France updates and modernises its infamous highway code test

france highway code

The French government has revamped the national highway code test to make it “more understandable”. Here’s what has changed.  

A complete overhaul of the French highway code test, the compilation exam of rules, regulations and guidelines that every road user must follow in order to drive safely and lawfully, came into effect as of 1st September.  

The test, which has 1,037 possible questions, has been simplified to avoid potential confusion and the vast bank of images previously used has been updated to “make them more realistic”. This has required to replacing of computer-generated shots with ones captured by drones.  


Language simplification specialists and industry professionals were brought in to create this new version, which places renewed focus on rights to roadways.  

This exam now asks test-takers to analyse situations from the point of view of other road users, such as cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and people on electric scooters, for example. The idea is to remind drivers that others have rights on the road too.  

Another feature new to the test allows people taking the exam to better understand what is being asked of them. When an image includes several vehicles, for example, those concerned are clarified within the question by circling the visual or image in yellow.  

What’s gone are the tricky questions that had a multiple choice of answers, but failed to adequately specify this nature. Now the question states whether a single choice or several are expected.  

To pass the highway code test, an applicant must pass 35 out of 40 questions. 

Following a 2016 reform, the success rate for the highway code exam decreased, going from approximately 71.5% in 2015 to 56.6% in 2022, according to official road safety data. 

For more information, please click here.  


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Photo source: Sécurité Routière