Do I need a GB sticker in Europe? Yes you do.
When you are driving in France and the rest of mainland Europe for that matter you need to display a GB Plate on the rear of your vehicle and anything that you are towing such as a boat, caravan etc.
The GB Plate we sell on this page is the magnetic version. Some modern cars have number plates with the GB letters inside the EU flag so that should be OK 99% of the time. If you want to buy a number plate style GB Sticker to add to your number plate see here.
Though it can be argued that those number plate ones are not actually the required GB sticker size as they are too small according to the small print of the French driving regulations.
Why a GB Plate?
It's not just for France, it's an International road requirement that all vehicles driving through a different country from its country of origin has a national plate clearly displayed to show which country it is from.
It is important that police and border security can quickly spot "foreign" cars and for that reason if you are found without one on your car you will almost certainly be issued with an on-the-spot fine. (See all other compulsory items and fine amounts on our checklist page here)
Apart from the security considerations the GB plate helps French drivers identify the fact that you are a visitor and therefore may drive differently to what they are used to. In other words you might surprise them by driving properly when they were not expecting it!
You will notice that when approaching a toll booth in France the French drivers will not follow you but go in another lane as they won't expect you to have an automatic payment system for the tolls and suspect you will take time messing around trying to pay. (See about Toll Roads and Automatic Toll Payment tags here)
Why a Drive France GB Plate?
The magnetic plates sold here have several advantages over the sticker type GB one. Firstly they can be taken off after your trip and they will not leaves any glue residue behind and you will not spoil your cars paintwork.
Unlike stick on ones after they have been removed they can then be re-applied and re-used multiple times. So even if you change your car you should never need to but another one.
The ones we recommend here have been road tested up to 130 mph so we know they will not blow off at high speeds. For details of GB sticker motorcycle rules see here.
Fitting Instructions GB Plate
Prior to placing the GB plate on always make sure that the area of the vehicle in question and GB Plate are spotlessly clean and also that it is dry.
If you can avoid placing the GB plate on very curved body panels and always make sure the edges of the plate in full contact with the bodywork. If the curves of the car (or van) are sharp you can crease the GB Plate it will not break and it should still stick very well.
If your car has been re-sprayed this can cause problems as solvent in many spray paints might cause the plate to "stick" firmly to the car meaning it is actually very difficult to remove it without damaging the paintwork.
Refrain from using on areas of the car that have been repaired using body filler as it won't be magnetic enough to stay on firmly.
Remove the GB plate before using a drive through car wash.
It is always best to take the plate off the vehicle when you return home from France because if you leave it on for long periods of time your paintwork will not be evenly matched when you finally remove it.
The best thing to do when you get home is keep it flat, preferably stored on a sheet of metal (mine is on my fridge when I'm not in France), this stops it from picking up tiny particles of ferrous dust. This way you can use it repeatedly for future trips.
If you are planning on leaving it on your car for a long time, I strongly suggest that you remove the GB plate once a week, clean it, dry it and reposition it. Ideally you should put it in a slightly different place each time to prevent uneven weathering of the paintwork.