Are learner drivers facing price increases?
Learner drivers could be forced to pay more for lessons
Learner drivers across England will no doubt be delighted at the news driving lessons can resume on 12th April, This is only providing that the government’s road map to ease the lockdown goes according to plan. However, there may be more bad news for learner drivers just around the corner, which is bound to cause more frustration to those wanting to take driving lessons.
Driving instructors in my local area and no doubt across the country have been advised that in order to help ease the financial strain the pandemic and its associated lockdown has had on their businesses – is that price increases may be necessary. This will no doubt cause further stress and frustration to learner drivers, some who’s lessons and ability to sit a driving test have been frustrated for nearly a year now. Let’s be honest as well – driving lessons are also really expensive in some areas!
Why might instructors raise prices?
Driving instructors are generally self-employed and have higher costs than most people realise. When a learner driver pays £35 or £40 an hour for a driving lesson it does not mean that their instructor is cashing in! When you add up the costs driving instructors face it can help you to realise that driving instructors often have massive outgoings as well as incomings:
- Buying or leasing a car
- The car insurance
- Public liability insurance
- Vehicle tax
- Servicing and maintenance
- Unexpected car repairs
- Breakdown cover
- Phone bills
There are also other costs that we all face; taxes, rent, mortgages, household bills and other living costs. All of which need to be paid, whether or not an instructor is working. During the lockdown many driving instructors have faced a real burden on their finances, some instructors have even decided to leave the industry before they literally went bankrupt. Car payments and franchise payments for some instructors have been a real financial headache, with lenders and franchises not offering any payment holidays.
Like all businesses driving schools are looking to the future to try and find a way forward and to cover previous losses at the same time as earning a future wage. This is, unfortunately, looking like some driving schools and instructors will need to raise prices in order to survive – it is not about instructors being greedy, it is not instructors cashing in on the pandemic – for some it is survival!
At Paul’s Automatic Driving School and as the owner of my own driving school I am currently watching and waiting, to see how the industry I am part of, drives its way forward on the road to recovery. The future is not clear at the moment and in the coming few weeks the governments latest budget is due. It is possible that taxes, national insurance and other costs could rise significantly it the coming months and years, so at this stage, no decision has been made on any price increases.
Hopefully, you have found this post useful as have tried to outline the situation we all find ourselves in.
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