Learning to drive in Sweden Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in Living in Sweden

Alright everybody, I’m writing this blogpost while I am experiencing this myself. I am learning how to drive a car. Now, this is actually something many young people get very excited about so it is a big event in the coming of age in Sweden.

As soon as you have turned 16 years old you are allowed to start practice driving, with an instructor sitting beside you that is. That adult can either be somebody from a driving school, or it can be a parent or other person who has had a driving license for at least 5 years. Both the person learning to drive and the person who will be supervising them have to go on about a three hour course together to go through what the process of learning how to drive/teaching somebody who is learning how to drive involves.

The process of getting a learners permit is actually quite a long one. You have to have your eyes tested, fill in a health declaration and send in a form of what type of a learner permit you want to apply for. But before you can do any of that you have to have gone on the course together with your to-be instructor. All the forms get sent in to be checked before you can get a certificate with your name on it saying that you are allowed to practice drive, your instructor also needs one.

After that you have to get a sign, if you are going to be practice driving privately, then you need a green one. If you are going to driving lessons at a driving school then you have a red one where it says “Övningskör” (practice driving) on it. Many high schools offer a sort of driving course which you can take as a part of school, you still have to pay for all the driving lessons but you can get credits for the time you spend practicing at a driving school.

Even though you can start practice driving from the age of 16 you can’t get your license until you have turned 18. Getting your license involves a theory test (costs220:-), a practical one (700:-) and what is called a “halkbana” which literally means skidpan which is to prepare you for what it would feel like to be in a accident on ice. There is also a test called “riskettan” (costs 700:-) which is the first part in the sort of what could be called “risk training-course”. The test called halkbanan is the second part (costs 1700:-). There are of course other things you have to pay for as well, like taking a photograph for you driving license (80:-). On top of these costs you have to pay 150:- to have the license made, and if you are planning on driving privately then you have another 690:- at least to pay, that is without forking out for the textbooks and any gas when you are actually practice driving. In total you have to at least pay 4990:- privately, and much much more if you want to drive in a driving school. But then again it might be worth it huh?


To all of you who might be planning on applying to convert your license from a license which isn’t recognized in Sweden (all ones outside the EU) you have to pay for all the tests at least. I don’t think you need to practice drive anything, but I might be wrong. All this paper work takes a long time, more than a month and a half so I would be aware of that if you have any sort of planned event that needs a driver with a license. Hard to rush these sort of things.    


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  1. Mitch:

    Wow thanks for the heads up, it seems very complicated! In Canada there is just one written test and one driving test and you only have to wait 8 months after you get your learning permit to drive on your own.

  2. angela:

    Wow that’s a pretty expensive and involved process. When doing the conversion 4990 kronar is about $718 US. Are you required to purchase insurance on your vehicles in Sverige?

  3. Neil Scheiffer:

    B Line Traffic Schools is making their online teen drivers education course available in Georgia. The state of Georgia has approved this course, and it is designed to help first-time drivers prepare for the written DMV driving.

  4. Sarah Jane:

    Quite often, university student motorists will permit their nerves get in the way and will as a result fail. If you really don’t want this to come about to you, you need to prepare your self as significantly as attainable so that you don’t feel all that nervous. You possibly will truly feel some nervousness, but you can decrease the fear and intimidation by finding out, mastering, and training as a lot as possible.

  5. Elite Lessons:

    This is a very impressive driving setup and one that perhaps one that the rest of the world should take note of. Thanks for sharing – very informative post.

  6. ian:

    Katjia – you didnt indicate the currency you are using.
    4990 kr is not too bad in British pounds – but did you
    mean Kroners? Someone else has the same doubt…
    Cheers Ian

    • Katja:

      @ian Yes it is in Swedish Kronor, ie. kr. Sorry if it was confusing.

  7. Barry Gibb:

    Sounds like a completely different experience than here in the UK!! I did go to Sweden myself a few years back and was impressed with the general standard of driving and courtesy shown by most drivers. Got a bit lost in Goteborg but we found the Scandinavium in the end!!

  8. Linda:

    I wonder if all these lot of money stops accidents from occurring., in texas theory, plus driving permit $25 and you are allowed to fail 3*, driving text $11 dollars. anyone above 21 held licence for 1yr can teach you. fun life in America.

  9. Aino:

    It’s very similar here in Finland to get driving lisence than in Sweden. But we can start practicin at age of 17 and get the lisence at 18. This was really nice and informative text!