DRIVING schools in France have unclear price structures and wide variations in success rates and costs, according to a consumer group study.
The report by the Association nationale de défense des consommateurs et usagers (CLCV) and published by RTL covered 447 driving schools.
It criticised “incomprehensible prices” and a failure to display them in a way visible from the exterior, leading young people to be pressured into signing up for courses once inside a school.
The cost of 20 hours of driving lessons (the legal minimum) can vary from €780 in Lille, to €1,490 in Paris.
However, the cost of lessons beyond the 20-hour minimum can also rise steeply.
Almost all driving schools failed to display their success rate, or the average time before a candidate is ready to take an exam.
The study found that these also varied greatly around the country, with nearly one pupil in two passing first time in Paris, but seven out of 10 passing first time in the Alpes de Haute-Provence.
The CLCV said the best way to reduce the diversity of prices and success rates would be for driving schools to display them clearly.
■ POLICE called to an accident during a driving test found the test monitor had no permit and the student had taken drugs.
The test-vehicle had been struck from behind as it pulled away at a bridge in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis, Paris.
Officers called to the scene demanded papers, only to be told by the man monitoring the test that he no longer had a driving licence.
A saliva test then revealed that the driver under examination had recently smoked cannabis and he was taken into custody.