Getting a Group B driver’s license is getting more and more expensive, with prices jumping in the thousands over the last few years. According to driving schools, this was mostly due to rising costs. In larger cities, prices are already over twenty thousand, in the case of faster courses, even over thirty. Now, however, a change in trend is to be added, while young drivers have rather decreased, now strong vintages are to come again. And in addition, even younger drivers who have not yet reached the age of majority will get behind the wheel. And according to school representatives, prices will continue to rise.
Getting a driver’s license for a car for ten thousand is a thing of the past. The basic courses, which last for months, are already climbing to over twenty thousand in some places in the country. In addition, driving schools are announcing further price increases, and it can already be seen somewhere on the offers. For example, the price list of the Central Bohemian Driving School PL offers a basic course until the end of the year for 17.5 thousand. From the new year, it will be 1,500 drachmas. The same goes for the “crash course” for four weeks, which will still grow to 29,000.
Significantly higher prices are traditionally in Prague. As shown in the price list of one of the largest driving schools, Nobe, which operates in eleven cities in the Czech Republic, a group B license costs almost 24,000 in the basic course, while the fast courses range from 30 to almost 40,000. Regional differences in prices are shown in the price list modified for example for Ostrava, where a group B driver’s license costs just under 17,000.
“The capacity of driving schools and test commissioners in the Czech Republic has been on the edge for a long time. Driving school teachers, regardless of quality, are woefully few, and the outlook for the future does not promise improvement. According to driving school operators, the worst situation is in Prague, Pilsen and Ostrava, but the lack of drivers is evident in literally every city. It is literally impossible to increase the capacity, and the legislation that limited those interested in this profession by the unnecessary requirement of professional technical education is also to blame. The latter has fallen, but that doesn’t change the fact that one generation of driving school teachers is de facto missing,” the representatives of the Nobe driving school state, adding that strong classes born after 2005 are now preparing for the overloaded capacity. According to them, the increase in applicants can also play a role by foreigners, which increased dramatically as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
A law is also due to come into force in January, which will make it possible to drive from the age of 17. “According to preliminary surveys, roughly a third of 17-year-olds will use this option, which may be up to thirty thousand more interested than the usual number,” say representatives of the driving school. In the Czech Republic, thanks to an amendment to the points system, it will be possible to start a driving school course for driving a car at 15 years and six months from next year. From the age of 17, people will be able to drive a car for a year under the supervision of a mentor.
According to Martin Aujezdský, a member of the executive board of the Association of Driving Schools, there are no data available yet that would predict the real interest of people under the age of eighteen. If the interest corresponded to the data from Germany, roughly 20% of drivers’ license applicants would use the option. “The pricing of driving school courses is primarily determined by the market itself. Therefore, making price forecasts is completely meaningless. However, it can be assumed that prices will rise next year as well. At what speed and in what direction will time show. It could be on the order of units to tens of percent. Growth is influenced by many factors, in general it can be said that in larger cities, where there is greater purchasing power, price growth can be higher than in smaller regions,” added Martin Aujezdský.
At the same time, the trend among younger drivers has so far been rather the opposite. According to data from the Ministry of Transport, Czech drivers are getting older and the number of young people under 25 behind the wheel has decreased so far. While in 2014 about 68 percent of all people aged 18 to 25 owned a driver’s license, now it is less than 61 percent. The average age of a driver’s license holder in the Czech Republic is three years higher than in 2014, over 48 years. However, according to the Central Automobile Club of the Czech Republic, the situation will change in the coming years, when the mentioned strongest population years will reach the age of 18.
The total number of drivers in the Czech Republic has decreased since 2014 by about one percent to 6.03 million. In 2014, there were a total of 678,805 people between the ages of 18 and 25 with a driver’s license in the Czech Republic. By mid-August this year, it was about 34 percent less, namely 506,698 people. According to data from the Czech Statistical Office, there were about 991,000 people between the ages of 18 and 25 at the beginning of 2014, and at the end of last year there were about 21 percent fewer, about 820,000.