Take advantage of the summer holidays to finally get your license. A strategy as old as Herod, but which is still operated by some French people. Especially those who live in large cities where driving is considered difficult and where obtaining a slot to pass the license is a real obstacle course. “The waiting period is currently four months on average,” observes Bruno Garancher, president of ECF.
Hence the idea of mixing business with pleasure during the holidays. By enrolling in a driving school at their resort to complete all or part of the training and take the exam. Or by going through an intermediary who offers them an all-inclusive stay: transport, accommodation, hours of driving and taking the exam. Because some platforms have established partnerships with driving schools in cities where it is easier to get a slot for the exam. They thus offer stays of 2 to 7 days, depending on the training needs of the candidate.
Register in a driving school without intermediary
Those who choose to enroll without an intermediary, in a driving school in their vacation spot “are generally young people who stay in a family home”, observes Sandra Carasco, President of the National Union of Independent Drivers (Unic). In her driving school in Sanguinet (Landes), she sees them arriving every summer. But she is sometimes forced to shower their hopes: “This summer, I had 20 requests from city dwellers who wanted to take a few hours of driving and have an exam date. But I was only able to take four, because I already had a lot of students registered and a little less trainers, some having gone on vacation,” she says.
An opinion shared by Bruno Garancher: “The exam slots are not necessarily much more numerous in the provinces than in the big cities. ” According to him, to avoid disappointments, you have to anticipate: “A candidate must inquire two and a half months before coming on vacation and obtain a firm date for the exam from the driving school. On the financial side, the bet is rather winning: “The price per hour of driving is around 20 euros cheaper than in a big city”, underlines Sandra Carasco.
Go through an intermediary with an all-inclusive formula
But some prefer to go through an intermediary who will organize a tailor-made program for them and ensure that they pass the exam as soon as possible. This is what the company Merci Léon offers: “We have established partnerships with around a hundred driving schools in France. Candidates who contact us take 6 to 20 hours of driving before being presented for the exam. They stay there from two days to a week,” explains Eric Maillard, CEO of the company.
According to him, the training is optimized: “because in the provinces, traffic being less dense, the student will drive much more than in a big city where he will spend more time stationary in traffic jams”. A formula that has a cost since it takes 999 euros for a package of 6 hours of driving, presentation for the exam, transport and accommodation. To which must also be added the catering costs.
“Examiners are often more demanding”
If some city dwellers try the adventure of the license outside their region of origin, it is also because they think that it will be easier to obtain it. Because the percentages of success differ from one region to another. According to figures from Road Safety, in 2021, the success rate for the B license was 74.8% in Vendée against 46.2% in Val-de-Marne.
But Bruno Garancher puts these figures into perspective: “Students who come from large cities often think that it will be easier to obtain the permit in a smaller town, because there is less traffic. But this is not necessarily true because examiners are often more demanding. “And for those who come with a gun, the risk of failure is not small, according to Sandra Carasco:” Driving on a country road when you’re not used to it, it’s not easy. You have to know how to overtake a tractor, drive in very narrow streets in the villages, respect the very many stops…” So for those who will try to win the precious sesame outside their country, it is better not to believe in the miracle and redouble your efforts. Pay attention during lessons.