LIST: Obligatory equipment new cars must now have in France

A range of technology is now mandatory, but some critics have called it a ‘gimmick’ and said it will push up vehicle costs

New cars will come with a range of new technology tools designed to improve safety but critics have said they will push up costs

New cars in France must now have a range of high-tech equipment installed in order to comply with European regulations on road safety, including speeding alerts and tiredness detection.

Since July 7, new cars sold in France must contain safety tools encompassing more than 30 different technology systems, designed to improve safety and security on roads.

The rules come from the new European regulations, the GSR2 (General Safety Regulation 2). The aim is to achieve zero road deaths in the European Union by 2050, down from the 20,400 deaths recorded i the EU in 2023.

All models of car manufactured and sold in the EU must now comply.

The technology includes:

  • Intelligent speed regulation system

  • Automatic alerts if the car goes over a line on the road

  • Automatic reading of speed limit signs and other road signs

  • Automatic emergency braking

  • Lane departure warning, lane assistance, and correction

  • Cameras to stop drivers from falling asleep while driving or from being distracted

  • Voices or beeping to alert the driver to speeding or tiredness

  • Obstacle detection behind the car when reversing

  • Tyre pressure detection system

  • Black box on board

  • Equipment to enable the installation of a breathalyser test

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The regulation also requires more demanding crash testing on new cars, including the usual head-on collision, but also a crash from behind.

This is likely to lead to further changes on car structure, with extra reinforcements and heavier, stronger vehicles. Heavier vehicles are more likely to protect their passengers.

One driving expert, Pierre-Olivier Marie, deputy editor in chief at the car website, told BFMTV that vehicles were becoming more and more automatic when it comes to safety.

He said: “Cars are taking drivers’ hands more and more, and it’s true that the machine is still more reliable than human beings, so it will lead to improved safety on Europe’s roads.”

More than 90% of accidents on the roads are caused by human error, states the Observatoire National de la Sécurité Routière.

Many new cars already have most of these systems on board.

‘A bit of a gimmick’

However, Pierre Chasseray, head of French drivers’ association 40 millions d'automobilistes, told FranceInfo that “all of these [extra] tools make it more likely that the vehicle will break down”. “Modern vehicles, especially electric ones, break down more often than traditional ones,” he said.

"When you add electronics, you increase the cost, and the probability of breakdown,” he said, adding that “some of [the tools] are justified”, but “others are a bit of a gimmick”.

“Most are positive overall,” he said, but added that some, such as the black box, are not necessary. “It doesn’t even prevent accidents, nor does it explain them,” he said. “It only shows when you brake or accelerate.”

The new tools are expected to increase the cost of vehicles by €500 each on average. Already, the entry-level Dacia Sandero has increased by €500 (to €11,990), and the Peugeot 208 Puretech 75 now costs €19,550 (€350 more than a year ago).

One driver, who disagrees with the changes, told BFMTV: “I don’t think it does anything to add more monitors or cameras. You have to trust [drivers]...everyone should have confidence in themselves [when driving].”

But another driver said: “It’s good, I already have some of these systems in my car, which alert me when I’m tired, so it’s good overall.”

Read also: All new cars in France will soon ‘beep’ at you if you speed 

The end of the road for some

Some vehicles will not survive the switch to GSR2. This includes the Renault Zoe and Twingo, and the Suzuki Ignis, among many others.

Existing models - if they are to continue being made - will be required to make major changes to comply with the new regulations.

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Manufacturers say that all of the new electronic tools can be disconnected by the driver in the event that they do not work properly or are in an error state, and that they reset every time the car is restarted.

Do you think the new tools are a good idea? Will you use them or turn them off? Does your car already have some of them? Will the higher prices dissuade you from buying a new car? Let us know at