The price of driving licenses will double and this is not fake news. An agreement between the General Directorate of Taxes, that of Road Transport Services, as well as the National Associations of Driving Schools paves the way for price increases for all categories of driving licenses, setting unified minimum prices for theory and practical hours. With the entry into force of this agreement, the price of B-type licenses, the mass driving license needed to drive a vehicle, will cost 85,000 Lek from 35,000 Lek at the moment.
An agreement signed on February 14th of this year by the general director of Taxes, that of Road Transport Services and two directors of the National Association of Driving Schools, paves the way for price increases for all categories of driving licenses in the country.
The agreement signed on February 14
“The cooperation between the General Directorate of Road Transport Service, Tax Directorate, and Driving schools strengthens the national barrier in the fight against speculation and unfair competition, improves the regulation of the activity of driving schools, representing an institutional investment in increasing teaching parameters, considering how important road safety is for the public!” – wrote, among other things, on the day of signing the agreement, the General Director of the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, Blendi Gonxhe.
Two days later, a chronicle broadcast on Klan national television announced the doubling of the price of driving licenes of B, while referring to the agreement in question, through an interview given by Blendi Gonxhja.
The news was quickly distributed in all online print media and evoked numerous reactions in social networks, but Blendi Gonxhe considered the TV Klan chronicle ‘Fake News’.
“The price of the driving licenses neither increases nor doubles! This eliminates fiscal evasion and informality in the driving school sector!” – said Gonxhe.
Likewise, the price increase was denied on the official website of the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, which posted: “There is neither an increase nor a doubling of the driving license price.”
What does the agreement provide?
Faktoje obtained a copy of the agreement which is expected to be published in the Official Journal. In this document, the parties agree to increase the prices for all categories of driving licenses, rejecting Mr. Gonxhe’s claim that the news about the doubling of the license price was false.
“The parties have agreed that the fees for the preparation for obtaining theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge for drivers (minimum fiscal cost, including VAT) … or for being re-issued a driving license following the total loss of points, or for its removal, as well as for proof or certification of professional skills (minimal fiscal costs) will be the same for all entities exercising a driving school activity in the Republic of Albania.” – says the agreement.
More specifically, the cost for Class B driving licenses will reach 85,000 Lek from the current 35,000 Lek.
30,000 ALL – For acquiring theoretical knowledge
55 thousand ALL – For obtaining practical knowledge
ALL 85,000 – The total for obtaining a type B driving license
Driving license of category B is the regular license needed to drive a vehicle. Currently, the cost of obtaining this driving license ranges from 35,000 ALL to 40,000 ALL, while with the entry into force of the agreement, the value will double.
“The costs have been calculated by all the experts in the field, including all the elements needed to ensure a learning program in line with the directive of the European Union. The driving license is obtained once in a lifetime and is directly related to the life of the citizen, but it is not mandatory as it is not a 9-year school. The priority is to increase safety standards. This was necessary because many driving schools are involved in fiscal evasion, affecting the preparation of candidates for driving, as the [illegal] middlemen were suffocating the market. The agreement will enter into force immediately after its publication in the official gazette. There is no turning back.” – argues for Faktoje, Tonin Gjinaj from the National Association of Driving Schools.
‘A large number of people’ signing up for driving licenses
From an observation we made in various driving schools, the manager affirm that during this week there was a higher than usual interest in enrolling in the course. The number of registrations has also increased.
“These days there have been 4-5 more registrations than normal. There has been a lot of interest, but I don’t know how it will continue when prices go up. We are not even sure if it will actually increase or not. We do not have an official letter notifying us of the increase in fees. As a rule, we should receive something in writing that tells us, for example, that from this date the price will be changed. But so far there is nothing.” – Mario Brozi, owner of a driving school near the Student City, tells Faktoje.
“There has been and will be a lot of interest. People will get the services they will pay for. So far, people have not received that service because of the many fraudsters who have been in the market.” – continued Tonin Gjinaj from the National Association of Driving Schools
Referring to the date when the agreement was signed, the new prices are expected to enter into force within April of this year. Until then, citizens who do not have a driver’s license can get one at the current prices.
The official data of the Directorate of Road Transport Services show that by the end of 2022, more than 1 million driving licenses have been issued in Albania.
The city with the highest number of driving licenses is Tirana with 308,256 thousand, followed by Durrës with 92,305 thousand and Elbasan with 66,657 thousand active driving licenses. On the other hand, Kolonja, Delvina and Skrapari are the three cities with the lowest number of active driving licenses.
The Competition Authority holds them accountable, but does not open an investigation
The Competition Authority announces that it has started the procedures for the evaluation of this agreement based on law no. 9121/2003 “On the protection of competition”.
Law no. 9121/2003 “On the protection of competition” prohibits all agreements that have as their object or as a consequence the obstruction, limitation or distortion of competition in the market, especially agreements that determine, directly or indirectly, purchase or sale prices, or any other terms of trade.
“The Competition Authority, pursuant to Articles 69 and 70 of Law no. 9121 dated 28.07.2003 “On the Protection of Competition”, evaluates the degree of restriction or obstruction of competition resulting from the draft acts related to: quantitative restrictions for entering the market and trading; establishment of exclusive rights or special rights, in certain areas, for enterprises or for certain products; the imposition of the same practices in prices and conditions of sale.” – announces the Competition Authority on February 22.
This institution has requested information from the General Directorate of Taxes and the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, in order to assess possible competition restrictions in the relevant market.