Competition Authority: Driving schools have not made concerted price increases

2024-04-23 08:15:36Biznes SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Illustrative photo

The Competition Authority has closed the monitoring of the market of driving schools since March of last year.

According to a separate announcement for the media, the Competition Authority announces that at the end of the monitoring, it was found that the driving schools have implemented the decision of the Competition Commission, which prohibited the increase of prices, provided for in an act-agreement of February 2023.

" At the end of the market monitoring procedure of the preparation service and equipment with a driving license, according to the category of driving license, evidence or certificate, pursuant to VKK no. 970/2023, it results that, on the part of the Driving School entities, point I has been implemented of VKK no. 970/2023, not applying the fee increase according to Act No. 2729, dated 13.02.2023, which is considered an agreement in violation of Article 4 of Law No. 9121/2003. For the protection of competition".

For these reasons, the Competition Commission with Decision no. 1071, dated 19.04.2024, decided to close the procedure for monitoring the implementation of VKK no. no. 970, dated 24.03.2023, "On the legal evaluation of the Agreement Act no. 2729 prot., dated 13.02.2023, connected between the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, the "National Driving Schools" Association, the "Road Safety" Driving Schools Association and the General Directorate of Taxes ", the Competition Authority announces. 

In March 2023, the Competition decided that the deed-agreement dated 13.02.2023, concluded between DPSHTRR, the "National Association of Driving Schools", the Association of Driving Schools "Road Safety" and the General Directorate of Taxes, contradicted the law "For the protection of competition".

According to the Commission, the implementation of this agreement would lead to the same practices in the prices/payment fees for the preparation and acquisition of the category of driving license, certificate or certificate, hindering, limiting and distorting competition in the market. As such, it was classified as a prohibited arrangement. Thus, to make sure that the decision would be implemented by driving schools, the Competition decided to monitor the market for a year.

From March 2023, the Competition has monitored the Driving Schools in relation to the prices set for theoretical learning and practical training for the driving license device. From the monitoring in the field of about 45 driving school subjects, in different regions of Albania, which offer the service of theoretical learning and practical training for the device with a driving license, category B, it was found that the prices of providing these services vary from 23,000 ALL to in 45,000 ALL.

Mainly the driving school entities located in the region of Tirana offer higher prices than the driving school entities of other regions in the country. Some of the factors that lead to differences between the prices of service packages offered by driving schools have resulted in the number of lessons; various costs; teaching materials, etc.

From the monitoring of the driving school subjects, it results that, during the monitoring period (March 2023 - March 2024), there are no changes in the prices of the service of theoretical learning and practical training for the device with a driving license (category B), as well as for the device with a driving license for other categories.

Also, from the meetings held on 19.03.2024 with representatives of the Association "National Driving Schools" and the Association of Driving Schools "Road Safety", it resulted that, during the one-year period under monitoring, the price of the preparation service and equipment with a driving license offered by driving school subjects has not increased.

During the monitoring period, the General Directorate of Road Transport Services, with the Decision of the Governing Council no. 41, dated 22.12.2023, "On the preliminary approval of driving license fees and professional ability certificate fees", has pre-approved the new fees for driving license services and professional ability certificate services. This decision was approved by the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy with letter no. 6/1 prot., dated 16.01.2024, "On the approval of decision no. 41, dated 22.12.2023 of the Governing Council".

The review of driver service fees, according to DPSHTRR, was made based on the calculation of the cost analysis, after 23 years.

Some of the tariffs had not been revised since 2001 and most of them have been unchanged for 15 years, despite increases in operating costs and increased costs in IT systems for the computerization of services.

Also following the recent amendments to the Highway Code, article 124, the term of validity of the driving license for persons up to the age of 70 has been extended to 15 years.

At the end of the market monitoring procedure for the preparation service and equipment with a driving license, it was found that point I of the Decision of the Competition Commission no. 970/2023, not applying the fee increase.

Video