Reader question: Can you drive barefoot in France?
The quick answer is yes – as long as you have not left your shoes or sandals in the footwell of the vehicle where they might get under the pedals.
Article R412-6 of the Code de la route stipulates “that every driver must always be able and in position to easily, and without delay, carry out all the manoeuvres which might be required”.
Not wearing shoes does not affect your control of the vehicle – but having a shoe slide under the pedals when you are braking will do so, and police and gendarmes are quick to fine drivers where there is a chance of this happening.
Wearing flip-flops or open sandals while driving is also likely to get you fined, as law officers are convinced that the risk that they might slip means you might lose control of the vehicle.
Both are usually classified as Class 4 offences, meaning a fine of €135 (reduced to €90 if paid early, but €375 if paid late) and the loss of at least one point on your driving licence.