Fontaine à Chambéry

Fontaine à Chambéry

Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Drivers License? No Problem!

Yesterday Robin and I went downtown. The weather here has improved significantly from last week (wind, rain, and temperatures in the 50's--yuck) so we took advantage of the sun, walked around, and got smoothies. After we parked the car, I noticed an adorable little blue car nearby. "Oh, it's so cute!" I told Robin. "No it's not! You don't need a driver's license to drive that kind of car. It's too small for my taste."

Well, I was shocked. You can drive a tiny car like that without a driver's license? Strange! Apparently in France obtaining a driver's license is a difficult process. Only upon turning 18 does one have the possibility of taking the driver's license exam, but it is very difficult to pass and very expensive to have a car here. Because public transportation, walking, or riding a bicycle is cheap (or free) and accessible, many people choose those alternatives rather than owning a vehicle. For those individuals who don't have a driver's license for whatever reason, but still want a car, they can purchase one like in the picture. The motor in cars such as this one is so small that the driver can't achieve high speeds--usually only about 45 kilometers per hour maximum. I think cars like this are really cute!

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