Make sense of... Learning to drive

driving instructor tells nervous student 'easy, tiger' as they pass speed indicator showing 14kph

There are several different ways to learn to drive in France - here we review them and look, in general, at how the French test works


I am new to France and can already drive but do I need to sit a French test?

No, if you have a valid EU licence, you can drive here without needing to sit a test.

However, you can also change your licence to a French one if you so wish (you do this via your prefecture). If your licence is a non EU one you have a year to make the exchange – if you leave it longer you may have to take a French test.

A French car driving licence is called a permis B; it also allows you to drive a scooter from 50-125cc if you take a one-day course.

If you have only driven automatics before (out of choice, not due to a medical obligation), and wish to drive a manual, you can  take a seven-hour course to be able to swap for a licence allowing this.


Who can take the test?

There are two ...

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