Beach parking rates soar at tourist hotspots across France

The cost of a simple trip to the beach is rising fast in some of France's tourist hotspots, with holidaymakers having to dig deeper to cover the cost of parking.

Beach parking rates soar at tourist hotspots across France
Photo: AFP

Tourists in many coastal parts of France are having to cough up higher amounts than ever for parking penalties and leaving their cars parked on public roads for extended periods of time. 

The price hike has become much more obvious this summer, the first long-term holiday period since deregulation by France’s central government put the parking power in municipal hands on January 1st 2018.

Town halls now have the right to decide how much they charge drivers for parking on public space, so many of the 400 municipalities involved have increased their rates, extended the payment times and introduced stiffer penalties for unpaid parking tickets.

According to French daily Les Echos, the first hour of parking remains roughly the same at €1 across most of l’Héxagone, but the price soars quickly the longer they stay.

As the reform does prevent town halls from setting the price of fines (the post-parking or non-payment fee, FPS as it is called in France) in excess of the cost of a full day's parking rate, they have instead extended payment periods and bumped up rates for long-term parking.

In the seaside Côte d'Azur town of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the parking price has almost quadrupled from €6 to €23 for the day.

Upmarket neighbour Saint-Tropez now charges drivers €30 to park on a street close to the beach and in Brittany in the northwest of France, authorities in the coastal town of Concarneau have set the daily amount at €35.


Saint Tropez. Photo: Krzysztof Belczyński/Flickr

But whereas some coastal municipalities are seeing deregulation and an increase in tourist numbers as a chance to fill public coffers, other smaller tourist spots are more apprehensive about dissuading visitors with sky-high rates.

The seaside town of Sainte-Maxime on the French Riviera for example has decided to make its beachside public car park completely free of charge to visitors.

Authorities in France's biggest cities have however taken to putting up parking rates, much the same as town halls in some of the country's most popular coastal spots.

In Paris the rate for not displaying a parking ticket is now €50 and in Lyon it's as high as €60.

FIND OUT MORE: Parking fines to skyrocket in Paris and other cities in France 


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Van driver in Paris ends up parked on steps of Metro station

For the second time in just a few days a driver in France has seen their vehicle end up in the entrance to a Metro station. This time it was in Paris.

Van driver in Paris ends up parked on steps of Metro station
Photo: chichi31/Twitter
Parisian drivers, especially those in vans have a tendency to park anywhere they want, much to the annoyance of pedestrians and local residents.
But on Wednesday one van driver took this to another level by leaving his vehicle on the steps of an entrance to a Paris Metro station. Albeit accidentally.
Two people suffered minor injuries in the incident which took place at around 1pm at Metro Corentin Cariou in the 19th arrondissement (see map below), according to French media reports.
It appears the driver may lost control of the vehicle, according to France info, although Le Parisien reported that the van had been parked on the pavement without the handbrake on, before it rolled forward and down the steps.
“It was not a malevolent act,” said the police. 
Map: Google maps
Naturally photos quickly appeared on social media. 

While these kinds of incidents are fairly common, this is already the second of its kind to occur in just a few days. 

French driver confuses entrance to car park with Metro station... and gets a shock
And it's not the first time a driver has got a shock after finding themselves heading down towards the Paris Metro.

In 2014 The Local reported how motorist accidentally drove into a Metro station entrance on the Champs Elysées in Paris of all places.

The driver zipped off the busy Avenue Champs Elysees and drove onto the pavement towards what he believed was a car park, but it was only after making it down several stairs that he realized his mistake.

Driver takes wrong turn into Paris Metro station