What does it take to a foreigner to apply for a driving school in Czech Republic and to successfully pass the driving exams? This question has been raised by many foreigners on social media, so I thought I should put together an article with a detailed overview of all the steps and options.
If you are an experienced driver, there is a chance this article is not relevant for you. Wondering if you even need to take driving exams here or you can use your foreign driving licence in Czech Republic? Check out that separate article first, otherwise keep on reading.
How to apply for a Czech driving school as a foreigner?
In order to be accepted to a Czech driving school, you need to be able to prove your intention to live here long-term, i.e. over 6 months. Typically, the driving school will ask you to show them your long-term or permanent residence permit. Otherwise, it’s a matter of agreeing with the individual driving school on the spot. These are private businesses after all, and they’re more interested in your money than in bureaucracy.
If you, as a foreigner, decide to get a Czech driving licence by attending driving courses and passing the driving exams in Czech Republic, there are a few things that you’ll need here.
- You must meet the age requirements for the specific driving licence category you want – typically 18 y/o. The earliest you can start attending driving lessons is 18 months before you get to the driving age for the licence category you want.
- File a written application with the driving school of your choice.
- Undergo a medical check with a regular General Practitioner who will confirm your fitness for driving. Mine, for example, prohibited me from driving without glasses or contact lenses; and it is stated in my Czech driving licence. 🙂
- You must have no ongoing sentence of prohibition to drive motor vehicles imposed by a court or administrative authority.
And, of course, as already mentioned, you should be able to prove that you’re a long-term or permanent resident in Czech Republic. You might be able to agree with the driving school that you will attend the lessons without being a resident in Czechia. However, you won’t be allowed to apply for the driving exams after your course completion.
Czech driving exams: requirements for application
Your driving school will submit your application for the exams after you complete the required minimum number of academic hours (45 minutes each) of driving training:
- 36 hours of theoretical classroom training
- 28 hours of practical driving with your driving instructor
However, of course, if after completing these hours of training you don’t feel confident moving to the next step – the exams – you can choose to continue with training further. Usually, Czech driving schools ask you to pay extra for these additional hours of driving training and practice. The price of additional practice lessons, for example, is usually around 500-600 CZK.
Normally, a driving course in Czech Republic takes 3 months. The above-mentioned hours of theoretical training and practical driving are spread throughout the week to accommodate working people’s schedule. However, many driving schools offer more intense courses that allow to shorten the training down to a month. In such case you still need to complete all the necessary hours of training, so your training week is simply more intense.
Czech driving exams for foreigners
Driving exams in Czech Republic take place in Czech language, even if you are a foreigner who may not speak Czech. However, you can hire a translator who’ll accompany you during the exams – that’s not prohibited. Most driving schools who offer their services to foreigners in Czech Republic, also offer translation services during exams.
Hiring an official translator to accompany you during your driving exams will cost you around 2000-4000 CZK per exam. Note that if you attempt to pass any of the Czech driving exams without a translator and you happen to fail, you won’t be able to hire a translator for your repeated attempt. So, if you are not confident about your Czech, I recommend opting for the translator from the beginning.
The Czech driving exams consist of two parts – theoretical test and practical driving exam. Both are mandatory, and you cannot skip any of them. If you intend to obtain a driving licence for categories C1, C1 + E, C, C + E, D1, D1 + E, D or D + E you also have to pass an exam on vehicle control and maintenance. But this is probably not going to be relevant for most of my readers. Most people will need a simple B category driving license to drive a regular vehicle in Czech Republic.
Czech driving exams: test on theory of driving
The first part of the Czech driving exam is a test of your theoretical knowledge. It’s a multiple-choice test consisting of 25 questions. The maximum number of points is 50, and you need to get at least 43 points to pass the test. You only have 30 minutes to answer as many questions as you can. If you fail, you can repeat the attempt, but not earlier than after 5 business days.
Questions in each driving test are a subset of a longer list of predefined questions. There are over 800 possible questions, all of them are known beforehand and made publicly accessible the Ministry of Transport. In fact, you can even try some of these questions yourself. But you need to have somebody by your side who can help you with Czech.
Czech driving exams: driving practice
Here, in Czech Republic, the practical driving exam can only be approached after you have passed the theoretical test. If the practical driving exam goes well, you shall receive a special form with all the stamps from the school, in which you shall see your exam results. This is the base for your future application to obtain a Czech driving licence.
Note that if you fail your practical driving exam, you can repeat the attempt but not earlier than after 5 working days. Also, keep in mind, that if it’s been more than 6 months since you passed any one part of the driving exams (test or practice) but not the other, the law requires that you repeat the whole course with the driving school.
After you successfully pass all your exams you have 6 months to apply for your Czech driving licence on the bases of your exams results. If you live in Prague, go to the Drivers Registry next to Vysehrad metro station. There you will need to follow the steps outlined in the ‘how to get a Czech driving licence as a foreigner’ section of this separate article we wrote. If you are based in any other Czech city you need to go to the Municipality / Town Hall and complete the same steps there.
