Getting a driving license is not a must to travel around this beautiful country. The Deutsche Bahn will take you to any corner of the country, but having a license is really handy especially on a snowy winter day when you need to go to buy groceries, supplies, doctor or just a pleasant drive to a nearby tourist spot. And though train systems are good, there are some really cool places which can be reached only by a car in reasonable time.
First things first, your Indian license is only valid for the first 6 months of your stay in Germany. So if you plan to stay longer and drive a car, then keep reading ahead.
- Registering at a driving school is mandatory. Period! This will burn approximately 150€ hole in your pocket. Mind you this is only the registration fee. There is more to come. Lots more!
- Once this is done, you need to go to the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde (driving license authority) in your city and submit an application for your driving license along with a receipt of your driving school registration (It is kind of an unassuming yellow form ). Your Indian / any other nationality license will be taken by them. So from that point on-wards you will not be able to drive a car till you get German driving license.
- Go to your driving school and get a date for the theory test. That should put you back by ~ 100€. And you have to pay the TÜV 21€ at the time of exam. For the theory test you can buy the material from your school or use an online tool for studying. The online tool is more of practice and perfect tool than theory lessons. I used http://www.fuehrerschein-bestehen.de. The exam should not be very difficult to crack.
Once you pass the theory test then starts the money fest. Depending on how you drive, you may need anything between 8 lessons to infinity. (I know some who have been taking lesson for nearly half a year). A lesson should put you back by around 45€. But this cost is driving school dependent.
After your driving instructor thinks that you are able to drive good enough to take the test, he will ask you to book a test again with the driving school. Now here is the kicker, the driving school will take ~200€ for the test (don’t know why!!!) and you will have to pay TÜV 85€ at the time of the test.
Once you pass the test (there is some degree of luck involved here), you have to again go to the Fahrerlaubnisbehörde and pick up your license. The license is already printed and is given to you along with your home country license.
Cheers and happy driving!!!!