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Driving Tests Around the World

Learning to drive in the UK is a fairly gruelling process. But after thorough theory and practical tests, drivers are awarded a much sought-after certificate that deems them safe to drive on UK roads.

To reach this point, the average learner spends around 40 hours with an instructor and even more of their own time practising with their parents. And with lessons setting them back around £20-25 a time, it’s a long and expensive process.

But how does the UK’s driving test compare to those in other countries? Should we be taking tips from another country or do we do driving tests best? Let’s find out.


Compared to the gruelling months of lessons learners in the UK have to go through – not to mention the agonising wait until your 17th birthday – learning to drive in the USA sounds like a dream.

Whether it’s true or not, America has a reputation for being an easy place to learn to drive. Not only is the legal driving age 16, the roads are longer, wider and built in a grid system, which means there are no roundabouts. What’s more, most cars are automatic, which eliminates the hours UK learners spend trying to master the clutch.

However, US learners also have to pass a theory test and depending on which state you live in, 16-18 year olds may need to drive a certain number of hours before they can carry passengers or drive in the dark.

Sierra Leone

In a much-needed effort to cut the number of road deaths, the West African country of Sierra Leone is adding a new feature to its driving test. Much like how UK learners must pass a theory test before they can take their practical test, learners in Sierra Leone must now play a Monopoly-style board game.

The game is intended to help learners get to grips with the Highway Code and throughout the game players must answer questions on road laws and negotiate ‘vehicle tests’ that will result in fines for crimes like out-of-date insurance or broken windscreens. Learners must purchase the game themselves and after playing it for several months to learn the Highway Code, they take their test.


Like in the UK, learning to drive in Germany is an expensive business that can begin at the age of 17. However, unlike in the UK, Germany has dedicated ‘Übungsplätze’ or ‘practice areas’ for learner drivers to master the controls of the car before they head out onto the road.

German learner drivers must also take a ‘Sofortmaßnahmen am Unfallort’ or ‘first aid at the scene of the accident’ course so that they can provide essential first aid if they are involved in or witness an accident.

So what do you think of these foreign driving tests? Do we do it better in the UK? Let us know below!

January 7, 2014