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How do I learn to drive in Belgium?

03:05 01/10/2019

There are four licence categories: A3 (scooters/mopeds), A (motorcycles), B (cars) and G (agricultural vehicles). To obtain a Belgian driving licence, you need to fulfil a number of conditions: pass a theory exam and a practical test declare that you have not been banned from driving or have passed a reintegration test, and declare that you have no physical disabilities or afflictions that could prevent you driving safely.

Each region is responsible for awarding licences, so there are some variations in each. Brussels and Wallonia introduced major changes in 2018, following Flanders in 2017, rendering the theory test more difficult. In Brussels, the theory exam can be taken in French, Dutch, German and English. Failure on two or more serious misconduct questions now means automatic failure. They include running a red traffic light, driving the wrong way along a motorway and accelerating while being overtaken. After passing the theory test, candidates have to complete an emergency first aid course at the Red Cross before taking the practical test, which is accessible via various routes.

To learn to drive, you must be over 18 and hold a valid provisional licence. If you fail the practical twice, you have to take six hours of training with a driving school before retaking the test. It is similar to tests in other EU countries and lasts at least 40 minutes. Either the driving instructor or a qualified adult is present. It is possible to be accompanied by an interpreter, but only in French, Dutch, German or English. The examiner sits in the back of the car. You need the following original documents at the test: proof of identity, provisional driving licence, proof of identity and driving licence of the accompanying person, proof of payment of the fee, vehicle registration documents and proof of insurance.

During the test, you will be asked to perform two manoeuvres, such as a three-point turn, parallel parking or reversing in a straight line. There is also a risk perception test. Once you pass the practical test, take the certificate, two passport photographs and proof of identity to the local commune to be issued with a full driving licence.

There are more than 60 driving schools in Brussels. Prices vary between €850 and €1,200 for a full course of lessons. To compare prices, consult ClickClickDrive.be.

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Written by The Bulletin