How much does it cost to get a driving licence in France…. from scratch?

How much does it cost to get a driving licence in France.... from scratch?
Photo: AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron is looking to dramatically decrease the cost of getting a driving licence in France. But how much do you have to fork out at the moment?
The French president wants to lower the cost of getting your hands on a French driving licence, with a report set to be made public this week which lays out concrete proposals to make his aim a reality. 
But how much does it cost to get a driving licence from scratch — including lessons — in France right now?
According to a study by French consumer watchdog UFC-Que-Choisir there is a large disparity in the amount people pay to get their driving licenses depending on where you are in the country, as well as on how quickly the final driving test is passed and, of course, on which driving school you use. 
However the reports also says the average price across the whole country is €1,804. 

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Photo: AFP

A total of 30 percent of French people spend between €1,200 and €1,500 while 6 percent pay more than €2,000.

The bulk of the expense is taken up by driving lessons, which cost an average of €1,000 and account for over 60 percent of the total cost. 
Prices varied between €900 and €1,300 for the obligatory 20 hours of driving practice, depending on department and driving school. 
On top of that there is an average of €42.80 spent on extra driving practice, with 17 percent of French people doing additional hours before taking their test. 
However in some places, such as Paris for example, an additional hour can cost as much as €65. 
There is also the additional cost of taking the theory test although this is far from the most costly part of getting a driving licence. 
The price varies between €20 euros to learn the theory online and €150 – €300 for group classes with a trainer and whatever training you choose, you must then add €30 on top for taking the exam. 
The news that getting a driving licence could become cheaper in France — at least if the president gets his way — has not been welcomed by everyone, however. 
Driving schools in Paris, Bordeaux, Nice and Marseille have taken to the roads to voice their opposition, saying that the new proposals (which have not yet been made public), would mean an “Uberisation of their profession”.

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  1. Uberisation? Oh please. When the costs are so exorbitant as those listed, no wonder consumers are looking for cheaper options. Driving schools have had the market stitched up for years – I still remember this article from the NYTimes about the experience of some young entrepreneurs who wanted to shake the industry up a few years ago. I’ll gladly wait a while longer before converting my licence rather than paying such a price, and tacitly supporting such ludicrous business practice.

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