Hämeenlinna Driving Schools Among Finland’s Cheapest
[THU APR 20 2017; A4-A5; ’Hämeenlinna autokoulut halvimpien joukossa’, Juho Peltoniemi]
* Driver’s licenses are clearly cheaper than a few years ago.
* Instructor: a certain amount of driving tests have to be rejected
The prices for driver’s licenses in Hämeenlinna have fallen to be among the cheapest in Finland.
According to the comparison at talouteni.fi, the average price for a B-license in Finland is 1847 euros, whereas in Hämeenlinna the average price is 1692 euros.
Hämeen Sanomat conducted an additional comparison of license prices shown on driving schools’ websites, and calculated the average price of a B-license in Hämeenlinna to be 1600-1740 euros, depending on whether the student had a previous A1 license for light motorbikes and whether virtual simulators were used in instructing.
In 2013, a B-license in a Hämeenlinna driving school cost, on average, 1780 euros, and Hämeenlinna was one of the most expensive cities in Finland to get a license.
In the comparison, the driving school Lehtelä turned out to be the most expensive in Hämeenlinna, but, according to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, it had the highest percentage of students to pass the test in the Hämeenlinna area. Entrepreneur Jani Salo says driving schools in Hämeenlinna are not particularly competitive in terms pricing.
Of Lehtelä’s students, 84 percent passed the test. Of those, four out of five passed on their first attempt.
Salo says that around 85 percent is the maximum amount of students able to pass the test on their first attempt. The most common reason for failing is a mistake caused by stress.
– Our goal for the amount of students to pass on their first attempt is 90 percent, but achieving that feels unattainable. However, the remaining 15 percent aren’t lost causes, but the assessor of the test rejects a certain amount of tests by making the students drive a more difficult route, says Jani Salo.
Instructing in driving schools has changed drastically and continues to change. The CAP driving schools of Hämeenlinna have started using simulators as part of their driving lessons, and last year the Ministry of Transport and Communications begun reforming driving education.
The reform has many goals: to lessen regulation, to reduce the price of licenses, and enabling alternative digital methods of instructing. The legislative proposal will be presented to the Finnish Parliament in early summer.
In practice, driving education would become examination-oriented, which means that students with sufficient skills in handling and theory can take a driving test and get their license faster than is currently possible. The lessons in classrooms could be replaced with other education.
Jani Salo suspects that the legislative amendment won’t make getting a license any cheaper.
– There will be an increase in failed driving tests, so driving schools become more expensive for the students. The price of every new examination is at least 200 euros. This has happened in other countries as well, and I don’t think Finland’s drivers are any better.
Good results in Kanta-Häme
* Of all the B-license driving tests taken in Finland in 2016, 70 percent passed. Of those, 71 percent passed on their first attempt.
* In Kanta-Häme, the percentage of passed tests was 77, and 76 percent passed on their first attempt.
* In national comparison, driver’s licenses are cheapest in Nokia (1416 euros on average) and the most expensive in Kokkola (2246 euros).
* The difference in price for Hämeenlinna’s B-licenses between the cheapest and the most expensive is several hundred euros, the most expensive being 2200 euros.
* The license price can be reduced by having a previous A-license and the amount of simulator lessons chosen.
* In price lists, the price for B-licenses should be shown with all additional fees and different driving school prices should be able to be compared.
* The comparison conducted by Hämeen Sanomat contained the basics stage, the practice stage, the advanced stage, and official fees, as they were reported on the websites.
Sources: Trafi, talouteni.fi, websites of driving schools