Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 16th October 2010, 00:26   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Note: I aim to pen down my experiences of getting my Swedish drivers license (which is still a work-in-progress ) in this thread.

Prologue

The license to drive... something I’ve been dreaming about for years! As a kid I kept on imagining what it would be like when I would be able to drive! Unreasonable demands of always sitting in the front passenger seat to get a “driver’s” view of the road. What joy it would be to mash down the clutch, slot into gear, floor the accelerator and slip the clutch as it engages.... take swooping turns and cruise for hundreds of kilometers in a day.... aaahhh it was like a raging madness inside me.

For all of you can already drive and have been doing so for long - you perhaps have forgotten the feelings and emotions, the anticipation to drive that I guess we all experienced as kids?

Before we move on, I’d like to share some basic information about the Swedish drivers license.

What is required to get your drivers license (I’ll expand on all of these later):

- Permission to learn driving from authorities
- Risk-education 1: A course on the risks of driving, being under the influence etc.
- Risk-education 2: Executing several car maneuvers in slippery conditions
- Night driving (depending on the season)
- Safety checks.
- Eco-Driving
- Theory: A LOT of theory. Massive 300+ paged book and several additional 30-40 paged ‘support’ booklets. 70 questions on the test with 52 required to pass.
- The driving test.

So, how much does it cost?

Well to be honest it depends on your capabilities and interest in driving! But to put it in perspective, it took my father about 60 Driving lessons (1 hour each), 2 Theory tests, and 4 Driving tests (over a period of 2 and a half years) to get his license. He already knew the basics of driving and had a valid Indian driving license before starting. Cost? Well we all decided that it would be better if we didn’t sum up the costs (to painful)... but the final cost landed at around 50 000 SEK or about 3 Lakh INR.

As they keep on repeating at the driving school, driving is a privilege not a right.

But enough. Rewind to June. My exams are over. I have about a month with absolutely nothing to do. I’ve turned 18. All those years of looking forward to being able to drive surge inside me. My massive interest in cars from a very young age entice me into believing I can pull it off on my first attempt and save sacks of moolah.

How much have I driven before? To be honest, very little. The cops here are super strict and if I’m caught driving underage, without a license, it’s my father’s license that’s gone as well as getting the permission from the authorities to learn driving: I’d be smoked!

So I’ve tried my hand in a few parking lots and that’s about it. BUT, ‘I know everything about driving, petrol flows in your veins’ my heart tells me. My mind replies with a harsh and evil, ‘But you’ve never driven!’. Mental images of Jeremy Clarkson in an expensive car, grinning smugly from ear to ear while drifting around the Top Gear track appear, clouding my mind.

I’ve got to get my license.


I walked in confident that I’d nail it in June. Now it’s October and my first driving test is booked for the end of the month. My confidence? Well it’s been tamed to say the least!


Write up about my first driving lesson coming soon. Watch this space.

Last edited by anekho : 16th October 2010 at 00:43.
anekho is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 02:00   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NOIDA, Manchester & Cardiff
Posts: 565
Thanked: 42 Times
Default

Please do expand it and post all details, especially atleast the course details. That will open eyes of many of our so called drivers and will be a good source of education for them.

How I wish our Ministry of Transport wakes up and stops the comedy which happens in our RTO offices while granting driving licenses. A copy of Licensing processes and procedures, as prevailing in advanced countries should be sent to the minister concerned also.
akj53 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 02:36   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
simply_sunny001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London & Rohtak
Posts: 1,339
Thanked: 15 Times
Default

well, its almost same in every decent country but its not the toughest thing to do at least.

so please dont call it Toughest in the world as you are misleading people.

last year i did my UK license in 1st try without any issue at all, just understand what the whole procedure of test is all about and you should be gud.

Last edited by simply_sunny001 : 16th October 2010 at 02:37.
simply_sunny001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 02:59   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
Please do expand it and post all details, especially atleast the course details. That will open eyes of many of our so called drivers and will be a good source of education for them.
Yep, I'll do my best to write about the education in detail!

Quote:
Originally Posted by simply_sunny001 View Post
well, its almost same in every decent country but its not the toughest thing to do at least.

so please dont call it Toughest in the world as you are misleading people.

last year i did my UK license in 1st try without any issue at all, just understand what the whole procedure of test is all about and you should be gud.
The Nordic countries (especially Sweden, Finland and Norway) have some of the strictest requirements (due to adverse weather conditions) and hardest tests for getting a license (generally recognized as the toughest in Europe). I can't comment much on UK, but some friends have also agreed the test in Sweden is harder.

