Vocabulary related to parts of a car in French

Imagine its your first day at driving school. You must know the different parts of a car. If you don’t you’ll be confused, and not be able to learn properly. In this article, we take a look at different parts of a car and what they are called in French. 

1. phares 

Meaning: a large, powerful light at the front of a vehicle, usually one of two

English: headlights

Example: Comme il y avait du brouillard, toutes les voitures avaient leurs phares allumés. (As it was getting foggy, all the cars had their headlights on.)

2. compteur de vitesse

Meaning: a device in a vehicle that shows how fast the vehicle is moving

English: speedometer

Example: Elle avait peur quand le compteur de vitesse approchait de la marque 120. (She was scared when the speedometer was nearing the 120 mark.)

3. essuie-glace

Meaning: one of two long metal and rubber parts that move against a windshield to remove rain

English:  windshield wipers

Example: Elle a trouvé un lys niché sous l’essuie-glace de sa voiture un matin. (She found a lily tucked under the windshield wiper of her car one morning.)

4. coffre 

Meaning: a covered space at the back of a car, for storing things in

English: Trunk

Example: La police a trouvé des objets suspects dans le coffre de la voiture de Jack. (The police found some suspicious items from the trunk of Jack’s car.)

5. levier de vitesses

Meaning :a metal rod that you use to change gear in a car or other vehicle

English: Gear Lever

Example: Une fois que vous avez compris comment actionner un levier de vitesses, vous pouvez conduire en toute sécurité. (Once you understand how to operate a gear lever, you can drive safely.)

6. ceinture de sécurité

Meaning: a belt that fastens around you when you are travelling in a vehicle or aircraft and holds you in your seat, in order to reduce the risk of being injured in an accident

English: Seat belt

Example: Elle a été sauvée d’un accident car elle portait une ceinture de sécurité. (She was saved from an accident as she wore a seat belt. )

7. volant

Meaning: a wheel in a vehicle that the driver turns in order to make the vehicle go in a particular direction

English:  Steering wheel

Example: Il était ivre et a perdu le contrôle du volant.(He was drunk and lost control of the steering wheel.)


Meaning: a device that makes a vehicle go slower or stop, or a pedal, bar, or handle that makes this device work

English: Brakes

Example: Le conducteur a brusquement freiné. (The driver suddenly put on his brakes.)

9.le réservoir à carburant

Meaning : a container inside a vehicle that holds fuel

English: Fuel Tank

Example: Il fait toujours le plein d’essence dans ma voiture lorsque le réservoir à carburant est à moitié vide. ( He always refills my car with gasoline when the fuel tank is half empty.)

10. la roue

Meaning: a circular object connected at the centre to a bar, used for making vehicles or parts of machines move

English: wheel

Example: Il tourna brusquement la roue vers la droite. (He turned the wheel sharply to the right.)

11. batterie  

Meaning: a device that produces electricity to provide power for radios, cars, etc.

English: battery

Example: Notre voiture ne démarre pas car la batterie est en panne.

 (Our car won’t start because the battery is out of order.)

12. pare-brise

Meaning:the window at the front of a car

English: windshield

Example: Le pare-brise de la voiture était couvert de neige à cause des chutes de neige. (The windshield of the car was covered in snow as a result of snowfall.) 

13. feu arrière

Meaning: a red light on the back of a road vehicle that makes it possible for the vehicle to be seen in the dark

English: tail lights

Example: La police a arrêté sa voiture parce qu’elle avait un feu arrière cassé. (The police stopped his car because it had a broken tail light.) 

14. moteur 

Meaning: a machine that uses the energy from liquid fuel or steam to produce movement

English: engine

Example: Le moteur de la voiture commence à faire des siennes.. (The car’s engine is beginning to act up.) 

15. rétroviseur 

Meaning: a mirror that allows a driver to see what is happening behind their car

English: rearview mirror

Example: Que regardes-tu dans le rétroviseur ? (What are you looking at in the rearview mirror?)

I hope you enjoyed learning words related to car parts in French. For more such vocabulary, keep reading our blog. You can easily learn French online with us. Stay tuned for more interesting blogs.