How much should you pay?

Do you know any private driving schools that overcharge their theoretical and practical driving courses? If you do, well their days are numbered.

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) will soon be implementing Memorandum Circular No. JMT-2023-2390, or the “Omnibus Guidelines on the Accreditation, Supervision, and Control of Driving Institutions, and the Standardization of Driver and Conductor’s Education".

LTO: Bawal overpricing sa driving schools draft image

The memorandum aims to control the prices and set a limit on how much should private driving schools charge applicants in availing theoretical and practical driving courses. It also changes the number of days required to accomplish a practical driving course, which will depend on the license code of the applicant.

Under the maximum prescribed rates, private driving schools are only allowed to charge up to PHP 1,000 for the Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) required on drivers applying for student permits. Meanwhile, for Practical Driving Courses (PDC), private driving schools can only charge up to PHP 2,500 for license codes A and A1 (motorcycles and tricycles), PHP 4,000 for license codes B, B1, and B2 (four-wheeled vehicles and light trucks), and PHP 8,000 for license codes C, D, BE, and CE (heavy vehicles such as buses, trailer trucks, and heavy-duty trucks).

LTO: Bawal overpricing sa driving schools draft image

In terms of required course hours, the mandatory 15-hour TDC can now be completed within two days – a 7-hour session on the first day, and an 8-hour session on the second. While applicants are not required to accomplish the two sessions in consecutive days, they are required to finish the two sessions within one month.

Meanwhile, the mandatory 8-hour PDC for light and heavy vehicles should be conducted for at least 2 days. But for motorcycles, the 8-hour session can be done in one day according to the new memorandum. Provided, the student-driver should have proven to have acquired the knowledge based on the assessment by a practical driving instructor.

When driving schools are found guilty of overcharging TDCs and PDCs, they will face a fine of PHP 50,000 and a 6-month accreditation suspension from the LTO for the first offense, while fines will go up to PHP 100,000 and a 1-year accreditation for those violating the maximum prescribed rates for the second time. Lastly, revocation or cancellation of accreditation will be charged to driving schools that will commit their third offense.

"Nabuo ang maximum prescribed rates na ito bilang tugon sa apela ng marami nating kababayan na umiiyak sa mataas na singilin pero maituturing din itong patas na hakbang para sa driving schools na namuhunan din”

[These maximum prescribed rates were formed in response to the appeal of our countrymen who raise their concerns over expensive driving school fees, and also as a fair compromise for those who have invested in putting up private driving institutions,] said LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade.