The government plans to make it possible for secondary school students to obtain a category B driving license free of charge from the 2024-2025 school year. Those under the age of 20 already receive some help to obtain a driving license, namely a grant of 25,000 forints (EUR 65), Világgazdaság reports.
According to the information available so far, the government would supplement the vocational training and public education laws by providing free state support for the acquisition of the basic traffic education rules and the knowledge needed to pass the practical test for the B category road driving license. The details have not yet been revealed, but the Ministry of Justice replied to online news portal Hvg.hu that the form and method of receiving the subsidy is still being worked out.
Fact In Hungary, the category B driving license applies for cars, basically. With this license, people can drive a motor vehicle with a maximum permissible laden weight not exceeding 3500 kg, that is a motor vehicle designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver, and a combination of such a motor vehicle and a trailer coupled to it, as defined in the relevant legislation.
There is currently a state contribution for young people under 20 to obtain a category B driving license, but the subsequent HUF 25,000 (EUR 65) reimbursement introduced in 2018 is not such a significant help in light of the increase in the last 5 years in the cost of theoretical courses and practical lessons.
Today, the cost of obtaining a driving license can run into hundreds of thousands of forints, depending on how many practical lessons one needs.
According to Világgazdaság, a prospective EU change could be behind the proposal. The European Commission put forward proposals to modernize the rules on driving licenses in March this year. These included the introduction of a digital driving license across the EU and new provisions to make it easier to enforce traffic rules across borders, among other things. The latter was considered particularly justified because last year more than 20,000 people were killed on EU roads, most of them pedestrians, cyclists, scooter and motorcycle users.
The European Union’s objective is to have zero fatalities on EU roads by 2050.
The EU proposal would also allow young drivers to gain experience through a new driving program. They would be able to learn to drive and obtain a driving license from the age of 17, but would be allowed to drive only in the presence of a licensed adult companion (such as a parent) until the age of 18. This solution would, according to the Commission, help young people to gain adequate driving experience and help to reduce the EU-wide shortage of drivers.
The Hungarian changes mean that for students, a driving license could cost only HUF 35,000 (EUR 92), Csaba Hoffmann, president of the National Organization of Driving Schools, told Világgazdaság.
Currently – assuming that all exams, medical, theoretical and practical, are passed on the first attempt – it costs 360,000-370,000 forints (EUR 935-960) to obtain a driving license.
After adopting the newest proposal, it would be possible to obtain a driving license, if not for free, then almost for free. According to current information, the fees for the exams would probably still have to be paid by the students, so it is not completely free. The health test costs HUF 20,000 (EUR 52), the driving license test HUF 4,600 (EUR 12) and the practical test HUF 11,000 (EUR 28), which together amount to HUF 35,000 (EUR 92).
Normally, there are 29 practical hours needed before one can go the exam, but this is not always enough. If one needs to have more practice, or needs to go to the exam more than one time, they will probably have to pay for these additional fees for themselves, as the state will not cover them.
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