You are done with studies and have started professional life, i.e. Job/PhD.
A couple of years to come you are intending to stay in Germany. Having a car is not a bad idea. Is only this the right time to do driving license or one can do this even during his/her studies? A fully personal decision!
As my Brother and other colleagues have already provided all the details on this topic, I will just mention some general things and narrate my experience of going through this journey, the main difficulties i faced and of course few useful suggestions. It took me almost 2 months that I attended theory lessons and practical driving hours. Like most of us, I had idea to bring Pakistani license and get it translated to save money and time in terms of NO theory classes participation, and less training hours before
Exam. But, being not fully confident about my driving skills and eager to take classes made me go for 2nd option. 14 theory lessons = 7 visits and still preparation at home before theory exam. Because, to attend the lectures is not enough that you can pass the exam. I just wanted to learn from a teacher in person how Traffic rules work and how we obey them. After passing theory exam, I started training. After my first 2 hour I asked
my teacher how much hours do I need to drive so that i am able to get my license. I was little surprised when he said 30, as against my expectation, i.e. 20 hours. We are more concerned about training hours we have to take, because it decides mainly the overall cost. For a beginner, 12 hours are must and rest depends how fast he/she learns how to drive considering the Traffic signs and regulations, while its is 8 hours a must if you get your license translated. I did it in total 24 hours, each 35 Euros. As whole it cost me after 10% discount 1150 euros, incl. theory classes, TÜV Fee.
Now comes important part of this draft. We want that we obtain our license with the minimum of the money. That is completely OK, if we can save it by finding a driving school that offers some discount, like 5-10 % return of whole cost or 50-100 Euros Gift coupon and reasonable charges per hour, e.g. 35, not 45 or 50. But having in mind that I have saved 1000 euros and I want to do it within this budget in not a good approach. At
the end, we intend to pass the exam, not to fail by saving few hours = 150-200 euros.
Also, you can not compare yourself to others if others did this even in 500 euros. He might be too good at driving or very clever with the road sense. Doing 2-3 training hours in extra is a smart approach to pass the test confidently. We do not want to take any chance that we fail, because then it might cost 300-500 euros more + more time and mental stress. Below are given some more tips.
1. There is not much new stuff in latest learning theory material, but still best option is to buy a latest CD from the school and practice with it. It costs around 25 euros. 2. We really need to trust the traffic signs what we can not in our hometown, e.g. on priority road we should not be slow if a pedestrian cyclist approaches from the side.
3. Do not blindly follow the other vehicles while training. They usually go a
little/considerable above the speed limit what we can not do during our driving test.
4. You can carry out theory and practical part simultaneously to save your time, but preferable is what the Norm is. Pass theory so that you you do not need to ask your trainer when you are confused about a certain situation. It does not mean that you should not question him at all. Ask him everything what comes to your mind while you drive.
5. Never feel nervous and hesitant during training hours that you are just about to do a mistake. Let it be! Trainer is there to control it. It is good to do as much mistakes as possible before the real examination.
6. The most confusing thing I found was to keep/leave/change the lane while turning left after a signal. We do not learn this precisely in theory, but on road. Some times these white lines indicating directions are covered by vehicles waiting before you at signal.
7. Try to be friendly with your instructor. Customer has a general perception that they make more money by convincing us to drive as more practice hours as possible. Mostly it is true as well, but NOT always. They also want that we pass first time.
8. Driving teacher want us to drive like a perfect driver. Sometimes it irritates when he points out some less necessary things or when he did not see us, by chance, doing some most necessary gestures like Schulterblick, although we did this. Also during test we have to show it to examiner that you are doing it in a perfect manner. This may decrease the overall test time from 30-45 to 15-20 minutes.
9. To perform a simulation test/driving hour right before real test is recommended. Do not confuse yourself by watching too much videos on youtube. Follow your Instructor.
10. Do not ask your instructor too much during early hours for your test appointment. You and your instructor both know the best time for it.
Like other examinations in Life, both Theory and Practical driving tests are not difficult at all as they seem at first look. But we are still supposed to take them serious.