Automotive. When the license-free car becomes stylish

Ligier, car manufacturer of unlicensed cars

We thought it was a bit old-fashioned, but the license-free car has been a roaring success since the 2020s. Redesigned, stylized, the wagon breaks the codes of the small country car and attracts more and more followers, of all profiles and all ages.

With 7,000 additional sales made in 2021 compared to 2020, the market for license-free cars is booming. Among these sales, 27% among them concerns Citroën AMI, which has found its followers, especially among the youngest drivers. The number of registrations has been steadily increasing in recent years, suggesting a new record in 2022.

Why such a craze for the car without a driving license?

The license-free car will be cool and trendy

The astonishing new fad that makes the car without a license trendy among teenagers can be explained quite logically. Easy to drive, without gearbox and on 4 wheels, it without P’ allows teenagers to travel independently to their school, their sporting or cultural activity, to find friends and to carry a passenger next to them. All without worrying about the weather!

In order to attract this generation, the emblematic manufacturers of unlicensed cars such as Aixam, Chatenet, Ligier as well as certain car manufacturers such as Renault or Citroën have understood this well. They now offer license-free models with a redesigned look, more attractive and sporty. Enough to compete with scooters and other motorized two-wheelers in this age group.

They also appeal to parents who see this means of transport as a guarantee of increased safety compared to a motorized two-wheeler.

Another benefit mentioned, it allows you to learn about driving, the highway code and its applications before moving on to the B license stage.

License-free cars attract young people, but not only…

If the car without a driving license appeals to the youngest, more and more adults choose the car without a driving license.

Adults without a driver’s license

Not everyone has a license and the reasons can be many and varied. Some people simply don’t have the permission because they haven’t needed it before. When you can get around in other ways, especially in the city center, getting your license isn’t always easy.

Exam stress

Passing the license requires time, investment and a good deal of concentration. Stopped in traffic or in front of a censor, people can lose the funds and fail to get a driving license B. Driving a car without a driving license is simplified, with automatic transmission, and the learning curve is shorter.

License suspension

After a license suspension or revocation, the license-free car can allow drivers to keep an individual means of transportation to get to work or travel for personal needs.

Technically speaking, a motorist who has just lost his or her license can continue to drive without a license as long as the traffic offense does not lead to a legal driving ban.

A question of cost

The fact of moving towards wagon proves to be more economical in several respects.

To drive a private car in France, it is necessary to pass the Highway Code exam as well as the B driving license without a driving license.

In addition, the cost of buying a car without a license remains lower on average than many cars that require a B license.

Finally, a vehicle of this type whose speed is limited makes it possible to consume less fuel or to drive electrically.

What brands are cars without a driving license?

Citroën AMI |  Credits: Citroën Communication - Damien Vignaux Contiart

Among the reference brands on the car market without a license in France, we can mention Aixam, Ligier, Bellier, Chatenet, Microcar or Casalini. Faced with this growing market, private vehicle manufacturers are also trying to impose themselves by offering their own vehicle without a license.

Renault with its Twizy 45 offers a vehicle that oscillates between the scooter and the two-seater car. Citroën with its AMI appeals largely to the younger generation for its trendier urban look and a more attractive entry price. Opel also wants to ride the trend with its Opel Rocks-e in a fully electric version, which is not yet available for sale in France.

What is the average price of a car without a license?

At entry level, there is the Citroën AMI from €7,390, the price of which can quickly rise with special finishes such as the Citroën My AMI Buggy, this summer’s little adventurer.

It takes on average from €10,000 for an entry level and can go beyond €20,000 depending on finish.

This price variation of an unlicensed car can be explained by various factors such as the make and model, the engine and power, the new or used nature or even the equipment on board and the finishes.

What are the differences between a 2-seater and a 4-seater car without a driving license?

What are the differences between a 2-seater and a 4-seater car without a driving license?

According to the traffic law, the 2-seater car without a driving license (driver and passenger) is considered a light quadricycle belonging to the L6 category. These small cars with automatic transmission can be driven from the age of 14.

If it is a 4-seater model with a rear seat, it is a heavy quadricycle belonging to the L7 category, the minimum age of the driver is 16 years.

