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French Driving Vocabulary

Useful vocabulary for driving in France

If you're going to drive in France, there's some special vocabulary you need to know. Also see phrases for renting a car.

French English Notes
un accélérateur gas pedal
à droite to the right
à gauche to the left
une auto car apocope of automobile
une autoroute highway
l'auto-stop (m) hitchhiking faire de l'auto-stop - to hitchhike
une bicyclette bicycle
la boîte manuelle stick shift  
un champignon accelerator informal
circuler to go, move in reference to cars and traffic
le clignotant turn signal
un conducteur driver false cognate of conductor
conduire to drive
doubler to pass
un embouteillage traffic jam
en panne broken-down être/tomber en panne - to break down
en route on the way French expressions in English
de l'essence (f) gas, petrol
essence ordinaire regular gas du super - premium gas
les essuie-glaces windshield wipers
une excursion trip excursionner - to go on walks, trips
faire le plein to fill it up (with gas/petrol)
le feu rouge stop light le feu vert - green light
les feux de route high beams
le feux de stop brake lights
les freins brakes
le gasoil, gazole diesel  
un permis de conduire driver's license  
une moto motorbike apocope of motocyclette
un pare-brise windshield
un péage toll une autoroute à péage - toll road
les phares headlights
rouler to drive
la rue street
une station-service gas station
stationner to park
tourner to turn
tout droit straight ahead
le transport transportation
traverser to cross
un vélo bike apocope of vélocipède (archaic)
une voiture car
le volant steering wheel


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