This blog is mainly written for the people who have no clue about how to get a driving license in Germany. There are various categories of driving license in Germany. However, in this Blog or Video, I have discussed category B. With this license, you can drive any car or any vehicle which is up to 3.5 ton weight (including the load). There are many people who might have driving licenses from their home country and want to convert one to German driving license. For this, I have also made a separate video where I have explained how to convert your driving license in Germany. The link for the video is : https://youtu.be/DBAIOLcZgho
- Tips on finding the Best Driving School
- Total cost for Obtaining Driving License in Germany
- Fee Structure of Driving Schools in Germany
- Base fee (Grundgebühr)
- Normal and Special driving lessons (Fahrstunden und Sonderfahrstunden)
- Introduction to Theory and Practical Exam fee (Vorstellung zur theoretischen Prüfung und Praktische Prüfung)
- Application and Documents fee
- Overview of total cost of driving license
- Theory classes and exam
- Practical driving classes and exam
- After Getting a Driving License
- USEFUL TIPS:
- Tips on finding the Best Driving School
- Total cost of obtaining the driving license
- Fee Structure of driving schools in Germany
- Overview of total cost of driving license
- Theory classes and exam
- Practical classes and exam
- After getting the license
- Useful tips
Tips on finding the Best Driving School
In this section, I will discuss some important key factors while searching for the driving school. This task is not as easy as it looks.
While finding a driving schools in your city, check the following things
- Ratings of the schools
- Customer reviews on google
- If the teachers are friendly?
- If they have English speaking Teachers or not?
Another important things that you must need to find is the
- Number of teachers (Number of English speaking teachers)
- Number of cars.
This is because if the driving school has only one or two cars, then you might find it difficult to get a driving lesson appointments. Therefore, the school should have three to four cars and three to four teachers as well. The next thing is the location of driving school. You must find the school which is near to your workplace or university or your apartment.
Practical driving license can be attained in English. In addition to this, if you are a working person then ask these question from your driving school about practical driving lessons
- How many slots are available in a week? (Tell them about your free time during the week)
- Do they give driving licenses in mornings or evenings? (If you want to take lessons in the morning or evening)
- Do they give licenses on weekends as well? (As a working person, it is hard to get lessons during the week)
Total cost for Obtaining Driving License in Germany
The people living in the southern part of Germany are not as lucky as the people from the northern part. The reason behind this is the high cost of license in the southern part.
In the southern part of Germany, the total cost of a driving license will cost 1700€ to 2100€ and in the northern part of Germany, it will cost 1200€ to 1400€.
This cost difference is due to the reason that the northern part of Germany is cheaper than the southern part. This cost might vary from city to city and from one driving school to another.
Fee Structure of Driving Schools in Germany
Base fee (Grundgebühr)
In most of the driving schools in Germany, the first thing you will find is the Grundgebühr (Base fee). This price varies from school to school. You need to check what are the things they include in this Grundgebühr (Base fee) because some schools include the learning material cost in this fee but some charge it separately.
It usually lies between 150€ to 250€ and for learning material, it should be 30€ to 40€. (Theory classes are also sometimes included in Grundgebühr)
Normal and Special driving lessons (Fahrstunden und Sonderfahrstunden)
Another important thing while searching the driving school is the price of normal lessons (Fahrstunden) and special driving lessons (Sondernfahrstunden).
By law, you need 12 Sonderfahrtenstunden (Special driving lessons), this can not be reduced or can not be increased. These are mandatory driving lessons. You can directly calculate the price of special driving lessons by multiplying it with the price of a single special lesson to 12. (e.g 12 x 45€ = 540€)
Fahrstunden (normal driving lessons) are usually cheaper than the Sonderfahrtenstunden (Special driving lessons). The total number of normal driving lessons can vary from person to person, that means if you are a good driver then you might need less lessons. It is upto the teacher (Lehrer / Lehrerin) to decide if you will need more lessons or not.
