Driving tests around the world

UK learner drivers feeling hard done by should spare a thought for their Danish counterparts who have to spend hours in the classroom and pass endless tests to get their license.

The motoring experts from LeaseCar.uk have looked at driving tests around the world to see just how much they differ.

In some countries, residents don’t even have to take a formal test whereas in others, learners have to complete hours of practice and pass numerous different tests before they’re let loose on the roads.

Denmark is one of the hardest with set hours in the classroom and a lengthy first aid test, yet in Mexico, there’s no test at all.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said: “It’s surprising just how much tests differ around the world and how little learners have to do in some countries.

“Having a tough test isn’t a bad thing at all. It’s important learners are used to driving on different types of roads and in varying condition before they pass their test.

“But some countries do seem excessively tough, and others far too lenient. In the UK, we seem to have reached a happy medium.”

Here is LeaseCar.uk ‘s guide to driving tests around the world:


In the UK there’s a theory test and a practical test for learner drivers to pass. The theory test includes multiple choice answers to 50 questions and a hazard perception test. The practical test involves 40 minutes of driving.


In Mexico you simply apply for a licence and you’re deemed safe to drive. It’s up to each state to make a decision on how they test learners – some will have a form of test but not many.


Japan is thought to be one of the hardest places to pass your driving test. During the test there can be some instant fails – drivers have to stay at 30kph or 19mph or under throughout the test. Failing to stop at a traffic light, and not staying left enough in the lane are all instant fails too. Learners can either go to a designated driving school where they sit the written exam but don’t need to do the practical. If they learn independently, they’ll need to do both tests.


Passing your test in Sweden is tough. There are eight theory tests to pass including theoretical training on drugs, alcohol and driving, and a hazard lesson where you learn how to control a car in a dangerous situation. In the practical tests, learner have to drive on a city road, in a housing estate and on a highway.


Driving laws tend to vary state by state in the USA and most will ask learners to sit a practical and theory test. The practical will last around 30 minutes and there’s a short theory test too. Both can be taken on the same day. The minimum age to drive in the USA is just 16 in some states, however other states require you to be at least 18.


You’ll need to take a theory and practical test in Greece to drive any type of motorised vehicle. The minimum age is 16 years for a motor bike and 18 for a car. Greek driving tests can be stressful. There tends to be two examiners in the back of the car during the test, with the instructor in the front.


Russian learners have to do a theory and practical test before they’re given their licence. To get a licence, they must be physically fit to drive including certificates of mental fitness and no record of substance abuse. They also have to pass a test set by the local traffic police authority and pay a fee.


Learner drivers can get behind the wheel at age 16 in France, but you’ll need to register with a driving school and get 20 hours of practical driving before taking a theory test. The practical can be taken when you’re 18 and have completed 3,000km of accompanied driving. Once you pass your test, there are certain restrictions for up to three years.


Passing your test in Denmark is tough. There will be a set number of hours in the classroom, a driving course on a closed track, a course designed to simulate icy roads and a set number of hours on public road. Learners will also need to cover up to eight hours of first aid and had their general health and eyes checked.

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