Rise of no-licence car you can drive in France at 14

Why an increasing number of people are driving voitures sans permis

An increasing number of people in France, particularly teenagers, are driving voitures sans permis – little cars that can be driven without a licence from the age of 14.

To drive one, you only need an “AM licence”, which requires eight hours of training – as for a scooter. This includes a theory test which can be taken at school, aged 14, plus a few hours in a driving school.

No training is needed for anyone born before 1988.

The cars can be driven by anyone banned from normal cars for motoring offences, including drink-driving, after extra training. Several firms have launched models, including Renault with its Twizy, but the European leader is Aixam, followed by Ligier – both French. Prices are €7,000 and €20,000.

Aixam spokeswoman Alison Whitaker said: “Ten years ago, two-thirds of customers were elderly people living in the countryside.

“We now have working people and especially young people who are an emerging clientele.”

Young people represent most customers on the Riviera around Cannes, Nice and Saint-Tropez, she said. “Not everyone takes a test but there comes a time when ...

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