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Old 03.08.2021, 09:00
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How long will it take to relearn driving?

I am in the middle of setting some goals for the next 5 years (assuming I am still around)

So I have a UK driving licence. I passed my test on the first attempt, 25 years ago (manual transmission). Since then, I have lived in cities and NEVER drove I have ridden motorbikes for many years when I was younger. I will eventually move to the mountains or move to Southern Europe, maybe in 5 years time. Whatever I decide, I will definitely need a vehicle with space for one passenger + space for supplies. That means I need to relearn driving and pass my test again

- Do I pick a teacher based on the vehicle he uses? For example, I would eventually like to use something like a Subaru Outback, Suzuki Jimny or equivalent.
- Manual or automatic?
- How much driving will it take for me to be confident?

Any other advice?
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Old 03.08.2021, 09:23
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

Do you still have a licence that can become a Swiss one? Then relearning might be best done through a friend starting in a car park.

I know of people who didn't drive for 10 years but started again with only a few missed starts with a manual. Confident again in a week. Very personally dependent though, I know of some people who drive all the time and are still not confident.
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Old 03.08.2021, 09:26
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

Before over-thinking it I'd book a lesson just to see what if anything comes back to you, then you can answer the last question yourself.

Is language a necessary criteria?

I wouldn't bother about the vehicle - it just limits your options, and ultimately they're not going to teach you offroad, you can do some fun lessons on that later
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Old 03.08.2021, 09:44
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Do you still have a licence that can become a Swiss one?
Looks like I could have converted it in the first 12 months, I have missed that boat.
https://en.comparis.ch/umzug-schweiz...schein-schweiz


Quote:

Then relearning might be best done through a friend starting in a car park.
Don't have friends, only goats


Quote:
I know of people who didn't drive for 10 years but started again with only a few missed starts with a manual. Confident again in a week. Very personally dependent though, I know of some people who drive all the time and are still not confident.
All the tram lanes plus right hand traffic means I will definitely need some lessons with a pro.
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Old 03.08.2021, 09:47
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Before over-thinking it I'd book a lesson just to see what if anything comes back to you, then you can answer the last question yourself.
Sounds good.

Quote:
Is language a necessary criteria?
I speak basic German, not sure if it is good enough for a written driving test in German. Ok will start reading up the traffic book and go for a chat with the local driving school.


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I wouldn't bother about the vehicle - it just limits your options, and ultimately they're not going to teach you offroad, you can do some fun lessons on that later
Thanks
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Old 03.08.2021, 09:51
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Looks like I could have converted it in the first 12 months, I have missed that boat.
https://en.comparis.ch/umzug-schweiz...schein-schweiz

All the tram lanes plus right hand traffic means I will definitely need some lessons with a pro.
Take a look at the licence thread, you need to change it in a year if you're using it, I think it's up to 5 years otherwise, I've not studied the topic in detail as I switched mine within the 12 months.

Trams are not the end of the world, and in ZŁrich they're fairly easy, just remember not to get in their way! Right hand traffic you get used to very quickly. Anytime I'm home it takes a short drive to remind myself to switch the Left right left, to right left right check.
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:30
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Take a look at the licence thread, you need to change it in a year if you're using it, I think it's up to 5 years otherwise, I've not studied the topic in detail as I switched mine within the 12 months.

I have been here longer than 5 years Anyone knows if it can still be converted to a Swiss one?



Anyway, I went to this site-

https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

Entered my details, and it says my UK licence is still fully valid

Licence valid from: 22June 199x
Licence valid to: 11 August 20xx


Quote:
If your paper licence was issued before March 31, 2000, and, as outlined above, all of the information on your paper licence is still correct, then it will usually remain valid until you turn 70.

To swap to photo card-
https://www.gov.uk/exchange-paper-driving-licence

Youíll need to:

- have your driving licence
- be a resident of Great Britain
- meet the minimum eyesight requirement
- not be prevented from driving for any reason
- pay £20 by MasterCard, Visa, Electron or Delta debit or credit card
- have a valid UK passport or another form of identity
- have your National Insurance number (if you know it)
- provide addresses of where you have lived for the last 3 years

I am not UK resident any more. So am I stuck with a paper licence?
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:37
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

Found this thread-

https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...r-8-years.html
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:41
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Do you still have a licence that can become a Swiss one? Then relearning might be best done through a friend starting in a car park.
I think a problem may be that if you don't exchange your license within a certain timeframe after moving, you can no longer exchange it after that. This happened to me as well. I just never drive and so never thought about it, until one day I did need to drive and the lady at the car hire said nope.
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:43
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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I speak basic German, not sure if it is good enough for a written driving test in German. Ok will start reading up the traffic book and go for a chat with the local driving school.
I don't think you have to write anything in German. AFAIK they are multiple choice questions. So you need just enough German to understand the questions and answers.
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:45
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Right hand traffic you get used to very quickly.
They have right hand traffic here?

I just thought they are extremely rude, honking at me all the time.

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Old 03.08.2021, 10:47
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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I think a problem may be that if you don't exchange your license within a certain timeframe after moving, you can no longer exchange it after that. This happened to me as well. I just never drive and so never thought about it, until one day I did need to drive and the lady at the car hire said nope.

Looks like some people still managed to swap it over after many years (5+). They might ask me for a "control drive", or ask if I have been driving in the UK regularly.

