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Old 18.07.2012, 11:56
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Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

I held an Indian Drivers license and was in CH for a little over a year before I applied for the conversion. They are usually not very strict about the one year rule, so if you are late by 2-3 weeks its still ok to apply for the conversion (Note: you can apply for the conversion anytime, just that you will not be able to practice with your old license if you apply after the 1 year period).

I got a date 1.5 months from application, took out a mobility membership and also contacted a driving instructor to begin lessons. Some background information about my driving: I have driven for 4 years continuously before the 1 year break while in CH. but all of those 4 years were in India where

1. the first rule is that there are no rules
2. left side driving
3. pedestrians are treated like vermin
4. the largest vehicle on the road has the priority
5. No trams and scant respect for public transport

Given this, I needed to unlearn a lot of the habits I had acquired and I took 10 lessons before I reached a stage where I had an intuitive feel of the rules and road behaviour (some of the rules are not at all intuitive and mastering them needs more practice). I also drove around a bit with mobility rentals and I think it was a waste of time/money the way I did it. Since I was always a safe driver, if pushed to a spot where I had a couple of options, i just took the safer option and never followed a particular route. If you decide to practice with mobility, i suggest adopting a task-completion/route-following routine rather than just driving around for the sake of it.

One of the important rules people might miss is that you can do your kontrollfahrt in an automatic vehicle and still receive the full license if your existing foreign license is for both auto and manual. Also, if you have a foreign motorcycle license already, you do not need to test separately for that. Doing one kontrollfahrt with an automatic transmission car is enough to get a license of the same standing as your existing foreign license.

The day of the exam, i was a bit nervous and had one session with the instructor before the test. The examiner turned out to be a pleasant young chap although he did not speak a word of english. One trick which I dont think any instructor teaches is to hallucinate a lot of traffic especially pedestrians and bicycles even if they arent around. This ensured that I kept looking around and in the mirrors a bit more than actually necessary. I followed his "Links" and "rechts" and there were a couple of times where I was sure I had made a mistake. There was one particular instance of a left turn on to a main road with tram tracks on the middle where I rushed from my road onto the middle and the examiner thought I was a bit rash and asked me to watch out for the traffic on the lane on which I was joining. I was sure I had failed at that point. But I continued driving with concentration and at one point, missed a 80 sign (i can swear i did not see one) and kept motoring at 60. Again, the examiner asked me to accelerate to 80. The whole thing lasted about 35-40 mins and then we were back in the strasseverkehrsamt and the examiner congratulated me on passing the test. I received my license the very next day.

Tips gleamed from my experience:

1. start lessons early (8-10 lessons are plenty for someone who has driven anywhere for 2-3 years)
2. Rent out from Mobility and drive around the strasseverkehrsamt around the same time as the final test
3. Have a partner/friend give directions or use a Navi to ensure you follow a task completion routine every time
4. The instructor offering lessons is a businessman after all and will try to increase the number of lessons required. It is upto you to optimize the learning by asking many questions and directing the lessons towards your weaknesses.
5. On the day of the test, keep looking around, keep glancing at the speedo every now and then - push it 1-2km above the limit whenever you can to show your experience (speed limits are a thorn for any experienced driver)
6. Stop early for pedestrians and smile and signal for them to cross, thank when offered a right of way when you dont expect it. Never overtake a cyclist without at least half a car's width. Turn on and off the indicators for even small deviations from your lane. In other words, act like how a typical swiss driver is supposed to act (not like how they act most of the time )
7. On returning back to the SVS, park clearly in the space, put on the parking brakes, put the vehicle in P or in a gear, turn off the ignition, take out the key and then turn towards the examiner to know your result.

PM me if any of you still need some advice or the contact of the instructor I went to.
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Old 18.07.2012, 12:42
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Re: Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

Kontrollfahrt...<childish snigger>
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Old 18.07.2012, 12:49
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Re: Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

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Kontrollfahrt...<childish snigger>
Kontrollfahrt = waiting till you are out of the tram before letting one go.

<sniggers along with Silverburn>




The unexpected summer temperatures are getting to my brain.
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Old 19.07.2012, 16:41
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Re: Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

Quote:
The unexpected summer temperatures are getting to my brain.
In that case it's permanently summer in my childish little mind!
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Old 04.09.2012, 21:21
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Re: Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

Hi there,
I tried to msg you but the system wouldnt allow me. Can you suggest a good (& cheap! I am a student) driving instructor.

I've been driving on the right side for a few years, but I need "swiss" specific instructions.
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Old 12.10.2012, 23:44
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Re: Experience - Passed my Kontrollfahrt

Hi there! I am getting ready for my Kontrollfahrt, and appreciate to read your extensive and very useful post.
Thanks a lot for putting it together!
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