Make sense of: learning to drive in France

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 is what you need to know, whether you have driven before but your foreign licence has run out, or you are learning to drive for the first time.

 

Do I need to pass a French test?

If you are an expat with a valid EU licence, you do not need to, though you are entitled to change your licence to a French one if you wish (via your prefecture).

If your licence is not EU you have only one year in which to make the exchange – if you leave it longer you will have to take a French test. If it is not in French you may also need to have it translated by a sworn translator.

A French car driving licence is called 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, ...

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