In the meantime, I am thinking about going out and getting my driver’s license renewed. It expires…tomorrow. Not that it should be any big deal, but it’s the kind of thing you want to get out of the way as soon as possible, just in case. You don’t want to have to go through the whole process from the beginning, believe you me.
Luckily I never had to either. I got mine validated back in the early 1990s when no one saw any benefit in making you start from scratch. I can’t quite honestly understand why because I can hardly think of a more lucrative business than the Driver’s Education business. Why? To begin with, it’s required, and though I haven’t found any legal grounds for it, I am positive it is required to be expensive too.
You have to take endless hours of classes about how to drive. It comes with a big and thick book you need to scour through in order to be a knowledgeable user of a motor vehicle. This is the way the Spanish like their training. Study a lot. Take a lot of classes. Have someone else fill you in on how things work. And then get tested on it.
Then you take a test. If you pass, you can move on to the next stage. Some falter here, but most pull it off.
Next come the actual driver’s test, but in order to do that, you need to take hours and hours of classes in one of those cars where the instructor can take control in case you are about to plow the Renault into a candy store.
The whole deal is not cheap. The starting rate is hard to find because most websites suspiciously tell you to stop and get information, which in my mind defeats the purpose of the website, other than to look at the hot women trying to entice you to sit down at a desk in their classrooms and learn about traffic signals.
The ones that do bother to inform give you an idea of what’s ahead. Here’s an example:
Matricula: 100,00 + IVA = 118,00 €
Clase Maniobras: 27,00 € (30 Min).
Examen de maniobra: 55,00€
Gestion de examen: 34.50 €.
Sign up: 100 euros + 18% tax = 118€
Fee (This is an unexplained mysterious added cost of the kind airlines tack on to your fare): 86.80€
Driving Class: 27€ per 30-min class
Driver’s Test: 55€
Exam Paperwork: 34.50€ (I love this one)
We-feel-like-charging-you-more-fee: 69€ (still don’t know what this means, but it sounds like more of those indefinable airport taxes to me).
So, before you have taken your first lesson on how to put on your seatbelt, you can expect to fork over, let me get my calculator out here, 390.30€, or about $515. Of course, you won’t be taking just one driving lesson, but probably somewhere in the neighborhood of ten, so lump on another $300.
All of this, of course, if you pass the first time around. Many don’t. Some take up to seven and eight tries before they can officially say they are proud owners of a driver’s license. By then, of course, no one wants to get in the car with them.
Maybe I’ll go for my new one now.