What to expect from a Czech driving practice examiner?
According to the Czech Ministry of Transport, the practical driving examiner is supposed to check that you…
- drive safely regardless of the intensity of the traffic on the road,
- are capable of driving on different types of roads,
- can handle an intersection, controlled by traffic lights,
- drive safely alongside public transport vehicles and on roads where you can come across pedestrians,
- can handle driving outside the town, and, in large cities, at least on a multi-lane road with higher speed limits,
- fully control the vehicle at a higher speed and in various manoeuvring situations,
- show quick and safe decision-making while driving,
- react correctly to the traffic situation.
The driving practice examination typically takes around 10 to 25 minutes. The length and intensity of your experience will largely depend on your driving skills and the mood of the examiner. 🙂 But, it’s also fair to mention that the established relationships between the examiner and your driving instructor can also play a role. So, choose your driving school, and the instructor, wisely! 😉
Driving schools for foreigners in Czech Republic
Finding a driving school in Prague that offers driving lessons for foreigners in English isn’t that difficult. While in general there is no shortage of driving schools in Prague, I decided to make a special list. I looked through forums and social media and made a list of those driving schools that are explicitly recommended by foreigners living in Prague.
The list of foreigner-friendly driving schools in Prague that you see below consists exclusively of offer of driving courses in English. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that some of these driving schools also offer courses in other languages, such as Russian, German or French. I ranked them based on their current rating on Google. The prices vary quite a bit, but so do the reviews and the location of these schools around Prague. So choose the driving school that fits you the best.
|Cost of B category training (CZK)
|Cost of extra training per ride (CZK)
|Automated gearbox extra cost (CZK)
|Verdunská 720, Prague 6
|J. Masaryka 219/49, Prague 2
|Bělocerkevská 24, Prague 10
|Ondříčkova 1304, Prague 3
|Podjavorinské 1600/3, Prague 11
|Autoskola Karen Tylova
|Eliášova 3, Prague 6
|Slavníkova 2334, Prague 6
|Roháčova 109/1609, Praha 3
Czech driving licence categories and validity
There are 16 Czech driving licence categories and the validity period varies. Most people will need the B category to drive regular cars and smaller motorcycles.
This common category (B) driving licence along with categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B + E and T are issued with a validity period of 10 years. They cover driving of lighter vehicles or motorcycles, except for the B category (regular cars). Other categories (C to E) are for those who want to drive trucks and buses – these are only valid for 5 years and must be renewed afterwards.
|Czech driving licence category
|AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B, B + E, T
|C1, C1 + E, C, C + E, D1, D1 + E, D, D + E
Elderly people have their driving licences valid for the same periods as described above. However, there is a catch: the holder of such licence should undergo a medical check-up 6 moths prior to turning sixty-five and sixty-eight years. Then, a medical check is required every two years.
Czech driving schools and vehicles with an automated gearbox
Some foreigners, especially those from the USA, might be interested in obtaining a licence specifically for vehicles with automated gearbox. And it is possible in Czech Republic. You won’t be allowed to drive a car with a manual gearbox with such driving licence, because this limitation will be noted in your licence. But if that’s what you want, it can be arranged for your money. 🙂 See the example below and the code 78 next to the B1 and B categories on it. This code means that the driver is only allowed to drive cars with an automatic transmission.
Nowadays, many Czech driving schools offer courses aimed at obtaining the B category licence limited to vehicles with an automated gearbox. All your practical lessons and the driving exam will be completed in a car with an automatic transmission. The price for such driving course is often around 2000 CZK higher than the regular B category course. In the table with foreigner-friendly driving schools mentioned earlier you can see how much extra each school charges. Some don’t charge anything extra at all.
Final thoughts on driving schools for foreigners in Czech Republic
For a foreigner, finding a driving school in Czech Republic shouldn’t represent a major problem, especially if you live in Prague. Many driving schools offer lessons in English and some other languages. Of course, the cost will be higher if you compare it to the money you’d spend if you were to take the course in Czech language. But even then, after adding the extra costs for the English-friendly instructor, study materials and possible the translator, the final cost is still lower than in many other countries.
The training process is the same as that for the Czech citizens, as well as the exams. The only difference is the language barrier. I hope you found this overview article useful. If you did, consider supporting our project by buying us a coffee here. Coffee keeps us going! I wish you to pass your Czech driving exams at the first attempt. Have fun driving in the streets of Prague. 😉
Check out other articles about life in Prague
- Driving schools for foreigners in Czech Republic
- Use Revolut in Czech Republic and abroad – it’s expat money-saving tip #1
- Renting a flat in Prague: 4 great ways to find your new home
- The best tricks for cheap shopping in Prague. Cashback offer as the cherry on the top!
- Czech driving licences for foreigners explained