• Germany's news in English
 

Nearly a third of Germans fail their driving test

Published: 22 Jan 2013 11:18 GMT+01:00

The Autoclub Europa (ACE) said it had obtained figures which showed that in 2011, 28 percent of those who took the German driving test failed and had to do it again.

A failure rate of around 30 percent is not a sign of a well-qualified training system, the ACE said, presenting its figures ahead of its annual meeting in Goslar, Lower Saxony. Around 1,900 traffic experts are expected at the three-day meeting where the driving test and driving training will be a central theme.

ACE spokesman Rainer Hillgärtner, said the numbers gave rise to the suspicion of a connection between the high failure rate and the bad financial situation which many driving schools were in - due to demographic developments which means there are fewer young people needing to learn to drive.

"They speculate on a high failure rate in order to be able to book in and charge for additional driving lessons," he said.

There are also significant regional differences in the failure rate, according to the study, which was based on government figures.

The lowest failure rate was in Hesse, where just 22.14 percent of new drivers had to take a second or third test. Next came Lower Saxony with 24.87 percent, and Schleswig-Holstein with 25.13 percent.

The worst was Saxony-Anhalt where nearly 38 percent of those taking their tests failed. But Thuringia and Saxony were not far behind, with 36 percent of would-be drivers failing their first test.

Many foreigners living in Germany can simply swap their domestic license for a German one after residency has been established, but in some cases they will have to go through the entire procedure of preparing for, and taking a German test.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:47 January 22, 2013 by pepsionice
For those concerned about this driving test....as an American.....I can say that the sign test (with it's time limit) is the roughest part of the exam. Germans are fairly particular about warning people with signs and there are at least 120 signs of significance that you have to immediately recognize. Beyond that....just knowing the simple rule of 'right-of-way' is the only hard part of the written test.
11:58 January 22, 2013 by yllusion
This driving school "mafia" isn't surprising. Germany isn't the only country where these companies abuse the system to "extort" more money from the students.
12:20 January 22, 2013 by twisted
My mother taught me to drive (after having two years experience on a motor scooter with a license at 14) and while others might not agree, I don't think a driving school makes a driver any better or safety that good instruction from a parent or a responsible adult. Drive schools in Germany are simply a means of making money for a business and encouraged by the government.
13:24 January 22, 2013 by raandy
Agree that driving schools are a business not an education facility.

After I had been here for a year , I went to the amt and wanted to exchange my USA for a German, she asked me where do you come from, I said USA, ya,ya she replied but which State, I told her she looked in her book and said you must take a driving course and a first aid course, I asked why,, she said my State had no contract with Germany. I went back home checked all out on the net and found that the State next to mine did have a contract with Germany. On my next visit back I drove there and told them I had moved into a rental and wanted to exchange my licence, was not a problem, When I returned to Germany I went back to the amt, showed them my new licence and 6 weeks and some money later received my German licence but had to take it to a place where they laminate it , they wanted my USA, I protested that it was like their ID card but to no avail.

On my next trip back went to licence bureau and got my original back.
14:44 January 22, 2013 by Zubair Khan
Low IQ ! Why not accept the hard fact
14:58 January 22, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
It's a wonder Germany did not fall to pieces (mentally) when there were over a million Americans, Brits, Canadians (and probably even a few poor Russians) driving around during the "Cold War" on "German" licenses that were granted if you had a license from your own country.

Raandy - what www site did you use to see if your state has an agreement with FRG? I am not finding it?
15:38 January 22, 2013 by Staticjumper
One of the things I miss most about Germany since moving back to the US is the driving/drivers. I wish that Illinois had this rate of driving test failures. I estimate that 28% of drivers here can't tell their left from their right or slower from faster or even know if their car is equipped with turn signals.
16:05 January 22, 2013 by raandy
SchwabHallRocks try this one……...http://www.german-way.com/germany-drivers-license-reciprocity.html.
17:07 January 22, 2013 by SchwabHallRocks
Raandy - that is quite the www site.

I (and presumably Staticjumper above) am ecstatic to know I can just swap our Illinois licenses for German.
17:46 January 22, 2013 by raandy
Nice when it works out like that :-)
19:27 January 22, 2013 by LandSwitcher
I am German and have just moved to North America last year: I have to say that the German driving licensing system is one of the toughest worldwide to master. However, this ensures that everyone released to public roads is also entitled to do so. Hence the drivers are less likely to be incompetence.
20:55 January 22, 2013 by Anny One again
Landswitcher

