Jeff Burch has looked into the driver's training schools that seem to be so
common in this country. He's learned that you have to be at least 18
years old to have a driver's license here. It is possible, after special
training and exams, to get an "A" license at 16. The "A" means
"Accompanied by parent or guardian". If you get this license you have
special speed limits and you're required to keep a detailed log of every
minute behind the wheel. At 18, and if you qualify, you can apply to
take the regular driving tests -- both theory and practice. These
grueling exams are also very expensive -- some 800€
for lessons and preparation. You can of course try the test on you own,
but you have almost no chance of passing without the lessons. If you
fail you start from zero. Above, Jeff has drawn out a French driver's
license, with the graph of qualifications that testing has authorized --
scooter, motorcycle, automatic or standard transmission, camping trailer, etc.
If you're really, really good you can qualify to drive a Vendée-Mobile, but
that's for the real experts like our own Clément, Gérard, and Dominique.