In rural areas, many are dependent on cars: the desire for a driver's license is unbroken in Germany. According to the Tüv Association, a record number of driving license tests was reached in 2022 - however, the failure rate has also increased enormously.
According to the Tüv Association, 39 percent of the theoretical tests for all driving license classes were not passed last year. That is 10 percentage points more than in 2013. In the practical tests, 37 percent of the learner drivers did not pass the normal driver's license. "Each failed test puts a mental and financial strain on the learner drivers," said Richard Goebelt, Managing Director of the Tüv-Verband.
Failure rates lower among 17-year-olds
Finding the reasons is difficult. From the point of view of the testing organizations, one is the increasingly complex and dense road traffic. In Goebelt's view, it is also important to provide more information about road safety in schools and parents' homes. It is also striking that the failure rate for the driver's license at 17 is a few percentage points lower than that for the normal category B car driver's license.
According to surveys by the Tüv Association, there were around 3.6 million practical and theoretical exams in 2022. This exceeded the previous peak value of 2019 with an increase of around 20,000 practical tests and reached the pre-corona level again. In 2020 and 2021 the numbers had fallen due to the pandemic. Many driving schools had temporarily closed.
Money left due to corona pandemic
At the turn of the year, the Federal Association of Driving Instructor Associations also spoke of a great demand for the driver's license and saw one reason for this in savings during the corona pandemic. People would have spent less money on trips, for example - and "have money left over to get luxury driver's licenses like the one for a motorcycle," Vice-Chairman Kurt Bartels told the dpa. In big cities there are also some who prefer to sit in their own car instead of in crowded buses and trains.
According to the TÜV, the driving tests have been further developed in recent years. This has contributed to the fact that fewer and fewer of the particularly endangered novice drivers have accidents. The number of 18- to 24-year-olds who died in traffic accidents fell from almost 2,750 in 1991 to 326 in 2020.
Demand for automation increases
It is also interesting that more and more driver's license tests are being taken with an automatic car, as the Federal Association of German Driving School Entrepreneurs announced a few weeks ago. According to Deutsche Automobil Treuhand (DAT), more and more drivers want to drive such cars.
The German Motor Vehicle Monitoring Association (DEKRA) is responsible for conducting the tests. "In Germany, you only get a driver's license if you are familiar with the traffic rules and rules of conduct in road traffic and really master a vehicle," says Roland Krause, head of the technical test centers.