Either way, I need to take lessons to get good and then attempt to swap over. I might get lucky, and they might do a straight swap, but I need to be prepared if they want to do a "control drive".
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:53
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

I have a brilliant idea: call the StVA and ask them!
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Old 03.08.2021, 10:53
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

just drive. you can't be worse than half the people on the roads here.

i'd be in favour of annual testing for driving and increasing the difficulty to ensure only a 50% pass rate.
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Old 03.08.2021, 11:02
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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I have a brilliant idea: call the StVA and ask them!

I will, but it is better to research before putting my foot in my mouth. Imagine they ask my details and I say something that will screw my chances for a simple straight swap

EDIT- From StVa website-

Quote:
The exchange period has expired

The driving license with the foreign driver's license expires after one year. It is important that you no longer drive in Switzerland after the exchange period has expired. However, you can exchange your foreign driving license at any time after the end of this year.

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Old 03.08.2021, 11:40
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

I admire your goal-setting, and humble approach. What a wonderful activity to undertake, and how courageous. What prompted it, if I may ask?


I think I'd focus on learning German well first, before tackling the driving conundrum. Imagine all the lovely or interesting conversations and opportunities to build connections to others you've missed-out on over the years, from not having a command of the local language.


It's the difference of experiencing the world in black-and-white, and then colour, when we learn languages, and it's such a good activity for keeping the brain in good health, and building resiliance.


No criticism of the poster should be implied from what I now type. This perspective from the above is clearly well-intentioned, and clearly posted to encourage you (which is a beautiful, hopeful sentiment), but I think it's the wrong approach for 2 reasons:
"So you need just enough German to understand the questions and answers."


Being out-and-about on the roads, without a command of a language to help in detailed ways during emergencies, or to ask for help in a detailed way, should we have an emergency, can be catastrophic. Delays whilst people try to convey things via charades, or consume a doctor's time and mental focus with translating, rather than providing medical assistance, can cost lives.


The other reason I think it matters to throw caution to the wind, and give German learning your all, is because you have done something so admirable, in setting goals. Doing the bare minimum does a great disservice to this valiant effort you undertook.


I admire you, and it's simply wonderful to see a rare bit of humility on the forum. Well done for being courageous, and best of luck with your endeavours.

Last edited by CliiniMuus; 03.08.2021 at 11:56.
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Old 03.08.2021, 11:53
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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I admire your goal-setting, and humble approach. What a wonderful activity to undertake, and how courageous. What prompted it, if I may ask?
Time is finite, plus I need to decide where I will live when I get older. Also, the repeated realization that I continue to never live up to my full potential

Improving German won't be part of the driving thing only. The other target is to become a Swiss citizen. So German learning to a higher standard will be my main focus. I speak German already, but not as good as I would like.


Thanks for your kind words, it put some wind in my sail
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Old 03.08.2021, 12:45
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

Personally, I would tend to manual. In five years time EVs will be much more prominent, but I'd still go for manual simply because it gives you more options (you can't drive manuals if you take the test on an automatic). However, that will increase the complexity, and almost certainly the lessons necessary, because there's more kinds of movements to automatise. Nobody gets younger, learning takes longer, so perhaps start with a manual and switch to automatic if it's too much trouble.

I wouldn't worry too much about the theory test, it should be available in English if you're not confident enough to take it in German.

You still have your UK license, doesn't that still give you the option of driving abroad? Germany may be reasonably close, and there's no such thing as too much practice once you've adjusted to LHD and traffic on the right.
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Old 03.08.2021, 13:12
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

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Personally, I would tend to manual. In five years time EVs will be much more prominent, but I'd still go for manual simply because it gives you more options (you can't drive manuals if you take the test on an automatic). However, that will increase the complexity, and almost certainly the lessons necessary, because there's more kinds of movements to automatise. Nobody gets younger, learning takes longer, so perhaps start with a manual and switch to automatic if it's too much trouble.

I wouldn't worry too much about the theory test, it should be available in English if you're not confident enough to take it in German.

.
Thatís actually not true anymore in Switzerland. They changed it a couple of years ago and even if you take your test in an automatic you can legally drive a manual transmission once youíve passed the test.
I wouldnít actually recommend doing it without practising in a manual car beforehand but it is absolutely legally possible.

The theory test is available in English in some cantons so if TTYL needs to do the theory the option is there.

As I understand it if you donít exchange the license within the first year you are not allowed to drive in Switzerland anymore but can still choose to exchange the licence at a later date within the first five years.

Once the five years has passed it is at the discretion of the authorities as to whether a straight swap is allowed or if a control drive is required. If you can prove you have been driving regularly outside Switzerland then they usually allow the swap if the licence is eligible for that. How you go about proving that is a different kettle of fish entirely and probably not that easy to do. I donít think this is the case for TTYL anyway.
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Old 03.08.2021, 13:33
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Re: How long will it take to relearn driving?

Hi TtYL


A couple of notes for you, I can highly recommend : https://www.transportschule.ch/
which are based in Wetzikon. Not sure if this is suitable location for you. They teach the full spectrum from initial classroom, through trailers to trucks and coaches.
A tip given to me by a police driver trainer, go on the local busses, and sit right at the front. Then look ( very closely ) at all the potential traffic hazards which are around. ( If you want to be really particular, you can mentally note them ).
Your driving ability will come back very soon. Good luck.
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