A man drove his car down the steps of a Metro station in central Paris on Tuesday, mistaking the entrance for that of a parking garage.

“There's a sign saying 'Haussmann Parking' right in front (of the Metro entrance), and ... I made a mistake,” the distraught driver told AFP, noting that the entrance was nearly level with the street.

“Luckily there was no one on the stairs,” said the 26-year-old, who gave his name only as Johan. No one was hurt, and the car, a Dacia Duster, also escaped damage.

As he was driving slowly he managed to brake in time to stop the car, leaving the back wheels on the level.

A crowd of rubber-neckers formed quickly to snap pictures of the car poised partway down the stairs.

Police were quick to give Johan an alcohol test, which he passed.

An employee of a nearby restaurant said a similar incident took place at the site four or five years ago. - Sapa-AFP