French Language Blog

En Voiture Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Vocabulary

Summer can mean lots of wonderful things, including spending time at the beach, barbecuing with friends and family, and trips to new and exciting locales. This means traveling, which means…you might be spending a lot more time in your car.

In French, the word for car is voiture. The word voiture is feminine, so it is la voiture. The verb “to drive” in French is conduire. Conduire can also mean “to conduct or lead” in addition its main definition. Conduire is also an irregular verb. Here is the conjugation of conduire in the present tense:

je conduis

tu condius

il/elle/on conduit

nous conduisons

vous conduisez

ils/elles conduisent

But there are many others words that you just might need to use when you’re driving a car. In fact, if you happen to be driving a car in a French-speaking country, learning vocabulary related to cars and driving might be important for safety reasons. Here are some words that might be useful to you:

La ceinture de sécurité

Le klaxon

Le volant   the steering wheel

Le tableau de bord   the dashboard

Le clignotant    the turn signal/indicator

Le phare    the headlight

Le rétroviseur   the rearview mirror

Le frein    the brake

Le capot    the hood

Le coffre    the trunk

Le pneu    the tire

Le pare-brise    the windshield

L’essuie glace (m)    the windshield wiper

Le permis de conduire    driver’s license

La plaque d’immatriculation    license plate

Démarrer    To start (the ignition)

There are also certain phrases that might be useful if you fall into any problems while driving in France. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use some of the following phrases!

L’autoroute est payante.  The highway charges tolls.

Je suis en panne d’essence.   I ran out of gas.

Il faut que je fasse le plein.    I need to fill up the tank.

J’ai un pneu crevé.   I have a flat tire.

C’est un feu vert/rouge.   It’s a green/red light.

Il faut gonfler les pneus.  The tires need to be inflated.

Il y a un problème de freins.   There’s a problem with the brakes.

Le pare-brise est cassé.   The windshield is broken.

Ma voiture est en panne.   My car broke down.


If you are traveling this summer, amusez-vous bien et bon voyage!

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About the Author: Elizabeth Schmermund

Bonjour tout le monde! I'm a freelance writer, doctoral student, mom, and Francophile. I'm excited to share some of my experiences living in France, as well as the cultural nuances that I've learned being married to a Frenchman, with all of you. To find out more about me, feel free to check out my website at A la prochaine!


  1. marcia yanshak:

    Add le covoiturage (carpooling) to your list.