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identifying car hire cars in France ...

When you rented a car in France from any of the major car companies like Europcar, National Citier and Avis you will have found that the département number that formed part of the registration was Oise 60 in the Picardie (Picardy in English) region in north east France.

This meant that there were often thousands of "60" registered vehicles all over the country. Up until 2009 each département had it's own number as part of the vehicle's registration.

If you purchased a vehicle in one département and moved to another one you had to register the vehicle in the département that you lived in and the bureaucratic process was very complicated and could be expensive.

From the 15th April 2009 the département number would longer be on the French registration plate. They are made up of two letters, three numbers and two letters these are separated by hyphens(e.g. AB-354-FG) and will be allocated to a vehicle for life like in many other countries. If the owner moves from département to département or the car is sold the number plate stays with the vehicle.

The new plates do not contain any element that identifies where the car owner lives. The Government claimed that this would facilitate police dealing with stolen or suspect vehicles. There was opposition from the suppression of department numbers (75,62,48,06 etc) on the registration plates and there was a Government climbdown.

So on the right hand side of the registration plate there is a space for the regional identity and number.You can then therefore still identify a rental car from the distinctive 60 Picardie sign.

If you are looking for a car to rent in France, Corsica or Monaco (or worldwide) take a look at holiday autos or Economy Car Hire

(May 2010 ©jmlpropertyservices)

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See also

Driving in Europe

New Driving Laws in France -July 2012

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Useful tips for a great car hire experience

Warning from Car hire Rental companies

Warning Triangles - Reflective Vests

Where have all the car hire rentals gone? - August 2009

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