The fierce competition among driving schools due to the surplus of driving instructors has now gained the attention of the national consumer media. Wegener’s regional newspapers and NOS News at 3 came out with productions Monday highlighting the large influx of new driving schools. And that they often stunt the price to recruit students, also putting pressure on the lesson price at regular driving schools.
There is a large surplus of driving instructors in the Netherlands. There are about 14,000 certified driving instructors. While over 200,000 candidates take B driving lessons every year. A full-time driving instructor with a 40-hour work week trains about 40 students per year. That means there is work for up to 5,000 B driving instructors. And that is by far the largest group of the 14,000 licensed driving instructors.
In particular, the large influx of UWV’ ers in recent years who massively converted unemployed people into driving instructors is now causing major problems. The number of start-up driving schools continues to rise sharply.
True, the UWV has stopped providing such budgets. Individual municipalities are still retraining unemployed people to make a living as driving school owners.
New driving school owners often do not possess the necessary entrepreneurial skills. For example, they enter into a promotion with Groupon. As a result, they provide driving lessons far below cost, and only Groupon makes money from them. Even the Inland Revenue has now caught on to the fact that there is substantial fraud.
To ensure that driving school owners have the right entrepreneurial skills, industry association Bovag advocates establishment requirements. The only question is whether that is a viable option. In the Netherlands, the right to free enterprise exists. Anyone who wants to start a driving school can. There are only requirements for the driving instructor, such as a valid WRM license.
There are as many as 7,867 driving schools registered with the CBR in the Netherlands. Attrition is high. Last year, 909 driving schools registered with the CBR; 478 discontinued.