To put it in perspective only about 53% of all who applied for a license in 2009 were able to get one.

My intention is not to compare countries... only share my experience. If more people feel mislead the title can be changed.

Anyways a teacher in my driving school mentioned that one of the toughest licenses to get is the Japanese one!

Last edited by anekho : 16th October 2010 at 03:05.
anekho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 03:13   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
simply_sunny001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London & Rohtak
Posts: 1,339
Thanked: 15 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post
To put it in perspective only about 53% of all who applied for a license in 2009 were able to get one.
i was told at time of my practical test that only 48% got the License in UK.

and for me the title is surely misleading as you are saying "toughest in the world"

it can be toughest for you but not for everyone.

but never mind

good luck with your test
simply_sunny001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 13:08   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default Getting Started

Getting Started

Before you can start attending driving lessons, a learners permit is required - takes about four weeks to process. You send in some forms, a health declaration and the prescription from an eye test. I did all this well before June (in April I think) and so was armed with all the documents before starting.

Choosing the right driving school requires some research as many of the schools are known for ‘milking’ the learners into several more lessons than required. After registering onto a ‘learn driving in Sweden’ forum and reading some posts I narrowed down my choice. So I joined the school and booked a packet of 10 lessons (why not be optimistic ).

My first lesson:

I’m sitting in the waiting room of my driving school. I’ve been assigned teacher J. Or General J, as I like to say . Now J really has some military like aura around him; his choice of army camo pants don’t help!! But J is a great teacher, and seems to really care that his students do well - he really shows initiative to help them.

As I’m waiting eventually J comes down. He greets me, checks the learners permit papers and we head off to the car.

I’m welcomed by a Black, 2004, Volkswagen Golf. The exterior bares all the tell-tale signs of a Learners Car, with small nicks in the paint, small marks on the tires and in general a mildly abused look. J decides it’s better I start in small roads in a park like area and drives there. I guess I looked kinda nervous or something so he starts talking.

‘So do you have any questions about the lessons or so?’

‘Well...’

‘Yes?’

‘Is this the Golf with the 1.9L Turbo Diesel?’

Being who I am I couldn’t resist talking about the car rather than the lessons! The General is amused and agrees. I’ll be driving a 90HP, 210NM Golf.

We reach the park road and we swap seats. I adjust my seat, the steering wheel, put on my belt and await further instructions from the General.

‘Drive’

I guess he wants to assess my skills, I think to myself. This is it, my chance to prove I can finish in fewer lessons than my father!!! I stomp down the clutch and the brake and fire up the diesel heart. The Golf reaches its lazy idle. Release the hand-brake. Quick check in the mirrors around me. Slot into first. The box is really sweet might I add. Really sure slotting and no notchiness at all. Slowly release the clutch while lightly tapping down the accelerator.

The car jerks into motion; not quite the impressive smooth start I had in mind. Oh, well. I move like this for a while and then decide I’ll try to impress the General with a shift to Second. Off the accelerator, down with the clutch, shift. My gear change is pretty good. A quick glance at J to see his reaction. No such luck, he’s maintaining a General like composure and looks stern. I pick up some clip and decide third gear has to be engaged.

Off the accelerator. Down with the clutch. Shift. I release the clutch and accelerate slightly.

KRRRr-Puttt.

Stalled. I had managed to slot into fifth accidentally. There goes my streak. J breaks the silence and asks me how many lessons I think I’ll need.

’15 or so?’

‘My estimate is that you should start with a set of 30. It’s evident you are interested in cars and if your dedicated I guess you could finish with these 30 lessons.’

I’m miffed. There goes the moolah.

The rest of the lesson my spirit is dampened. J introduces me to the basics of maneuvering and ‘creeping’ forward with the car. I’m given a booklet about all this as well some questions to answer before next class.