In Germany, one driving hour is equal to 45 minutes in Führerschein. and one driving session means two hours (90 minutes)
Introduction to Theory and Practical Exam fee (Vorstellung zur theoretischen Prüfung und Praktische Prüfung)
The next thing is “Vorstellung zur theoretischen Prüfung und Vorstellung zur praktischen Prüfung” which means Introduction to the theory exam and Introduction to the practical exam. The fees of this exam also vary from school to school. This fee is taken by the driving school where they introduce you to the TÜV (Organization that issues the driving license in Germany).
Besides this, you have to pay a separate fee to TÜV which is 22.49€ for theory exam and 91.75€ for practical exam.
Application and Documents fee
After getting the letter of registration from the school, the next step is to go to the Führerscheinstelle (Driving license office) in your city and register for the driving license. You can search the location of Führerscheinstelle in your city by googling your “city name + Führerscheinstelle”.
The application that must be submitted at Führerscheinstelle contains the following documents
- The letter of registration from the diving school
- Eye sight test (Sehtest): 5 to 8€
- Biometric photo (Passbild): 5 to 8€ from the Picture booths
- First aid course (Erste hilfe Kurs). Some companies give complete packages which include these three things for which you have to pay 25€ to 50€.
After getting these four requirements, you need to go to führerscheinstelle and pay about 43€ (This amount may be different in the northern part of Germany). Your driving school can also collect these documents from you and register you to Führersheinstelle, but they will take a fee for doing so.
Overview of total cost of driving license
|Driving license registration fee|
|Application fee||40€ – 50€|
|First aid course||25€ – 40€|
|Eye sight Test||5€ – 8€|
|Driving school fees|
|Basic fee||150€ – 250€|
|Material cost||30€ – 40€|
|Normal driving lessons (per 45 minutes)||30€ – 50€|
|Special driving lessons (per 45 minutes)||40€ – 60€|
|Introduction to Theory exam||55€ – 65€|
|Introduction to Practical exam||145€ – 165€|
Theory classes and exam
The most difficult thing is to find a school that gives theory lessons in English because I did not get lessons in English as my city is not a big city. The important thing here is that you can give the theory exam in 12 different languages but you still need to attend the classes. They could be in German or English. Therefore, if you take admission in a school that does not provide lessons in English, then you just need to sit in the class even if you are unable to understand the theory lessons. Some schools give two theory lessons per week and you need to attend 14 theory lessons in order to get the license. It means that you could complete theory lessons in 7 weeks. On the other hand, some schools give four lessons per week, which is suitable for those who want to get a driving license earlier.
After taking admission in driving school you can start theory lessons right away. Moreover, driving school will give you a letter of registration. Beside this, you need to give an eyesight test, biometric photograph and first aid course for Führerscheinstelle. After 4- 6 weeks of documents submission, your school will get the confirmation from führerscheinstelle. Now some important information about theory classes and exams.
- You have to take 14 theory classes in order to sit in exam (Lesson 13 and 14 are mandatory, rest of them can be repeated more than once in order to complete remaining 12 lessons)
- There are approx 1000 questions in Driving school App and you must learn them by heart.
- The App also has a mock exam which gives you an idea about what the exam app will look like.
- In the exam you will get 30 questions only.
- In the exam you can only afford to lose 10 points (Points vary from question to question)
- You will get 30 to 40 minutes to complete the theory exam and after completing the exam. You will get the result right there.
Once you finish your theory lessons and also learn all the questions given in the app. You can inform your instructor that you are ready to take the theory exam. Keep that in mind, getting a theory exam appointment can take 2-3 weeks. Prepare yourself accordingly
Practical driving classes and exam
Once you get the confirmation from Führerscheinstelle that your application has been processed, you can start taking practical driving lessons. You don’t need to wait for the theory exam. You can do theory and practical lessons in parallel. In practical lessons, 12 are mandatory or special hours and rest of them are normal driving hours. Once you are done with the practical lessons and your instructor thinks that you can pass the exam.
Then your instructor will book an appointment for a practical exam. You are not allowed to sit in an exam without identification documents. So bring your identification document (i.e visa and passport) at the day of theory and practical exam.
In the practical exam, you need to demonstrate these things.
