Failing Your Driving Test Four Times In Switzerland Lands You A Psychological Assessment

by : Cameron Frew on :
Failing Your Driving Test Four Times In Switzerland Lands You A Psychological AssessmentWarner Bros.

After the mental minefield of just learning to drive, Switzerland’s policy might actually be justified: if you fail your driving test four times, you need to pass a psychological assessment. 

Whether it’s yourself or a mate, everyone knows someone who’s struggled with the perennial battle of the driving test. No matter how well you control the vehicle during lessons, the testing environment simply plays with people’s heads.


It could be failing to halt at a stop sign, continually forgetting to check your mirrors, driving over a mini-roundabout – all for no rhyme or reason other than you’re bloody nervous.

Jesse Pinkman Driving GifJesse Pinkman Driving GifAMC

In the UK, if you fail your test, you simply re-book. You might go for another couple of lessons with your instructor (who you’ll likely resent to within an inch of their life) before you have another go.

If you fail again, the process repeats. This is Dante’s Inferno for some learners – an eternity of minors and majors, stupid mistakes that come and go in the blink of an eye (not to mention the great expense, as driving tests cost around £62).

Learner DriversPA

Switzerland, it seems, treats its learner drivers a bit differently. With every failure, there’s an extra condition – just to ensure you are actually fit to take the practical test.

According to the Swiss Authorities, if you fail once, you can generally resit after a month. If you fail a second time, you’re required to provide a certificate from a recognised driving instructor stating that you have completed your training.

Let’s say you fail a third time: you’ll have to undergo a driving aptitude test before you’re permitted to take a further test. What’s worse is if you fail that test too, your provisional licence will no longer be valid.

Driving TestOregon Department of Transport/Flickr

Finally, if you still can’t crack it on your fourth time, you may only take another test if you are given a positive psychological assessment on your ability to drive.

If you’ve ever come across someone who’s failed their driving test four times, this won’t seem like a terrible idea. By that point, learners are understandably worn down and feeling defeated after the constant brunt of failure.

It’s also worth remembering that losing your provisional doesn’t have the same ramifications in Switzerland as it does in the UK, where you simply fill out an online application.

Driving LessonsPA

In Switzerland, you must complete ten hours of first aid instruction along with your theory test before you’re granted a provisional licence.

If you’re one of those unfortunate souls battling driving tests again and again, keep the faith. It’ll be okay in the end.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, Cars, Driving, Europe, Mental Health, Switzerland


  1. ch.ch

    Practical driving test