engines and some older cars, made before the era of unleaded petrol. It is still widely sold in France. 

The three cheapest service stations to sell SP98 are as follows: Leclerc (€1.988), Total (€1.989), Intermarché (€1.992).

The three most expensive service stations selling this fuel are: BP (€2.213), ENI (€2.141) and AVIA (€2.104).

Motorway service stations

If you want to fill up on the motorway, prices are slightly different – and generally more expensive. BP, once again, is the priciest provider across all fuel types. 


From lowest to highest, these are the average diesel prices currently offered by the main service station operators on French motorways: Total (€1.984), Esso (€2.023), Shell (€2.127), ENI (€2.152), BP (€2.248). 

SP95-E10 (Unleaded petrol)

The lowest to highest ranking of SP95-E10 providers operating on French motorways is as follows: Total (€1.983), Esso (€2.052), ENI (€2.154), Shell (€2.169), BP (€2.252). 

SP98 (Unleaded petrol)

For SP98, the lowest to highest ranking of motorway service station providers, based on price, is as follows: Total (€1.99), Esso (€2.154), ENI (€2.261), Shell (€2.284), BP (€2.236). 

Special offers

Starting from September 29th, Leclerc is set to start selling petrol at cost price across all 750 of its fuelling stations located next to its supermarkets. This would make it the cheapest provider on the market. Company President, Michel-Edouard Leclerc has said that this would be a daily offer, but declined to say how long it would last.

Other sellers have also made special offers to sell fuel at cost price including Intermarché (29th and 30th of September, 27th and 28th of October, 24th and 26th of November, and 15th and 16th of December) and Système U (7th and 8th of October). These providers however have not committed to selling at cost price on a daily basis, unlike Leclerc.