Why are driving schools so expensive in Germany?

It was 2005, I was 19 years old and had just got my driver’s license.

I had worked hard for it and packed a lot to the side.Since I once rushed through the practical test, another 130,00$ were added (right before left is overrated anyway ;)). After 4 months and felt dozens of driving and theory hours later I was overjoyed and proud to be able to hold my “lobe” in my hand and finally to be able to get out of my small hometown on my own.

Less than a year later, I decided to move to the USA for two years.

Admittedly, it was not my first thought, but at some point I wondered if I was allowed to drive a car with my local driver’s license during my stay there.And as it turned out, it was easier than I had imagined.

  • Apply for an international driving licence (cost 15 $)[1
  • At the next best DMV [2 in the USA show the international driver’s license and your visa, pay 50 dollars and enjoy top speeds of dizzying 70 mph on an area of 9.8 million km2 (almost 28x the size of the Federal Republic of Germany).

If you only stay in the USA as a tourist for up to 90 days, the second point is omitted.An international driving licence is nevertheless recommended, as the officers like to see it if you can present documents in your/her language as a tourist, especially since each state handles it differently.You are simply on the safe side with an international driving licence.

More details can be found in Sven Perlberg’s answer to which countries can I drive with a German driving licence?

Why am I telling all this? Well, the German driving licence may now cost around 2,000 – 3,000 $[3, but the freedom and light-heartedness that this document gives me, as well as the extensive knowledge that is imparted during driving school, in my opinion justifies this Cost all the time.

I found a brilliant anecdote on the Internet: driver’s license in Ecuador

In Spanish you know how to drive, in German you can drive.
“I can drive a car,” one says in Germany rather than “I knowhow to drive a car”.

In Spanish, one says “yo sé conducir” (I know how to drive) than “puedo conducir” (I can drive).


[1 International Driving Licence

[2 Department of Motor Vehicles – Wikipedia

[3 Driving licence costs: overview and important savings tips