• 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
'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol
Image: Fremantle Media/YouTube

'Hot Boy from Germany' wins Vietnam Idol

A 22-year-old from Hanover has become the latest winner of Vietnam Idol – bagging $27,000 along with his new title. READ  

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public
If you want to rest in place while you're still alive, a car park isn't the place place to choose. Photo: DPA

Man promises to stop coffin naps in public

When a man walking his dog alerted police to the fact that a black coffin was lying in the middle of a public parking place, the cops were surprised to find someone inside. READ  

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing
Photo: Pixabay

Court orders boss to pay worker for changing

A mechanic from western Germany is set to receive €350 in back payments – after claiming he should be paid for the time he spent showering and getting dressed for work. READ  

In Pictures
Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world
A reveler at Wacken Open Air 2015. Photo: DPA

Wacken festival draws metalheads of the world

Armies of black-clad fans gathered for the world's biggest heavy metal festival between Thursday and Saturday, marking 25 years of headbanging fun in the small town of Wacken in northern Germany. READ  

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt
Photo: DPA

Railway sunbather brings trains to a halt

A plucky sunbather brought train services in North Rhine-Westphalia to an abrupt halt at the weekend - after deciding to catch some rays on the tracks. READ  

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Spiegel: Merkel wants fourth term in power

According to Germany's most influential political magazine, Spiegel, Angela Merkel has decided to run for a fourth term in power and has already started talks on who will run her campaign. READ  

State leaders call for faster asylum processes
Refugees at a temporary reception centre in Baden Württemberg. Photo: DPA

State leaders call for faster asylum processes

Several state leaders called for more investment in processing asylum applications over the weekend as the backlog continues to put severe strain on current infrastructure. READ  

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record
Roger Klueh. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / DPA

German sets Florida to Cuba speedboat record

A German businessman and power boating fanatic on Saturday broke a 57-year-old record for the fastest boat crossing between the United States and Cuba. READ  

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'
Migrants on a train on their way to the EU. Photo: Djordje Savic / DPA

Report: German refugee figures 'underestimated'

Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, nearly 50,000 more than first thought, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. READ  

Migrant wounded in German police shooting
Photo: DPA

Migrant wounded in German police shooting

A Guinean migrant who caused a brawl in a home for asylum seekers in Germany was shot and seriously wounded by police, local media reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
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

7,116
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd