With rising inflation and rising fuel costs, driving schools are already raising tuition fees, so the cost of learning to drive appears to be higher.
Earners must complete 12 required lessons with a qualified instructor before applying for the test.
However, the price of these lessons can rise by as much as 60 euros as driving schools work on higher fuel prices.
Steve Murray, franchise manager at the Irish School of Motoring (ISM), said he promised to keep prices at the same level this year.
But he said Irish Independent Avoiding price increases is becoming more and more difficult. Operated nationwide, ISM currently charges € 495 for 12 lessons.
A driving school in western Ireland said last month it raised the cost of driving lessons by 5 euros per hour due to rising fuel costs.
But the school said demand remained, as people had no choice but to complete mandatory lessons.
Operated throughout Ireland, RSASchool of Motoring offered 6 lessons in Dublin in 2018 for € 197. Today, the cost of four lessons in Dublin is € 210.12, an increase of € 19.70 per hour.
Kevin Horgan is the Managing Director of Ladybird Driving School, which has about 60 franchisees and is active in 19 counties. Over the last few weeks, a “fuel surcharge of € 2 to € 3” has been added for each lesson.
“We strive to keep it as low as possible,” Hogan said. This additional fee is paid to the instructor for about 30 lessons per week to cover the additional cost of fuel.
Hogan said learners are “willing to pay” to complete the lesson.
Students say that other charges such as rent are increasing for ladybugs, but learners are considering long-term lessons to spread the cost.
According to a Money Guide survey in January this year, the average price for 12 lessons ranges from € 425 to € 577.
The pandemic accumulated backlog has been mitigated, reducing the waiting list for tests in some regions.
According to the Road Safety Authority (RSA), the waiting time is currently 8 weeks.
However, learner drivers in some areas have a hard time finding an instructor who can accept new students.
Hogan said: “We need another 50 instructors to meet the demand.”
Ladybird, Aviva, and ISM are one of the promotion schools that recruit and train instructors.
RSA said it did not expect higher tuition fees to discourage learner drivers.
A spokeswoman said: “Given that demand has been largely stable in recent years through economic challenges, RSA does not expect a different trend if this happens.”
Lessons are not the only cost faced by learner drivers.
Students pay € 45 for theoretical tests, € 20 for official vision reports, and € 35 for learner permits that last for two years.
After completing 12 lessons, the cost of the driver’s license exam is 85 euros.
Also, the official driver’s license costs 55 euros and lasts for 10 years.