This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
CNET On Cars: Top 5: Differences between US and German licenses
About Video Transcript

CNET On Cars: Top 5: Differences between US and German licenses

3:13 /

If you've ever been to Germany, you know it has a higher bar for getting a driver's license than in the US. Brian Cooley shares his top five observations.

yes, when Americans go to Germany they're in awe of the Autobahn, when Germans come to America, they're in awe too. In awe that we haven't killed each other with our lousy driving. I'm Brian Cooley with the top five reasons there's such a difference. The top five differences between U.S. and German drivers' licences. Number five: there's a first aid course. See, we're not talking about the U.S. where being prepared means knowing how to punch the numbers 911. You need to pass a real first aid course in Germany, 8 hours of it. That's like getting an M.D. in Somalia. Part of the course also teaches you how to secure the accident scene. In America we just call OnStar and start crying. Number 4, You Learn Theory. US driver training isn't training so much as muscle memory. German training gets into the essence of driving. There are at least 14 and possibly 20 or more hours of this theory training to get ready for a theoretical exam. And that consists of 30 multiple choice questions. But unlike here in the US, there can be multiple correct answers for each one. You need to nail them. Number 3, you really learn driving. You'll need a minimum of twelve 90 minute on the road training sessions, 4 of which have to be on the Autobahn and at speed and about 3 of those have to be at night. By the way, if you take your training in an automatic transmission you'll only be licensed to drive that. Driving a manual with that same license is considered driving without a licence. If you're instructor detects that you suck, you could be in for up to 20, or even 30 of those training sessions. In the U.S. that would qualify you to fly for Southwest. Number 2, it takes time and money, 3 to 6 months is what you need to allot to get your first drivers license in Germany. And that's not time just waiting to turn a certain age, it's real work. Unlike the US, you don't learn to drive by having your parents take you out to a parking lot for a couple of hours. You go to a Fahrschule, and it can easily cost you something in the region of 2,000 euros. This is real school. The number one reason a German licence means a little more then one in the US is that a test is a test. Three wrong answers on the German test, and you've failed. That's nearly twice as stringent as here in California. Fail three times? And you have to go back to that school. Viewer Oz Kay wrote in and told me. When my parents lived in Germany, they said if you failed the driver written exam three times, they sent you for a psych evaluation to see what's wrong with you. And questions like, what is the maximum speed you're allowed to drive a truck with a permissible total mass of 3 tons on a road with one marked lane for each direction outside built up areas. Will make you seriously consider getting a bus pass instead. You also have to open the hood during your drivers test and identify for the instructor the major visible components. Where you would check the oil? How would you top off the coolant? In America you could weld most people's hoods shut then wait a year or two and see if they've noticed. High tech cars and modern driving. That's all we do at CNETONCARS. COM. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]

New releases

The Armor A60 portable drive can...
2:10 25 October 2014
CNET editor Dong Ngo did some blah blah talking and then a real-world drop test on the Silicon Power Armor...
Play video
Macan: Meet the very different...
21:47 25 October 2014
Porsche Macan marks the beginning of several chapters for the carmaker, plus a new list of the safest cheap...
Play video
Help battling robots cause even...
6:03 25 October 2014
This week on Crave, we take a closer look at the Hendo hoverboard, fly on a Virgin Galactic spaceship, and...
Play video
Bowers & Wilkins C5 Series 2: A...
2:00 24 October 2014
The C5 Series 2 sounds better than the original and is one top in-ear headphones for less than $200.
Play video
Mr. Coffee gains some smart home...
2:27 24 October 2014
The $150 Mr. Coffee Optimal Brew Smart brews 10-cups at a time and can be controlled by the Wemo mobile a...
Play video
The Philips 100W Equivalent LED...
1:20 24 October 2014
We tested this bulb to see if it's a better buy than GE or Cree
Play video
Breaking open iPads, Groupon's...
2:54 24 October 2014
The iFixit team reveals the secrets inside the new iPads, Groupon mimics Yelp, and Microsoft kills the free...
Play video
Vizio P series: Good and cheap...
2:31 24 October 2014
The highly anticipated Vizio P series is among the cheapest 4K TVs available and delivers a very good picture,...
Play video