- Confident driving skills on the road
- Emergency braking
- Parallel parking
- Reverse parking
- Right before Left (Rechts Vor Links)
Your examiner will take you to highways, city centers or countryside. Most of the time, the practical exam takes place in German, but don’t worry about that. You don’t need much German to understand the Examiner. You just need to know these sentences.
- Bitte links abbiegen (Please turn left)
- Bitte recht abbiegen (Please turn right)
- Bitte nehmen Sie die erste/zweite/dritte ausfahrt vom kreisverkehr (Please take first/second/third exit in the round about)
- Bitte folgen Sie der Vorfahrtstraße (Bitte follow the main road)
- Anhalten (Stop)
- Umkehren / Wenden (Turn back)
- Hinter diesem Fahrzeug einparken (Park behind this vehicle)
Don’t worry about these, your teacher will teach you this vocabulary as well.
After Getting a Driving License
Germany gives the driving license with lifetime validity but there are some limitations like the first two years of probation period. During your probation period, if you make any big mistakes like going through the red lights or cause an accident then they will take your driving license from you. After that, you need to take some extra lessons and take the exam again. The next probation period will be 4 years and it will cost more money to get the license.
In general, you should drive carefully all the time but DRIVE MORE CAREFULLY FOR THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF GETTING LICENSE.
If you pass the mock exam in the app 10 times in a row then you are ready to take the theory exam.
Some companies offer free ‘First Aid courses’ for employees or students so better ask your company before taking the course and also ask them if that course is eligible for license. The “First aid course” for driving license is about 9 hours (1h = 45 min) long.
Most of the cities in Germany have Übungsplatz where you can practice with your family or a friend who has a license and owns a car. During this practice time, that person must be in the passenger seat. I would suggest that you should practice parallel parking, emergency breaks, gear changes and U-turns in this Übungsplatz. It costs about 10€ to 15€ for a day.
Before starting practical driving lessons, you should practice on Übungsplatz so that it will save your normal driving license costs and you can practice for the whole day whereas your teacher will teach you only for 45 or 90 minutes per day.
If you don’t want to buy a car, you can rent a car from some car sharing companies like CAR2GO, STADTMOBIL and DRIVE NOW.
If you are a new driving license holder, you can rent a car from a company SIXT that even provides car for people who got the license one day ago
If you want to buy a car in Germany then you can watch this video
- How many attempts do I have for theory or practical exams?
A. After the confirmation from the Führerscheinstelle, you have 1 year to give your theory exam. Within this one year, you can attempt as many times as you want. But keep that in mind, you have to pay the introduction to theory exam fee and theory exam fee for every attempt. The same rule goes for the practical exam, after giving the theory exam, you have one year to complete the practical lessons and take the exam. Attempts don’t matter but it could be costly to repeat the exam because usually, you don’t just need the repeat exam but also some additional driving lessons.
- Which app did I use for the theory exam?
A. My driving school gave me Fahrschulcard App, but there are others in the market.
- Can I use this in Europe or do I need an international driving license?
A. German driving license is recognized all around Europe, you don’t need an international driving license for it.
- Is there a different option available for manual and automatic cars? If yes, which is better?
A. If you get a manual license, you can drive both but if you get an automatic license you are not allowed to drive a manual car.
- Can I change my driving school at any point during the process?
A. Yes, but the school will charge a fee depending on the situation. Suppose you want to change your school before the theory exam then they will charge more fee and if you want to do it after your theory exam then it will be less. I will suggest please contact your new school, they can tell you better how much fee they will charge if you want to change your school. One thing I can tell from my experience is that I tried changing schools after the theory exam and the new school asked me to give a 50€ school changing fee.
- What happens if I fail the EyeSight test?
A. As long as you are not blind, you can drive the car with eyeglasses. Failing the eye test means that it is mandatory for you to wear glasses while driving.
- How to obtain the motorbike license (Klasse A, A1 or A2)
A. The process is the same, if you are doing both licenses at the same time then you just need to give one theory exam for both, but you need separate practical lessons for both and separate practical exams. Here is the link where I have explained it: Motorcycle license guide | Youtube video