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What are your thoughts on the voiture sans permis?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Duke of York, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter


    An interesting article about small cars that can be driven in France without a licence from the age of 14.

    Is this something we might wish to have over here, or would we regard it as a completely bonkers idea?
  2. The_Admirable_Loobucket

    The_Admirable_Loobucket Occasional commenter

    Have you seen some of the idiots on our roads with licences and older?
  3. viceroy

    viceroy Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't be seen dead in one. My guess is that in a crash - you would be.
  4. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    I've driven them (though with a license) and whilst they could be regarded as a sensible alternative to the moped I'm not at all sure that I agree with no licence at all
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Years ago, in the late 1960s, it was possible for those aged 16 years in the UK to drive a 3 wheeled Reliant Robin or similar without a car driving licence. They fell into a category that covered 2 wheeled transport as well.
    My husband had a friend whose older brother was driving one from age 16 and taking two younger siblings with him to school. A year later he passed his driving test and was driving them in a Mini.
    A friend from university in the early 70s was from a large family (7 children) and his father drove a reliant robin. Until the eldest was about 14 he fitted the entire family in it for church, using the boot space. He couldn't afford driving lessons or a bigger car
  6. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I see VSPs from time to time when driving in France, usually whining along minor roads and driven by very doddery senior citizens. Somehow I can't imagine them catching on with the younger generation - they're not exactly cool.

    In Italy however you can ride a scooter from age 14 and some city streets are mad around rush hour.

    Licences get my vote every time.
    grumpydogwoman and Lascarina like this.
  8. viceroy

    viceroy Occasional commenter

    Crazy idea. Imagine those things in a busy town with junctions and connecting major roads.
  9. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    They wouldn't be travelling much slower than the rest of the cars there
  10. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I understand that to have been the case in France for a long time too. From the article:

    "Since last November, children as young as 14 can drive VSPs. They're deemed to be safer than a scooter and it's a way out of the cliche of "Mum's Taxi" service."

    A lot easier to see coming and less able to wheedle their way through traffic.

    It's interesting that the French don't seem to bothered about allowing banned drivers riding around in them, or pensioners whose health would prevent them from holding a licence.
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    When l'm in France l get told that most of these cars are actually bought & used by adults, not teenagers, who have lost their licence - often for drunk driving.

    Not the sort of driver we want to encourage!
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Oh dear. Seems the 'voiture sans permis' could actually be a 'voiture avec pe*is'.
  13. notabene

    notabene Occasional commenter

    They are lawnmowers.

    How dangerous can they be?
  14. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Has Top Gear ever featured them in an episode?
  15. notabene

    notabene Occasional commenter

    No but they did reliant robins and a car that was even smaller.

  16. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Not in France - they look like small 'real' cars.
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Until the early 70s, you could ride a motorbike at 16. Once you had passed your test, you could then drive a three-wheeled car, like a Reliant. Alternatively, you drive one of these...


    ...The Bond Bug, which was a sort of three-wheeled answer to an MG Midget. At the time, someone described them as being like 'pieces of demented Red Leicester, haring up the M1'.
  18. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    And in the UK I might add.
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Tricky. When I'm not up to driving a proper car then I'd be sorely tempted.

    BUT if I don't deserve to have a driving licence then I probably shouldn't be on the road on anything other than a pushbike?
  20. Kriechbaum

    Kriechbaum New commenter

    In France causing someone to lose their licence, job, home, family is seen as disproportionate punishment for driving offences.

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