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Driving license: 2022 more tests than ever before

Never before have so many people taken the driving test as in 2022 - and never before have so many future drivers failed the practical and theoretical test.

The number of driving tests reached a record in 2022: With 1.76 million practical tests of all driving license classes, the test centers "conducted more practical driving tests in 2022 than ever before", says Richard Goebelt from the TÜV Association . Compared to the previous year, that is 110,000 more exams.

Practice: around 40 percent don't pass

However, more candidates also failed the practical exam for the driving license class B : The rate for 2022 was 43 percent and thus seven percentage points more than in 2012. Across all classes the failure rate has been constant at 30 percent for ten years.

The failure rate for all candidates for the driver's license, including those who had more practice through accompanied driving from the age of 17, was 37 percent through the exam in 2022. This rate was 30 percent in 2012, which means it has increased by seven percentage points within ten years.

Theory: almost half fail

The increase in failure rates in the theory test for the car driving license was even greater: while 37 percent failed in 2012, it was 46 percent in 2022, i.e. almost half . The rate is 39 percent across all driver's license classes.

Accompanied driving also has advantages in the theory test: at 35 percent, the failure rate is eleven percentage points lower. Ten years ago, according to figures from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), it was only a quarter. The theory exams have now been digitized. According to the TÜV association, this enables "a realistic representation of complex traffic situations".

Practical driving test 2021 changed

The practical test has included new driving tasks since January 16, 2021 and is electronically logged . A feedback discussion supplements the driving test. "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 from Dekra. According to the TÜV association, the driving tests played a part in the fact that the number of 18- to 24-year-olds killed in traffic accidents fell from 2,749 in 1991 to 326 in 2020.

Record number of driving licenses

According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, the number of driving licenses of all classes in the Federal Republic of Germany was 44.9 million on January 1st, 2022. That's 12.7 million more than in 2013. The number of driver's licenses has increased steadily in recent years. According to a survey of 921 driver's license holders, 51 percent of the main reason for getting a driver's license is "to get your own job or apprenticeship". Also important at 47 and 46 percent: personal living conditions and missing or limited mobility alternatives.


The number of driving licenses and driving tests in 2022 was higher than ever before: 1.76 million practical driving tests and 44.9 million driving license holders show that mobility is important to many people. It's a good thing that far fewer novice drivers die in car accidents than 30 years ago - that speaks volumes for the safety of cars and driver training. It's hard to see why so many more candidates are failing the exam. According to the TÜV association, it could be due to the more complex and dense road traffic.


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