The price of the driving course may reach BGN 1,300 by the end of the year due to the galloping fuel prices, Telegraf reports.
Driving schools last updated their prices last fall, when industrial electricity prices reached staggering levels.
Then the price of the driving course reached an average level of about 900-950 levs for prestigious schools with modern cars, their own centers for theoretical training and coverage of the legal norm of driving lessons. Currently, the theoretical training is 40 hours and the practical – 31 hours driving.
Representatives of the branch for training of novice drivers confirmed that at the price of gasoline and diesel over BGN 3 the prices cannot be kept as they are.
According to them, the fuel costs of a school that works in the light and pays taxes and insurance are about 30% of the total, and the current prices of the course are calculated at a price of gasoline of about BGN 2.40.
However, against the background of the general inflation and the threat of interruption of the supplies of Russian oil, there is a danger that by the end of the year petrol and diesel will approach BGN 4 per liter. Although with a smaller share of costs, more expensive electricity for businesses also leaves companies with no choice but to raise prices.
“The price increase is inevitable for any school that complies with the law and pays the due taxes and insurances,” Krassimir Georgiev, owner of one of the largest driving schools in Bulgaria and chairman of the Association for the Qualification of Motorists in Bulgaria (ACAB), told Telegraf.
“Either we have to adjust prices up, or driving hours down. It is clear that in view of road safety and the training of young drivers, it is better to choose the former, “said Georgiev.
The driving course in Burgas currently costs from 700 to 800 leva. The price also includes exam fees. The most expensive are the courses in the big schools, which are also the most preferred. The lowest fees of BGN 700 are offered only by beginner instructors who are just building a name and gathering clients.
In the seaside town, it has been a practice for years to pay the price in two or three installments, but if the student wishes, he can pay the full amount in advance before the start of the course. The course includes theory and practice and lasts from 25 to 60 days depending on the free time of the students.
If it is necessary to take additional driving lessons outside the program, they are paid 20-25 levs per lesson lasting 50 minutes. Most prospective drivers get their hands on theory and practice without a problem. About 20-30% fail the leaflets and only 10% fail the practical exam, say the instructors by the sea.
The price of the driving course for amateurs in Ruse is from 750 to 850 leva, a reporter’s check of “Telegraph” showed. Almost all companies offer the opportunity to pay the amount in installments of 2.3 or more installments.
The price includes theoretical and practical training, the two internal exams and conducting the exams in theory and practice before the State Automobile Inspectorate. For the second and each subsequent appearance, however, you pay extra – for internal exams about 40 levs, and for those before the traffic police – about 70 levs. The course to the Bulgarian Red Cross is paid additionally and costs BGN 60.
Fewer students due to high prices
The activity of the driving courses in Varna is gradually shrinking with the growth of the fuel prices, commented local companies, which are engaged in the training of young drivers. The business is getting worse, commented the manager of one of the big companies that have been organizing driving courses for years.
“As fuel prices rise, we are forced to raise exchange rates. It was a time when one course cost BGN 500, and now we have started the year with BGN 700 and now we have to raise the fee again with another BGN 50.
At the moment the exchange rate is 750 leva, but the prices cannot be raised constantly because people do not have money and are having a hard time. It is difficult to spend money on courses because the times are hard for them and for the business that is trying to survive, “the instructors complain.
They put an end to fictitious driving lessons
Full digitalization of the control over the driving lessons in the driving course. Representatives of the branch and the State Agency for Traffic Safety, which is called upon to coordinate the activities of all state institutions with regard to the road war, have agreed on this.
The instructors and the agency shook hands to monitor the driving by a special system of phone and tablet, which provides information on whether the hours are covered by monitoring the speed and route of the car to ensure that the hours are really covered. Theoretical training will be mixed – part in a training center, part – distance.