Friday, 5 August 2011
Driving Licence 101 in Germany
As unsurprising as it sounds, Malaysian driving licence are not recognised at all in Germany (first being Malaysian driving at the other side of the road, and second for Autobahn factor which makes it more dangerous to drive here). Of the listed country in Asian, only Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore driving license are recognisable and one can easily change to a German one. The thing about obtaining a driving license in Germany is not easy at all. Although the regulations states that Malaysian needs to complete First Aid Course, Eye Examination, and take Theory plus Practical examination ONLY, no driving school would register you for exam unless you enroll in their school and had at least done/sat thru their course and lessons.
I´ve been shopping around since ages. The local schools here does not recognise my 18 years of driving experience, had quoted me full package as any young dude wanting to start a fresh and I find that totally insulting hence I held on till I find the right school. I was in luck finally, coz I not only got one whom does it in English, I was able to do the practical lesson part and the exam intensively under a week which means that it is sort of like refresher course (and I am not paying full price) but downside is, it is in Hamburg - a city north of where I live and is 3 hours drive away. I find it challenging and stimulating learning in a city environment versus a small town where I live. I figured, if I am able to handle the city, I should be able to drive all over Europe later then. Keep my fingers cross that all runs well.
This week I had embarked on pretty intensive theory learning and I now know why my Msian license is not recognised. In Germany, I have to cover topics related to Drugs, Alcohol, Environmentally Friendly Driving, Specifications of Different Vehicles and What is allowed and What Not (car with trailer, caravan, different tone trucks, where are they allowed to park, what speed which involve a lot of figuresss ... ), Bicycle/Trams etc crossing, Wild Animal crossings, Calm Area, Pedestrian Zone etc etc and I am only at chapter 6 with 8 more to go!
It is mind boggling I tell you ... but what to do, it is something that I had to learn well so that I will not get into trouble in the future. BTW, if I pass my driving, I will be under probation for 2 whole years! Bah! But nothing beats the thought of me having to drive in Autobahn where the cars speeds like crazy! I do hope I get a powerful car for the lessons. A lot of driving schools here are luring new customers by providing tantalising choice of German cars such as BMWs, Audis, Mercedes etc. VW is the norm here but some have even started offering Mini Cooper and Smart Cars too! In the past, I thought the schools are just being enterprising to offer such cool cars for students to drive but I have since changed my mind. If you drve in Autobahn, I think it is safer to use powerful, sturdy cars in such situation ... (except for smart, which I think might sway if a fast Audi comes from behind!)
So so ... wish me luck, I need it. I am kinda stressed out but also excited coz this also means that I will get to stay in Hamburg for a week or more soon! Searching for a good apartment in central location now .. any tips?