Driving schools have gone up in price, yet they are packed in the summer

Driving schools across the country have no shortage of clients this summer, with some offering free dates into the autumn. Compared to last year, many of them have gone up in price by several thousand crowns. The new test questions have not significantly affected the success rate of pupils, according to information provided by driving schools.

“This is the third time in a row that many of my colleagues have had no time off over the summer holidays,” Aleš Horčička, chairman of the Association of Driving Schools of the Czech Republic, added. The year before last, driving schools had to close in the spring and then again in the autumn because of COVID.

Several driving schools in Ostrava have also confirmed that they are not keeping up. The operators of the local driving school Olda said that they currently charge CZK 15,900 for the B course, while last year, at this time, it was CZK 11,900.

Although the price in Ostrava has jumped, it is still relatively low. Across the Czech Republic, prices for the B course oscillate between CZK 15,000 and CZK 25,000, reaching the upper limit in Prague.

The new questions students are mastering.

The Čapková Driving School in Mladá Boleslav currently costs 20,500, up from 18,000 last time. At the Senička Autoškola in Olomouc, the course costs CZK 16,000, last year it cost CZK 14,000. Usually, this is the price for a 90-day course with driving once a week, and express systems cost more.

Driving schools have already become significantly more expensive last year, on average by a quarter, according to statistics. They justified this by higher prices for fuel, cars, and instructors’ work.

Due to the sharp rise in prices, they also came under the scrutiny of the Antimonopoly Office (ÚOHS), which investigated statements made to the media, suspecting that they were coordinating prices. In January this year, the OCC informed us that, even given the corrective measures taken, it had decided not to initiate administrative proceedings.

New questions have been added to the driving school tests for over a year now, with over a hundred in total.

“In terms of success rate, the new questions do not deviate from the average of those that existed before,” Horčička, the head of the association, said. They will present more detailed results in September. He told pupils were preparing for the new questions, and nine out of 10 still passed the theory on the first try.

The operator of the Olomouc driving school, Zdeněk Dvořák, registered a slightly higher number of dropouts. According to him, it is more due to the new test questions than the fact that, previously, pupils had plenty of opportunities to pass the test. Now they have only three. This rule started to apply last July. “I don’t recall any question being so tricky that clients made more mistakes on it than others. It varies. It’s different for everyone,” Dvořák says.