Of course, this is the topic we'll be talking about at Ohlala French Coffee, so if you'd like to join us and practice your French on this topic, the link is in the description.

How to drive in France ?

In France, we have what is called the driving theory test (le code de la route) which is the set of laws and rules concerning driving. 

To get a driver's license in France, we have to validate this driving theory test through a test to which we must have 35 correct answers out of 40.

Once we pass this code, we will take a practical driving test that lasts 30 minutes. During this exam, we are with an examiner who will validate if we are fit to obtain the driving license.

In France, we drive on the right and the steering wheel is on the left.

It is compulsory to wear a seatbelt for all passengers.

For motorcyclists, wearing a helmet is mandatory.

It is also forbidden to make phone calls while driving unless you use a hands-free kit.

There are two types of vehicles: light vehicles, i.e. vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tons (such as cars) and heavy vehicles, i.e. vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tons (such as trucks).

In France, the speed limit for light vehicles is :

  • 50 km/h in town
  • 90 km/h (80 in some places) outside the city
  • 130 km/h on the highway (110 km/h if it rains)

In France, one can drive on communal roads, departmental roads, national roads, roads with restricted access, European roads and on freeways. Freeways in France have tolls so that drivers can pay for their journey.

If you don't respect one of these regulations in France, you commit an infraction, and you can be fined.


How do the French really drive?

I would like to warn you directly, what I am about to say is based on studies, which means that we should not generalize, it is a trend.

The French are not very disciplined and sometimes do not respect the traffic rules.

91% of the French exceed the speed limit by a few kilometers/hour.

72% of French people do not respect the safety distance between their car and the one in front.

57% of the French do not put on or forget to put on their turn signal when they overtake another car or when they change direction.

27% of French people consult their phone while driving to read a text message or an email.

The French also admit to completely changing their behavior when they are behind the wheel, ⅕ admit it and I am one of them.

70% admit to insulting other drivers while driving (I just did an article on the 10 insults the French say while driving)

56% honk at other drivers when they are angry, although honking for this reason is totally forbidden.

34% of the French drivers stick to the car in front of them on purpose if the driver's behavior has irritated them.

And 87% of French people admit that they have already been afraid of another driver's aggressive behavior.


Driving and car vocabulary in French:

Driving and car vocabulary in French

  • The roof
  • The trunk
  • The wheel
  • The door
  • The blinker
  • The bumper
  • The headlight
  • The hood
  • The windshield


Driving and car vocabulary in French 

  • The dashboard
  • The steering wheel
  • The rearview mirror
  • The gearshift
  • The pedals
  • The horn
  • The seat 
  • The seat belt


Driving and car vocabulary in French


  • A driver
  • A motorist
  • A motorcyclist
  • A cyclist
  • A pedestrian
  • A truck driver
  • A passenger


Driving and car vocabulary in French


  • Drive
  • Start
  • Brake
  • Back up
  • Moving forward
  • Park
  • Accelerate
  • Overtake


Driving and car vocabulary in French

  • Breakdown
  • Flat tire
  • An accident
  • Traffic jams
  • Traffic jams
  • Black ice
  • Running out of gas


Your turn: How do people in your country drive? Write it in the comments!

I'll see you soon for new adventures, in French of course! 🇫🇷