Record number of people taking driving tests in Germany - 40 percent fail
According to new figures from the TÜV Association, a record number of people took tests in the hope of receiving their German driving licence in 2022. But that doesn’t mean there’s a record number of new people driving in Germany: in fact, the failure rate increased enormously.
3,6 million people took driving tests in Germany in 2022
As the TÜV Association announced in a press release last week, 1,76 million people learning to drive in Germany took their practical driving tests in 2022 - 6,7 percent more than in the previous year - while 1,81 million passed their theoretical exams, 91.000 (5,3 percent) more than in the previous year.
The driving tests in Germany remain notoriously difficult (or rigorous, depending on which way you look at it!). If you’ve ever taken a test and failed, take heart: in 2022, 39 percent of learner drivers failed their theoretical test, and 37 percent failed the practical test for driving category B vehicles - saloons, hatchbacks, SUVs and other day-to-day cars.
Failure rate for practical and theory tests increasing
As the TÜV Association notes, this means that the failure rate is actually increasing: last year, 37 percent of people failed their theory test on road signs and traffic rules, in 2013 it was just 29 percent. For practical tests, the failure rate in 2013 was 32 percent.
Richard Goebelt, a member of the TÜV Association management board, said that the reasons for the rising failure rate were manifold and needed to be further investigated, although he speculated that one cause was the increasingly complex and dense road traffic. “If we want to reverse the trend, we need better road safety education in schools and at home, as well as further strengthening of driver training.”
While ntv quoted Kurt Bartels, vice-chairperson of the Federal Association of Driving Instructors’ Associations, as saying that young drivers are less attentive on the roads than they used to be - he speculated that they use their mobile phones more while being driven and so aren’t developing a “natural affinity for traffic” for when they start to drive themselves - the TÜV Association noted that younger learner drivers generally do better at the practical driving test than older learners.
Fewer driving fatalities in Germany involve novice drivers
The TÜV said it had made many changes to the driving tests in recent years to ensure they remain rigorous and in step with current driving conditions. Indeed, they attributed these changes to the fact that fewer and fewer novice drivers have accidents nowadays. The number of 18- to 24-year-olds killed in traffic accidents has fallen from 2.749 in 1991 to 326 in 2020.
“In Germany, you only get a driving licence if you are familiar with the traffic rules and rules of conduct in road traffic and really master a vehicle,” said Goebelt.