More than a third of German driving tests failed in 2022

The Local Germany
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More than a third of German driving tests failed in 2022
A driving school sign on the roof of a driving school vehicle, taken in 2016 in Hanover. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Holger Hollemann

Recent figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority have revelaed that 39 percent of theory tests and 37 percent of practical driving tests were failed in Germany last year. 


The number of driving license exams taken in Germany reached a record high last year as, according to the Technical Inspection Association (TÜV), there were a total of 3.6 million practical and theory tests taken in 2022, which surpassed the previous peak in 2019.


However, more and more learners are failing their tests. According to the TÜV, 39 percent of theory tests for all classes of driving license were failed last year - an increase of 10 percent since 2013.

"Every failed test puts a mental and financial strain on learner drivers," said Richard Goebelt, managing director of the TÜV association.

In Goebelt's opinion, it's important to educate young people more about road safety in schools and at home. Many driving instructors believe that the reason for the increased number of failures is that traffic perception has changed, which, they say, is partly down to the use of mobile phones.  

READ ALSO: Fact check: Is Germany really such a car-obsessed country?

"Look in a car and see if the kids are looking at the road. No, they're looking at their smartphone. They're walking and they're looking at their smartphone," said Kurt Bartels, vice chairman of the Federal Association of Driving Instructors. As a result, he said, young people no longer have a "natural affinity for traffic as they used to".

According to the association, this is one of the reasons why the failure rate in driving tests has been rising for years.

The TÜV association also sees the more complex and denser road traffic as part of the problem.

"The volume of traffic, the volume of regulations have increased enormously over the past 20 years," Bartels said. In addition, he said, the demands on student drivers during the test have increased. "There's a higher failure rate in big cities than in rural areas because the traffic volume is different."

READ ALSO: How to get a German driver's licence as a third-country national


Comments (1)

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Lorraine 2023/02/19 13:11
Yes they are generally paying less attention to the roads from a younger age, but driving instructors have to up their game and stop blaming phones. They have to adapt how they teach and make their students into good drivers. Make them safety conscious and have them aware they have a huge responsibility as a vehicle driver for themselves, passengers and other road users. This is not just in Germany but world wide.

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