German Language Blog

Learning to Drive in German Posted by on Nov 23, 2021 in Vocabulary

After living in Germany for nine years, I have finally learned how to drive and I successfully passed my test a few months ago. Here are some tips and vocabulary if you also want to do your Führerschein in Germany.

Photo by andibreit on Pixabay

Der Ablauf

The Process

First of all, there are different types of driving licenses. The most common Führerschein (driving license) is Klasse B, which is how to drive a car. Here are the rest:

Führerscheinklasse B für PKW is driving license B for a car (PKW = Personenkraftwagen = person carrier)

Führerscheinklasse BE für PKW mit Anhänger is driving license BE for a car with trailer

Führerscheinklasse A/1/2/M für Motorrad is a driving license for a motorbike (the different letters depend on how fast the motorbike is and also from what age you can ride).

Führerscheinklasse C1/C1E für LKW is a driving license for a lorry, or truck (LKW = Lastkraftwagen = heavy goods vehicle/truck



Theory Classes

In Germany you have to go to what are known in Germany as theory classes before you can take the theory test. How many theory classes you need to do depends on which driving license you need. For example, for a standard B driving license you need to take 14 classes. 



Driving Lessons

There are a certain amount of special lessons you need to do before you can take your exam in Germany. For a standard B driving license, you need to have completed the following:


Fünf Fahrstunden auf Landstraße          five driving lessons on a country road

Vier Fahrstunden auf der Autobahn      four driving lessons on the motorway

Drei Fahrstunden in der Nacht                 three driving lessons at night

Once you have completed these steps you are able to take the practical test. In the practical driving test, your Fahrlehrer (driving instructor) sits next to you as they normally would. The Fahrprüfer (driving examiner) sits behind the driving instructor and will give you the instructions on where to go.

When you have successfully passed the theory and practical test, you will get your Führerschein (driving license) and have a two year Probezeit (probation), which means you are a Fahranfänger (a driving beginner). During these two years you have an Alkoholverbot (an alcohol ban) and even have a slower speed limit when driving in other countries such as in Italy and Croatia.


Helpful Vocabulary

der Führerschein                      the driving license

das Auto                                        the car

die Fahrschule                            the driving school

der Fahranfänger                    the driving beginner (male)

die Fahranfängerin                 the driving beginner (female) 

die Probezeit                            the probation period

das Alkoholverbot                  the alcohol ban

der  Fahrprüfer                         the driving examiner (male)

die Fahrprüferin                      the driving examiner (female) 

der Fahrlehrer                          the driving instructor (male)

die Fahrlehrerin                       the driving instructor (female)

die Fahrstunde                         the driving lesson

die Anweisungen                     the instructions

bestanden                                  passed

durchgefallen                            failed

Here are some more posts about driving in Germany, just click here and here. Do you have any other questions? Leave me a comment below.


Thanks for reading,



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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


  1. DJJG:

    Thank you! I started reading these in September, and I enjoy them very much. Btw, it would be “two-year Probezeit” in English punctuation instead “two year Probezeit.” I don’t know how that would be in German–probably some compound wording instead of hyphenation. But thank you again!

  2. jan barriault:

    you do these Blogs so well! love them, especially how you choose the content!! variety and humor while i learn?? what’s not to love!!

    • Larissa:

      @jan barriault Thank you so much Jan, I’m glad you enjoy them!