Learning to drive in Sweden Posted by Katja 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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