Six changes for drivers and road rules in France in 2024

We cover updates to speeding offences, insurance stickers and driving tests

People can now start learning to drive and pass their test from age 17
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The French driving rules have been updated with changes for younger drivers, insurance, points deductions, fines and speed limits. We also give a full breakdown of the speeding penalties that apply in 2024.

The changes come as part of a wider policy of “treating good drivers well and bad drivers harshly”, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

Younger drivers

People can now start learning to drive and pass their test from age 17. The previous driving age was 18.

Young people in professional training can also benefit from a €500 grant towards passing their licence.

Several road security groups have voiced their concerns about the measure, including the League against road violence (Ligue contre la violence routière).

“We are doing the opposite of what we should do if we want to cut the number of road deaths in half by 2030," said the group’s president Jean-Yves Lamant.

In 2022, drivers aged 18-24 represented 18% of road deaths, according to the government road safety watchdog ONISR.


The mandatory car insurance papers, which French vehicles have to display on their windscreen, will disappear from April 2024.

They are to be replaced by an electronic registry accessible to police.

People who did not display their insurance paper were previously subject to a fine, which will no longer be the case under the new system.

“This is a common sense measure that constitutes an important step in the simplification and modernisation of our insurance system,” announced Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire in December.

The professional federation of insurers, France Assureurs, welcomed the measure and told AFP that it would “contribute to the simplification of drivers’ lives”.

Read more: Car windscreen insurance stickers to disappear in France from April

Speed limits

Roads in residential areas without pavements are limited at 30km/h from January 1.

The speed limits for roads in such areas can only be higher if they have pavements with pedestrian guardrails and accessibility features for mobility impaired people.

Car sharing

Drivers without passengers now face fines of up to €135 if they are caught in a car sharing lane by a thermal camera on the M6 or M7 in Lyon.

The cameras were fitted in November, but infractions did not result in fines for the first two months.

The fines have already been applied in other areas, including on the A1 in Pas-de-Calais.

Read more: Lone drivers now face fines for using carshare lane on French motorway

Points deductions

Speeding offences of up to 5km/h over the limit no longer incur a points deduction.

Most drivers in France start with 12 points (young drivers start with 6) and when they reach 0 points, they are suspended.

These offences are still subject to a fine, which can rise to €135, depending on the road. This does have an effect on anyone living in France and driving on a foreign licence. We cover that in the article below.

Read more: End of points penalty for ‘small speeders’ in France: mixed reaction

Speeding fines

The big change for speeding offences is that drivers caught at 50km/h over the limit are more severely punished from January 1, 2024.

Such offences are now considered a judicial matter, and can incur:

  • A fine of €1,500
  • Deduction of 6 points
  • Three years suspension from driving
  • Ban from driving certain types of vehicle for up to three years;
  • Confiscation of the vehicle
  • Requiring the driver to do complete road safety training

Read more: Explainer: Speed cameras, fines and driving licence points in France

What are the penalties for speeding in France in 2024?

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