Thursday 27 September 2012

Alco-tests in your car in France

We have featured this subject back in early July with an update on the 26th July -  Another Update on Breathalyser Kits in France

Although it is now law to carry one of the testing kits in your car in France, it is proving very difficult to actually buy one there at the moment. The €11 fine does not come into force till this November, so hopefully pharmacies in France and other outlets might have found some stock by that time.

Earlier this month I started adding posts on the English language magazine Riviera Reporter's Forum as I had attempted to buy one of these in the south of France in July and was not alone in my failure to get one!

On the Forum I said "As someone who has a holiday home in France and also runs a car hire excess insurance advertising site I have been following this new bit of legislation quite closely from the visiting tourist's prospective. I also run a blog car hire excess insurance and have featured this a couple of times.

A few months ago a relative bought me one of these testers when they first came on the market. I rented a car from Nice Airport in July and although they had warning signs that this was the law, but they were not supplying them with the car hire. Possibly because there were none available. I went into a pharmacy in Valbonne and they were out of stock.

I discovered some in my local Halfords back in England at £5.99 each. Driving acroos to France later in August, I too discovered them on the car ferry at £5.99 each. They are meant to cost under €2 so at around the equivalent of €7 + each that is a nice little profit. They probably only cost a few cents to manufacture.

Found these on a P&O Car Ferry in August 2012
 Earlier this month I went into a large pharmacy in the centre of Cannes. Just like in Valbonne, nothing there. Nothing in the local Intermarche. I even checked Connad at Vengtamillia thinking that as so many people shop there, they might sell them to people crossing over into France.

Where are they meant to be sold or are they all being exported to England at high costs to the law abiding public going off to France? I  would also like to know what are people meant to be doing when they hire a car now"

Various other comments have been made on the Forum - The car hire firms will be scratching their heads. One more thing to provide (or sell) to the customer and one more thing to check when the car is returned. What happens if a customer uses the test? Does he then pay for it, replace it or what?

I got mine ages ago in Norauto, Nice Lingostiere. They have loads! Maybe you could try a Norauto near to where you live if Lingostiere is out of your way. Make sure they have the "NF" logo otherwise I believe they are invalid.

I tried the one in Sophia Antipolis (on the way to Vallauris) about 2 weeks ago and they didn't have any. Might be worth trying again, thanks for the tip.

I tried two pharmacies in Sophia today and both had no stock and no idea when they might get them.

You sound like my husband! We have tried everywhere around us and he even tried in Paris on a business trip. These things are impossible to find.

I may have been lucky but I walked into a pharmacy in Antibes last month and got 2 immediately

I'd too would like to know where you can buy these. I have been trying a couple of pharmaciers regularly and they don't even know when they're getting them in. It might have been a good initiative to supply them via the Police or the Mairie, but I guess that would be too simple to work in a country like France.   Earlier this week I emailed National Citer about whether customers will be provided with a test kit, have to supply one themselves or pay a deposit on the one they borrow from the car hire company. I received a reply saying their website will be updated in October to reflect the current situation. Interesting to see what it says?

We will add more information when we have it, in the meantime please let us have details of your experiences on this subject. 

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