Last edited by anekho : 23rd January 2013 at 04:58.
anekho is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 13:55   #7
BHPian
 
akshaymahajan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Delhi
Posts: 473
Thanked: 97 Times
Default

Nice write-up.
And 300,000 for a driving license?? I could get one made for Commercial Aircrafts/ Spaceships for less than that here in Delhi.
akshaymahajan is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 15:17   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,599
Thanked: 6,685 Times
Default

I took my driving tests in UK before the theory test came to be. I passed second time. First time I should have been perfectly capable (my instructor was amazed I failed) but completely unexpected nerves got the better of me. When I passed on the second try, I mentioned to the examiner that he had made me feel comfortable, whilst the previous examiner had made me feel uncomfortable. I can't forget his reply: "that means that you weren't actually ready to drive". So true: how much worse than one examiner is several screaming children and a couple of equally cross family?

Anekho, this is a really good thread, and I am looking forward to your story leading up to that licence you so much desire!
Thad E Ginathom is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2010, 15:27   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
suhaas307's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 8,001
Thanked: 6,135 Times
Default

Very well written, Aneesh! Excellent thread, 5-stars!

I'm sure getting a license in India is small-fry when compared to acquiring a license anywhere in Europe. Anyway, I can't wait to read your complete write-up. You're keeping me at the edge of my seat!
suhaas307 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2011, 14:00   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 8,625
Thanked: 9,096 Times
Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

It's been a while since this thrad hasn't been updated- so DID you get your Swedish DL or not?
noopster is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2011, 14:55   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Completely forgot about this thread! My vacation starts from Sunday, and I'll finish this write up over the next few weeks! Expect a lot to read

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
It's been a while since this thrad hasn't been updated- so DID you get your Swedish DL or not?
I did

Took a lot of blood, sweat and money but it was all worth it in the end!
anekho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2011, 16:55   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 826
Thanked: 113 Times
Default Re: Getting Started

Quote:
Originally Posted by anekho View Post

My estimate is that you should start with a set of 30. Its evident you are interested in cars and if your dedicated I guess you could finish with these 30 lessons.

Im miffed. There goes the moolah.

Great thread! But on the above, I smell a scam here. I have heard from more than one source that the Driving Instructors in Europe like to make money by prescribing more lessons or that they expect handome tips. Do you think that's true in your experience?

--Ragul
Ragul is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2011, 22:26   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
blackasta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Kolkata, WB
Posts: 2,730
Thanked: 873 Times
Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Damn man - that's a small fortune you are paying!
I took driving lessons in USA to learn driving - and 7 lessons @ $40 per hour was thought enough by the instructor - and I passed the driving test at first chance.
Interestingly - after driving for about an year and half in US (driving on snow, mountains, dirt roads etc), I came back to India, and without any followup lessons - drove my car out of the showroom and joined the organized chaos that Indian traffic is.


Edit: just went through this webpage http://www.awcgothenburg.com/driverslicense.htm - some bemusing facts -

Even if you come to this country with many years of driving experience under your belt, you would be wise to realize that the Swedish driver's license is one of the most difficult in the world to acquire. This isn't the five-minute-around-the-block-a-couple-of-times-driving-test you took when you were 16!

The process of acquiring a Swedish driver's license is
expensive. While most American teens save their money to buy their first car, Swedish teens and young adults save money for their first driver's license. Many Swedes never go through with or complete the process at all because of the degree of difficulty and cost involved and because Sweden's public transportation system is extensive and effective. High gasoline prices, annual inspection costs and vehicle taxes also contribute to this phenomenon. So it is not so unusual to NOT have a driver's license.

EU citizens can simply trade their DL - so someone from the french riviera without any experience in driving on treacherous conditions can get a swedish DL without breaking a sweat, but someone from say himachal pradesh / ladakh need to go through excruciating tests and pay up exorbitant amount of money!

Last edited by blackasta : 27th May 2011 at 22:35.
blackasta is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th May 2011, 18:41   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Great thread! But on the above, I smell a scam here. I have heard from more than one source that the Driving Instructors in Europe like to make money by prescribing more lessons or that they expect handome tips. Do you think that's true in your experience?

--Ragul
Thanks! Some driving schools do that, and I read several reviews online of the various schools nearby before choosing the one I learned in. Tips are never expected.

As I'll explain in my write-up later on, I'm pretty sure I was not cheated of more lessons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Damn man - that's a small fortune you are paying!


Edit: just went through this webpage AWC Gothenburg - Getting a Swedish driver's license - some bemusing facts -

Even if you come to this country with many years of driving experience under your belt, you would be wise to realize that the Swedish driver's license is one of the most difficult in the world to acquire. This isn't the five-minute-around-the-block-a-couple-of-times-driving-test you took when you were 16!

