French in France

Cars and Driving

A stop sign

A driver needs to be 18 or older to obtain a license in France; however, teenagers are allowed to drive with their parents after the age of 16. An international license is required for a foreigner to drive legally.

Many of the French prefer to walk or ride a bicycle when possible. Cars are generally used for going to work, picking up children, and so on. French drivers tend to be more than a little impatient. There can often be much honking of horns, words and gestures, and it is not uncommon for drivers to exceed the speed limit. Radar devices are used to monitor speed limits on the highway, and tickets can be quite expensive. In France, all cars have standard transmission.

Parking tends to be expensive. In large cities, there are underground parking lots and limited parking on the street. Parking is less of a problem in small cities. To pay a parking ticket, one must go to the tobacco store, buy fiscal stamps in the sum of the fine, then mail it to the police department.