Lose Your Driver's License in France? No Problem: Here’s a Car You Can Drive Without One

Losing your driver’s license in the United States is a big deal. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient, and it’s a serious matter. If you happen to live in France and lose your license, no problem. You can simply go shopping for a VSP — a small two-seater car that anyone over the age of 14 can drive without a license in as little as four hours experience behind the wheel. It’s impossible to say how many VSP drivers there are, since no official figures exist. It’s what the French call a chiffre noir — an unknown quantity. It’s likely you’ll hear a VSP before you see it because they sound like a high-pitched sewing machine being run at full throttle, even though the top speed is only 28mph. Because it’s impossible to survive in France without wheels, little old ladies can be seen every Thursday, nervously trundling into town at a snail’s pace to visit the farmers market. Although the price new runs in the neighborhood of $14,000, most of the French who have to drive the tiny cars after losing their license often find used models for much less.