The process of acquiring a Swedish driver's license is
expensive. While most American teens save their money to buy their first car, Swedish teens and young adults save money for their first driver's license. Many Swedes never go through with or complete the process at all because of the degree of difficulty and cost involved and because Sweden's public transportation system is extensive and effective. High gasoline prices, annual inspection costs and vehicle taxes also contribute to this phenomenon. So it is not so unusual to NOT have a driver's license.
Yup, that pretty much sums it up. They keep on re-stating that 'driving is privilege and not a right'.

On the other hand they have some pretty sweet cars to learn in! One of the more expensive schools in town teach the students in a Range Rover Sport (automatic license) and a Mercedes E-Class Coupe for Manual!

Last edited by anekho : 28th May 2011 at 18:42.
anekho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th October 2011, 00:47   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,998
Thanked: 658 Times
Default Re: The Swedish Driving License - My Experience

Wow. I really am bad at following up on threads! Don’t like leaving things half done, so this thread will be completed! (At this rate that might be a few years from now.)

____
Signs of Homework


My first lesson ended with disappointment. I was nowhere near as good as I though I was, and I didn’t like the Golf Diesel. It felt heavy, slow, and unwilling to coordinate or cooperate with me. All the parking lot practice I’d had was with petrol cars and suddenly this felt different. And hard.

One thing I forgot to mention earlier is that even though I had payed for the packet of 10 lessons, the lessons themselves weren’t booked. Each student is given a username and password, and then themselves book times for their lessons.

Here’s the shocker. It’s June. Summer has just started and in Sweden it doesn’t stay for long. Good climate like this is a great opportunity to learn driving in a relatively ‘easier’ conditions than the cold, dark, icy winters. And for this reason, EVERY other 18 year old in Sweden also starts the license project in the Summer. And this makes getting lessons incredibly hard!

You really can’t be a chooser and you’re left with no choice but to lap up any lesson that’s available. My Second lesson was almost one week after my first.

To be honest, my spirits were dampened. 30 lessons. And I was starting my second one, one week after my first one. This was going to be a long term project, lol. None-the-less, I answered the questions in the booklet and was ready for the second lesson.

Showed J the booklet and he just threw a glance at it, and said ‘Alright’. He didn’t even read my answers! We got into the car and I was briefed about the days lesson.

‘I’ll drive you to the park where we were last lesson. There I want you to get the basics of car maneuvering right. Things like creeping forward and backward, being able to judge the dimensions of the car, and we’ll round off with some parking practice.’

I nodded. And we were off. As he drove us to the park he suddenly sprung me a question.

‘What is the Right-Hand rule?’

I was like ! This was from the Homework!

‘Uhhh.... It’s.... you know, when vehicles from the right...’ I was stumbling.

‘Do you know?’

‘Not really’

‘It was in the homework’

*silence*

‘I didn’t memorize it ...’ I mumbled.

‘When you’re on the road you can’t refer to books! Please learn what I assign THOROUGHLY!’

J was turning red at this point and I had to pacify him, assuring him I’d do my best.So that’s how General J expected me to be prepared for each lesson. I needed to know the theory inside out. No slacking at all! He never really looked at the answers I wrote in the book but would quiz me while driving.

For the record, I know the right hand rule now. Thoroughly!

(For those interested, it’s this: When traveling on a road that is not a ‘Main Road’ you need to give way to vehicles that approach from the right. ‘Main Roads’ are identified by this yellow board

Name:  Screen Shot 20111024 at 9.06.54 PM.png
Views: 3425
Size:  15.6 KB

The rest of the lesson proceeded quite well. The Golf seemed to be in a more forgiving mood and I was able to adapt decently. We did various creeping exercises, including reversing around corners.

More homework was assigned for my next lesson, and I was informed that for my next lesson we would be heading into the forest! Needless to say, I did my homework thoroughly that night

Last edited by anekho : 23rd January 2013 at 04:59.
anekho is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The International Driving License (IDL) / International Driving Permit (IDP) Thread amitoj Route / Travel Queries 457 12th July 2017 18:52
How to convert a foreign license to indian license gautamkhadse The Indian Car Scene 19 9th June 2017 21:53
WRC Round 2 - Uddenholm Swedish Rally khanak Int'l Motorsport 28 21st February 2008 01:58


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 15:20.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks