One such demonstration was held in Givors, near Lyon, but some participants were keen to stress the movement is not just about prices at the pumps.
The Hi-Vis jackets worn by France's petrol price rise protesters have been moe or less visible on day one of their promised blockade of 1500 locations.
They included Givors, a pinch point between the Rhone valley and the Massif Centrale near Lyon. Traffic was not being stopped, just slowed.
"Everyone says that it 's the fuel rise, but that's just the straw that broke the camel's back," said one woman.
"It is gas, electricity, and rising social charges for retirees," said one man focusing on the general cost of living.
The rises in petrol and diesel are not vast in themselves, but there's a feeling its a dishonest clawback, making up the difference after local taxes were eased this year. It is also the sort of tax, say critics, that hits the poor and rurally isolated the hardest. Others say fuel taxes should be even higher to pay for petrol's replacement.
"Ecologically speaking we should start from the beginning. What is being proposed to deal with the age of after oil? That doesn't seem to exist in official thinking," said one woman.
The government was prepared for this protest. In every targeted location massive public safety and police resources were deployed , keeping a low profile, but ready to intervene.
"Fears for public order have led to the interior minister putting 2500 more police officers on duty, while the protest movement promises not to stop after today," reports euronews' Michele Carlino.