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Driving schools raise tuitions due to tougher rules

Students of driving institutions in Shanghai complained that they have to pay more money for the training as the schools had raised the tuition for both the new and the enrolled due to a rising cost since a new traffic law was launched this year.

With more rigorous rules, the passing rate of the driving examination had plunged to a record low level this year, which extended the learning process of each student as well as raising the cost of every institution.

Since yesterday, many driving schools had raised their tuition from around 4,500 yuan to around 7,000 yuan. Some schools even asked the students who had already paid and enrolled last year to pay more money to cover their raised cost.

Students from Hongyuan driving institution in Hongkou District, complained that they were asked to pay extra 500 to 1500 yuan for their courses otherwise the school would just refund the original tuition, which was just "outrageous and unacceptable."

"I think there should be another way and it's not right to ask us to pay more since we've already paid," a student told Shanghai Daily.

"We're still negotiating with the students. For us we didn't want the tuition to rise either, it's a market reflection," an employee of the institution on Kuizhao Road surnamed Zheng confirmed to Shanghai Daily.

"Before the new regulation, each teacher of us could recruit 36 to 40 students a year but right now each one of us can only cultivate less than 20."

Hongyuan was not the only school to charge extra tuition in the city, some schools in Minhang, Pudong and Baoshan districts had also started to charge the enrolled students as an underlying rule.

"Some of us had already been told to add money while most of us are still waiting for a better solution," said a student surnamed Shao in Jinlong driving school in Baoshan.

Local pricing authority had previously claimed that they would monitor the impropriate price rising of driving schools while had not yet started to intervene.

However, students who had signed contracts with the driving schools should not worry about the overcharge as they should be protected by the law, said Liu Chunquan, a local lawyer.

"Clearly the schools' request is ungrounded and if they stop the course or refund the money without the agreement of the student, they will be regarded as unilaterally terminate the contract," Liu explained to Shanghai Daily.

"The cost rising due to the new policy should be part of the business or operation risk to the company, which should not be transferred to the customers."

Students can just ask them to fulfill the contract and finish the course according to the terms, Liu suggested.

[Subtitle] schools say they are also the victim

Teachers of Hongyuan complained that the price rising also upset themselves as they should lose many clients with the price as high as 7000 yuan.

"Before the New Year there were many students came and enrolled and few students had visited our office for these days," Zheng told Shanghai Daily.

"No one wants higher tuition. The whole industry is threatened by the new policy not because it's more difficult for the students but some regulation is just unreasonable."

Zheng said only 60 percent of the students who had passed the Subject One and Subject Two can take part in the exam of Subject Three while the other 40 percent have to wait for next time, according to the practice of the vehicle administration authority in Shanghai.

"It's pointless. Why only allow 60 percent of our students to join the exam? It's unfair to the other 40 percent and to us the schools as well," Zheng complained.

The association of driving schools had written a joint letter to the municipal government to appeal for the setting up of the quota limit, which was not listed in the new license regulations issued by the Ministry of Public Security of China this year.


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