The toughest countries to sit your driving test and get your licence

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The steps to get a Finnish driving licence are as follows:

Basic Training – This involves 18 hours of instructed driving and 19 classroom lessons (45 minutes each) as well as 20 self study modules. Once those are completed, you need to pass a computerised theory test and a 30 mins driving test in the city which then entitles you to a short term driving licence valid for 2 years.

Practising Period – This consists of self-learning and coaching in a driving school and lasts for at least 3 months but can be extended to 24 months if you commit any motoring offence.

Advanced Phase – In this final stage, you have a 2 hour group demonstrations and exercises on the track and 2 hours individual testing assessment whereby you’re asked to drive on slippery surfaces like ice or wet roads among other things. You will need to excel in all to pass.

Here’s a nice video that explains it all (note that the licence is no longer for life but needs to be renewed from 2-15 years because of new regulations):

Finland is regarded as the hardest country to sit your driving test.


The steps to obtain an Australian driving licence are as follows:

Get a learner's permit
Eye Test – The eyesight test is conducted at the same time and place where you’re paying for your learner’s permit.

Medical Test – This is only required if you have any medical conditions or take any medication which can affect your driving.

Theory Test – Out of 30 multiple choice questions, you will need 24 correct answers to pass this test.

Note: You will receive a Learner Guide and Log Book and you’re required to display ‘L’ plates whilst learning.

Learn to drive
Complete 25 hours of supervised driving – You will need to record 25 hours Pre Practical Driving Assessment in your log book.

Choose a supervising driver – A qualified person who will teach you the different controls in the car and the right driving skills.

Practical driving assessment – You will be assessed on the following: flow, look behind, movement, path, responsiveness, signal, vehicle management during a 35 minutes test.

Gain Experience – You still need a supervising driver next to you and will have to get another 25 hours post practical driving experience.

Hazard Perception Test – You will need to wait 6 months after passing your practical test and have a total of 50 hours supervised driving before you’re allowed to sit the HPT test. You will be shown 28 videos (30 seconds duration each) and will have to click your mouse to either slow down, overtake, make your turn or move off. To pass, you need to score at least 54%.

Provisional Licence – Once you've passed the HPT, you will need to display red ‘P’ plates for the first 6 months and be subjected to night-time restrictions. Afterwards you must display green ‘P’ plates until your probationary period of 2 years is over.

Australia follows a Graduated Driver Training & Licensing (GDT&L) system and is among the toughest countries to get a driving licence.

Canada (Ontario)

The steps to get a Canadian driving licence are as follows:

Apply for a Driver’s Licence – You will need to pass an eye test and a written knowledge test about the Highway Code before you’re issued with a G1 licence.

G1 Road Test – After 12 months being stuck with the G1 licence and under restrictions such as zero blood alcohol and always being supervised whilst driving, you get to take your first practical test and upon successful passing, you will receive a G2 licence.

G2 Road Test – When another 12 months are over, you are allowed to take the G2 road test which is a more rigorous test assessing advanced driving skills and when you pass, you get a full G licence.

So all in all, you have to wait at least 2 years.

New Zealand

The steps to obtain a New Zealand driving licence are as follows:

Get a Learner Licence – Provided your eyesight meets the required standard, you need to pass a theory test and get 32 questions right out of a set of 35.

Get a Restricted Licence – After holding the learner licence for a period of 6 months, you’re allowed to sit the 1 hour long restricted practical test. You will then be able to drive on your own between 5am and 10pm but not be able to carry passengers except your spouse, partner, child or other people you look after.

Get a Full Licence – Young drivers under 25 of age will need to have held their restricted licence for at least 18 months before sitting the full practical test while those over 25 need to wait 6 month.

Therefore younger drivers have to wait at least 2 years for a full licence.

Note: After getting your full licence, you’re entitled to drive an automatic or manual car regardless of the type of vehicle you took your test in.


The steps to obtain a Swedish driving licence are as follows:

Apply for Learner Permit – Permission from their Department of Transport (Transportstyrelsen) must be sought and as part of the process, an eye examination must be carried out.

Take part in a compulsory drugs and narcotics course – During this lesson, you will learn about the effects and dangers of prescribed medication, drugs and narcotics.

The Slippery Road Test (Halkbana) – This 4 hour course involves active participation from the learner and exercises such as driving at speeds up to 100Kmph whilst remaining in control of the vehicle.

The Written Theory Test – This is a computerised test which consists of 70 questions but the first 5 do not count towards the total score. So you will need to get 52 correct answers out of the remaining 65 questions.

The Practical Driving Test – During a 45 mins drive, you will need to show your competency in driving safely and undergo one of the mini-tests (light check, engine check or inside car check).

There’s a probationary period of 2 years from when you pass your test.

United Kingdom

The steps to obtain a driving licence in Britain are:

Theory test
Multiple Choice – You have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions and you need to get 43 right. You can have a 3 minute break before the HPT starts.

Hazard Perception (HPT) – You will be shown 14 video clips and you’ll need to spot hazards in them. The sooner you spot the hazards, the more marks you get. A score of 44 out of 75 is required to pass the test.

Practical Test – The examiner starts with an eyesight test by asking you to read a number plate from 20 metres and then proceeds with 2 questions from the “show me, tell me” section which is about vehicle safety. If you fail any of these preliminary tests, it’s an instant fail. Otherwise you will continue with an assessment of your driving ability for 40 minutes which includes one or more manoeuvres and an independent driving part where you’ll need to show you can drive safely whilst making decisions of your own, that is, without the examiner giving you directions.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The steps to get a UAE driving licence are as follows:

Get Eye Test done - A certificate from a qualified optometrist is required.

Enrol at an Authorised Driving Dchool - Family and friends cannot teach you.

Pass Internal Tests – You have to pass parking and garage tests.

*Theory Test – This consists of 35 questions on road signals and hazards. The first 17 are general questions and you need to get 11 of them correct. The remaining 18 questions focuses on the category of vehicle you wish to drive and you’ll need to get 12 correct answers to pass in this section.

Road Test – You will be given just a few minutes to demonstrate your driving and anticipatory skills.

Although the procedures do not sound complicated at all, the pass rate for new drivers in UAE is as low as 30%!

What's your opinion

Do you know any other places with more rigorous learner driver assessment or you have something to add? Feel free to drop a comment..

gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

4 Replies

jamesdiamond Level 1

this is just a sick joke you have to get 43 questions out of 50 and they don't even make sense as I said before they just want money for nothing who ever came up with this idea of something so stupid like this money making scam needs to be shot.

groovychick Level 1

If you get your licence here, are you not able to exchange it for a local one when you move to a different country, without needing to redo the driving test?

kishlaya Level 1

And some people think parallel parking is difficult!

fickle Level 1

Good thing I passed my test when it was not so difficult :)

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