But Americans are the better one hand driver :)
21:15 January 22, 2013 by hech54
The German licensing system is a HUGE racket. Luckily I come from a state in the US which has an equal exchange agreement....and the woman at the town hall was NOT AT ALL HAPPY that I did not need to take the test. I loved it....:):):)
04:50 January 23, 2013 by Twin B
After another humbling experience yesterday with a german Über driver, I can safely say that more Germans would fail their driving tests if common courtesy (in this case, stopping to let old ladies cross the street - to get to a funeral, no less!) and parking lot safety were required;P And yes, I know he was German because I got out at the next stop light to ask him why he didn't just beep his horn instead of blowing past and almost causing three more funerals.
08:37 January 23, 2013 by nightynight
Who are the examiners? In the UK, they are former driving instructors mostly. The rules say that you are allowed to take the test in any vehicle, but I don't personally know anyone who has passed when not with a driving school...
10:26 January 23, 2013 by mobaisch
many instructors agree with examiners to fail some students if they feel that that specific student has money and could be some extra of him possible. LIVE AND REAL EXAMPLES EXIST.
12:55 January 23, 2013 by raandy
Anny One up again... your correct, that is why most Americans have automatic transmissions, so you can hold a beer and a J while cursing the back roads of America. ;-)
22:09 January 24, 2013 by JenDigs
raandy- Was that a typo, or wit (cursing the back roads vs. cruising...?) :-)

My state did not have an agreement with my German state, so I had to take the written test, the practical test and the first aid course. It was a pain in the @$$, but I am actually glad I had to do it all because I am the only one of my international friends who seems to know the rules of the road here!! I've even had to teach some rules to my German friends!! (Nothing quite like having a discussion about a road rule and telling a German they have it wrong and watching them nearly combust... later when they've had time to research it, they always have the good grace to admit they were incorrect and marvel at how an American could possibly know the rules...) I can't tell you how many times I've screamed "Right-hand-right-of-way" while riding in a friend's car...
09:14 January 27, 2013 by coffeelover
In rural U.S. you can take written test and if you pass, you take a short driving test with any vehicle including a farm tractor, and if you pass, you can obtain a farming license that allows you to operate ANY vehicle including large straight truck at the age of 14. However, this license is only good for 4 years, at which time you must obtain regular operators license, or CDL if you wish to drive that truck. And any vehicle you drive during that time has to be a registered farm vehicle, which can be cars, up to semi-trailors, and of course, any ag tractor or ag vehicle. All this extra experience driving at young age allows for easy passing of adult test.
02:55 January 29, 2013 by goodhund
Agree that driving schools are a business not an education facility.

So where are nothing associated in educational objective in driving schools. Everything is only and only for: money, money, money and money. The more examinees fail the more money you can ask. That's all.
Today's headlines
Experts: Steinmeier's Egypt visit is 'wrong'
Frank-Walter Steinmeier with Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Cairo. Photo:DPA

Experts: Steinmeier's Egypt visit is 'wrong'

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to Egypt on Monday - his first since Abdel Fatah el-Sisi came to power in a 2013 coup - has been condemned as "sad" and "wrong" by experts. READ  

Germany among top ten countries for mums

Germany among top ten countries for mums

Germany took eighth place worldwide in a ranking of the best countries for mothers released by Save the Children on Tuesday. READ  

Schäuble fears Greece deal may fall through
Photo: DPA

Schäuble fears Greece deal may fall through

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble expressed scepticism on Tuesday about whether Greece would be able to strike a deal with international creditors in the next few days on vital financial aid. READ  

Man jailed over kids' deaths in bath
The state court in Kassel. Photo: DPA

Man jailed over kids' deaths in bath

A court in Kassel sentenced a man to three years in jail on Monday after his children died in the bath while he was checking train times at the station. READ  

Elderly burglar foiled after losing glasses
Is Germany experiencing a pensioner crime wave? Photo: DPA

Elderly burglar foiled after losing glasses

One of Germany's oldest burglars has had to spend his 70th birthday in a police hospital after being caught during his latest break-in attempt. READ  

Nightclub owner bans 'aggressive' refugees
File photo: DPA

Nightclub owner bans 'aggressive' refugees

A Bavarian nightclub owner has introduced a ban on refugees after claiming that they were causing trouble in his establishment. READ  

Germans fathered by Allied soldiers speak out
Photos of one 'occupation child' and her parents. Photo: DPA

Germans fathered by Allied soldiers speak out

A quarter of a million Germans were fathered by Allied soldiers after the Second World War. Many have spent their lives not knowing their fathers and stigmatized by their own society. READ  

Supermarket meat needles were 'warning'
The woman speaks with her lawyer in the courtroom. Photo: DPA

Supermarket meat needles were 'warning'

A woman has admitted to a Lübeck court that she placed needles in meat packets in a supermarket in northern Germany, hoping to discourage them from eating mass-produced food. READ  

Train strikes
Drivers' walkout brings fresh rail misery
A man sits on a platform at Munich main station on Tuesday morning. Photo: DPA

Drivers' walkout brings fresh rail misery

The beginning of a six-day strike by train drivers on Tuesday left millions of people across Germany struggling to get to work on Monday morning. READ  

Jobtalk Germany
Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?
Robots are set to wipe out large sectors of the work force. Photo:DPA

Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?

A study commissioned by ING-Diba claims that 59 percent of Germany's work force could be replaced by machines and software in the coming decades. The impact on German society is set to be radical. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
Pupils mourn lost classmates
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,203
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>