Learning To Drive In Different Countries

Something that people have asked me about before, is how does the UK compare to different countries when it comes to learning to drive? The common belief is that the UK is hard on learner drivers, but that’s not entirely true. Below are 4 examples of how other places around the world grant drivers their full driving licences.

Belgium

From the age of 17, you have to pass the theory test. This must be passed before you get your provisional licence (4 types based on age and how you are being taught). If you fail the theory test twice, you must take 12 hours of theory lessons before attempting it again.

While learning, if you are under 24, you have restrictions on when you can drive a car. Once you are over 18, you can take the driving test, during which the examiner and instructor are always present. Failing the driving test twice, means you must take a minimum of another 6 further hours training.

France

Can register from 16 years old. You would be assessed by a driving school and must take at least 20 hours of driving lessons before taking the theory test. Once passed, you are issued with a 3 year certificate which allows you to drive with a supervising driver. Once you are 18, you need to take further lessons with a driving school as preparation for the full driving test.

Germany

You must take part in 12 classroom based theory lessons before driving a car. The lessons themselves have to meet strict requirements. At least 225 minutes must be spent driving on trunk roads or country roads with a distance of at least 50 km being driven in any one session; at least 135 minutes just be spent driving on motorways or dual carriageways with each journey taking at least 45 minutes; and a minimum of 90 minutes should be reserved for driving in twilight or darkness, half of this on trunk roads or country roads.

Once these requirements have been met, and the theory test passed, you may take the practical driving test.

Australia

Probably the most complicated, but best I’ve come across. At age 16 you can take a theory test, which must be passed before getting your provisional licence. Then you can take lessons and so long as you are at least 16 years and 6 months, you may take the driving test. However, this is where it’s gets interesting.

For at least 6 months you must drive under supervision, displaying ‘L’ plates for at least 25 hours (recorded in a log book).

Then you must pass the hazard perception test (be at least 17). During this time there are restrictions as to when you can drive. Once passed this test, you are allowed to drive unsupervised, but you must display ‘P’ plates for a further 2 years (during which time, you must have a zero alcohol level while driving). After this last 2 year period, you have earned an open licence.

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