Learning to drive in Germany

Info, advice, and experiences

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adamsw
Hello there

I#m in Berlin for a couple of months and I was considering trying to pick up my driving license here. I wondered if anyone has done it and how long it takes to register, do it etc. ? I#ve got an English provisional but presumably I#d need a German one right? Any tips?

Best

Adam
HEM
I believe it is mandatory to go to a registered German Fahrschule.
And it will cost. A lot (I know because my 18-yr old son is starting to go through this).

I recall when I learnt in UK - this was around 1970 that one did a number of lessons or drove with a licensed driver until you felt ready, took the test which was mostly practical with answering verbally a few questions...

Here there is a mandatory amount of theory lessons (14?) and then a minimum amount of driving hours incl. cross-country, Autobahn (forbidden in UK) and at night. Plus you have to get to a state to do the above exercises. In our case my son & I are glider pilots so hes been driving cars on the airfield for some year including reversing trailers into a hangar (which I cannot manage...)

So, learning to drive in Germany is a protracted & expensive business - and after that you have to re-learn to do all the things that German drivers do

SUMMARY: If you are only in Germany for a limited time DONT LEARN TO DRIVE HERE - do it in UK (unless things have changed since my days).
Mariposa
SUMMARY: If you are only in Germany for a limited time DONT LEARN TO DRIVE HERE - do it in UK (unless things have changed since my days).
Yeah, I agree with that. It is ridiculously expensive to get your license here. It easily costs over €1000.
Allershausen
Learning to drive here costs approx €2000, sometimes a bit less sometimes a bit more. So don't do it here if you can do it somwhere else. Probably be cheaper to fly to one of the States in America that has a licence that is recognised here and do your test there! I don't actually know if this is possible, it's an idea that just occcured to me!
Mariposa
Yeah, I couldn't remember exactly how much mine was, but then it probably also got more expensive since then.

You can get your license in the States, but not all states allow a visiting tourist to get their license (actually I don't know if any do at all, you might have to have a J/K/L visa, not sure if B would do). And the other thing is, you cannot have it converted into a German license unless you spent at least 6 months in the States (so visa waiver and B visa aren't a possibility either). And furthermore only certain states have agreements with Germany where you can just swap your American license for a German one. Not sure how it would be with a British one.
HEM
If you have a British or any other EU country driving license its recognised here IMHO. EU rules.
At the time I arrived here one had to exchange my UK license into a German one between 6 & 12 months of being here. Went smoothly & now my German license (the old gray one) has on the back "issued in exchange for a UK license class ...".
Allershausen
you cannot have it converted into a German license unless you spent at least 6 months in the States
Oh well, another money making scheme goes up in smoke!
When I first went to swap my British Licence(1984) you had to get a translation from the ADAC. I left the country instead,(not related) and when I came back in 1986 it was just a case of swapping it for a German one, no translation necessary.
HEM
When I first went to swap my British Licence(1984) you had to get a translation from the ADAC.
Thats funny - it must have been 1983 that I swapped mine and there was no talk of a translation. Different federal state perhaps? Or the fact that I was working for a UK university seconded to a HEP lab in Hamburg & much was organised by the staff who looked after us - maybe that swung sommat...
Mariposa
From what I've heard from other people often the different administration offices do not even really know the rules, so I wouldn't be surprised some would require a translation and some not.
adamsw
Thanks guys

Sounds like a non starter for now. Thanks for warning me off it. I will spend my time doing something more productive (and cheaper).

Best

Adam
OHDFC Colin
Do the Germans still accept your foreign licence, if you get it once you're already registered in Germany? A few years back someone I knew had problems because their daughter had been living in Germany for a number of years, had done the licence in the UK, and the Germans wouldn't accept it. Are there any new EU laws here?
PatrickH94
I'm a student from the UK and I'm going to be working in Hamburg for 12 months from mid August. I can't drive and would like to learn - preferably before I finish university.

Can anyone tell me how to go about learning to drive in Germany? I have a UK provisional licence and would want to take an automatic course.

Any information gratefully appreciated!

Topics merged by admin
WD-40
UK provisional means nothing in Germany, theory/driving lessons and theory/practical tests are very expensive here (around €2600 +/- €300 total).
Maybe do a one week intensive driving course in the UK before you come?
yourkeau
these 2000 euro is not what you pay at one time, these is a total sum you pay within a period of 6 months or so. It worth every euro. Don't think only about saving money, think about saving your life and other people lives.
Ruel
Can anyone tell me how to go about learning to drive in Germany?
Its been some time but lets remember.

I think it all starts by going to a driving school where they set up all the formalities. Obviously you should have a nice photo of yourself with you and your passport i guess. Oh and bringing money might be a good idea.
You will get the info that you wont be able to take the course without doing a first aid course. They usually provide you with a place where you can do it.

If that is all done you dont start to drive a car. You start by going to school, like in the good ol days. If its a good school they wont let you near the test papers for a while and all you are doing will be listening to the driving instructor going on about various rules often accompanied by movie clips and whatnot.

Also iam german so i obviously took my test and everything involved in german. You might think that you wont be able to do it in german but let me tell you this. Iam from the Ruhrpott, i have seen turkish women passing the tests(theory and practical) without understanding a single german word. They all learned at home and got everything translated into turkish by their kids i guess.
But i think that english material should be available. Perhaps there are even driving schools catering to foreigners.
If you regularly go to the driving school and do the test papers you will pass the test. Its really not that difficult.

Also dont be an idiot and apply for an automatic transmission drivers license. If the police catch you driving a manual without a proper(one might say real) drivers license its going to be bad.
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