The World’s Toughest Places To Get A Driving Licence

For many people, learning to drive is an involved process. You have to gain knowledge of road laws, take driving tuition and pass driving tests. Once you pass those driving tests, you can then get your driving licence.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, you have to pass the driving theory test and a practical test. But in some countries, learning to drive can be a lot more involved, with the process often taking years rather than months!

In today’s blog post, I discover some amazing facts about the toughest places around the world to get a driving licence.

Image via Flickr


The Nordic country boasts some of the safest drivers on the planet. But there is a reason for that; they have to undergo strict driving tuition!

Finlanders have to spend at least 18 hours on the road learning to drive (not in one session, of course). They can only get taught to drive by a relative if their car has had a brake pedal fitted at the front passenger footwell. The instructed driving lessons must also include a “slippery driving” course.

Learners also have to undertake 19 theory lessons. Once all that gets completed, they must take a computerised theory test and a practical test in a city location for at least 30 minutes.

Once they pass, they get issued an “initial” licence! It’s valid for two years, and during that time they cannot get more than two road violations, or they lose it. To get a “full” licence, they must get more theory and practical driving lessons before taking even more tests!

No-one in Finland can work up to their full driving licence in less than two years.

Costa Rica

The Central American country is also tough on new motorists.

There are three separate tests that you need to pass before you can get a full driving licence. First, you need to take the theory test. Next, a practical driving test gets carried out. The test is a simulation, rather than one that gets done on the actual streets of Costa Rica.

Once you pass your theory and simulated practical tests, you then have to go for a medical examination. Blood pressure and eyesight are just some of the things you would get tested for.

Only when you get given a clean bill of health, and you passed your other tests, can you get a driving licence!


The country recently held the World Cup, but, as a resident of Brazil, what do you need to do to drive around places?

There are some people that Brazil won’t give a driving licence to, such as illiterate people and children. Before you can even apply for a driving licence, candidates have to pass physical and psychological exams.

Once you pass those tests, you have to take 45 hours worth of theory lessons. At the end, you have to pass a theory exam. The next stage is to take at least 20 hours worth of practical driving lessons. In Brazil, only approved driving instructors can teach you.

When you’re ready, you must take a practical driving test. It’s only when you pass that, as well as all the previous exams and tests that you can get your driving licence.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.