The cost of learning to drive is expected to rise as driving schools are already raising the price of driving lessons amid rising inflation and rising fuel costs.
Earning drivers must complete 12 mandatory lessons with a qualified instructor before applying for an exam.
However, the price of these lessons could now increase by up to €60 as driving schools struggle with higher fuel prices.
Irish School of Motoring (ISM) franchise manager Steve Murray said they were committed to keeping prices at the same level this year.
However, he said so Irish Independent that it is “increasingly difficult” to avoid price increases. The nationwide active ISM currently charges 495 euros for 12 lessons.
A driving school in the west of Ireland said it raised driving lesson prices by €5 an hour last month due to rising fuel costs.
However, the school said demand remains as people have no choice but to complete compulsory classes.
Operating across Ireland, the RSA School of Motoring offered 6 lessons in Dublin in 2018 for €197. Today 4 lessons in Dublin cost €210.12 – an increase of €19.70 per hour.
Kevin Horgan is General Manager of Ladybird Driving School, which has approximately 60 franchisees and operates in 19 counties. It has added a “fuel surcharge of 2 to 3 euros” for each lesson in recent weeks.
“We’re trying to keep it as low as possible,” Horgan said. This additional fee goes to the teacher – who would have about 30 lessons per week – to cover the additional fuel costs.
Mr Horgan said learners are “willing to pay” to get classes done.
Although the students tell Ladybird that their other calculations, such as When, for example, rent has also increased, learners consider doing the course over a longer period of time to spread the cost.
According to a survey by MoneyGuide in January this year, the average fee for 12 lessons ranges from €425 to €577.
Test waiting lists have been reduced in some areas as the backlog built up from the pandemic has reduced.
The Traffic Safety Authority (RSA) announced that the waiting time is currently eight weeks.
However, in some areas, learner drivers have difficulty finding instructors who are available to take on new students.
Mr Horgan said: “I need 50 per cent more instructors to meet demand.”
Driving schools that recruit and train instructors include Ladybird, Aviva and ISM.
The RSA said it does not expect rising tuition prices to deter learner drivers.
A spokesman said: “Given that demand has remained broadly stable in recent years despite economic challenges, RSA does not expect divergent trends should this materialize.”
Driving lessons are not the only expense learner drivers face.
Students pay 45 euros for the theory test, 20 euros for an official eye test and 35 euros for a two-year learning permit.
After completing the 12 lessons, a driving test costs €85.
And the official driving license costs 55 euros and is valid for 10 years.
https://www.independent.ie/life/motoring/car-news/learner-drivers-spending-up-to-60-more-for-lessons-as-fuel-prices-rise-41829667.html Learner drivers spend up to €60 more on driving lessons when fuel prices rise