At what maximum speed can you drive in a VSP?

For one car without driving license 2 seats, the maximum speed is limited by the manufacturer to 45 km/h with a maximum engine power of 5.4 HP (4kW). In the case of a 4 person carriagethe speed is higher and can go up to 80 km/h with a maximum engine power of 20.4 CV (15 kW).

A difference in vehicle weight

In the case of a 2 person carriage, the maximum empty weight corresponds to 425 kg. For one 4-seater license-free carthe empty weight is 450 kg for the transport of people and 600 kg for the transport of goods.

NOTE | that Total weight Tom Tom corresponds to the weight shown by the manufacturer when the vehicle leaves the factory. Not to be confused with Total weight allowed in tax (PTAC) which corresponds to the total weight limit that the vehicle must not exceed. That includes passengers, luggage and a full tank if it’s a petrol-powered car. The mention of PTAC is indicated on gray card of the vehicle (section F.1).

What does it take to drive a car without a driver’s license?

Car without driving license and AM driving licence

Driving without a license does not mean driving without prerequisites or lacking certain certificates!

Do you need the code to drive without a license?

In order to drive a car without a 2-person driving license at a maximum speed of 45 km/h, the Road Traffic Act and B driving license are not mandatory.

But what test do you need to drive a Sans p’?

If the driver’s license is not necessary to drive a 2-seater carriage, the B1 license becomes mandatory when a 4-person VSP.

In the case of a 2-person VSPthe driver must be in possession of a diploma that gives permission to drive a car without a driving license or a 50 cm3 type of moped, scooter, etc.

  • If the driver was born before January 1, 1988, he must keep it BSR (Road Safety Certificate) light quadricycle option.
  • If the driver was born on or after January 1, 1988, he must hold it AM license (bicycle license and light motorized quadricycle)

How to get the AM license?

This compulsory 8-hour training takes place in a driving school with 2 hours of theory on traffic laws, rules and awareness of risky driving, followed by 6 hours of practice. The prices of driving schools generally vary between €200 and €300.
The prerequisites for registration at a driving school are:

  • the minimum age of 14 years;
  • ASSR1 or ASSR2 (Level 1 and 2 Road Safety School Certificate), taken at secondary school;
  • parental permission for minors.

Where can you drive a car without a driving licence?

C107 and C108 panels in the Highway Code

Please note that VSPs, like mopeds, cannot be driven on all roadways!

Given their speed limit, they are not allowed in France on high-speed roads such as motorways, ring roads and other highways.

These restricted traffic areas are indicated by a blue square sign with a white outline and a white car in the center (sign C107). The end of this restricted area is indicated by a similar sign with the vehicle represented crossed out in red (sign C108).

Can you lose your driver’s license on board a car… without a driver’s license?

Can you lose your driver's license on board a car... without a driver's license?

A driver who has a B driving license and who commits an infringement of the traffic law on board a car without a driving license cannot have points deducted from his B driving licence. In return, this sanctioned VSP driver must pay the fine collected. In the case of a serious offence, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, a judge can order a license suspension.

According to the circular INTD0400031C of 11 March 2004 presented by the Ministry of the Interior:

Points can only be deducted for offenses committed with a vehicle for which a driving license is required.[…] A traffic law violation committed on a bicycle, with a cart or at the wheel of an agricultural tractor that is sanctioned as such does not lead to the withdrawal of points.

Do I have to register my car without a driving licence?

Registering your car without a driver's license

If the permit is not necessary, it is mandatory to have one gray card of the vehicle. The mention of the vehicle type is then specified in section J.1 with QM for motor-quadricycle instead of VP for a car with a driving license (Private vehicle). This therefore means having the number plate on your car without a driving license to be able to drive on the roads.

Whether it is an unlicensed car, used or new, the steps to register a vehicle are the same as for any motorized vehicle. The size of the registration certificate depends on the owner’s region of residence.

Is the car without a driving license subject to a technical inspection?

The owner of a vehicle has no obligation to have it pass a technical inspection. On the other hand, getting your vehicle serviced and maintained is strongly advised because the driver remains responsible for his vehicle. It must actually comply with road safety rules.

Car insurance is also required for driving without a licence.

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