Wednesday, November 30

What is the ‘code 78’ of the driving license and why they propose to eliminate it


The great drawback is, on the one hand, the increase in the demand for tests in the examination system; and, on the other, that students prefer to prepare and take the exam with vehicles equipped with a manual gearbox

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Spaniards are the European citizens who are most likely to use less polluting vehicles, according to the European Federation for Transport and the Environment (T&E). However, in 2021 only 39,675 electric cars were registered in our country, which places us at the bottom of Europe. And the National Confederation of Driving Schools (
CNAE) attributes it largely to code 78 of the driver’s license. Currently, those applicants who take the exam with automatic transmission vehicles (hybrids and electric vehicles, among them) obtain a permit that
prevents them from driving a vehicle with a manual transmissionunless they are re-examined, but now with a car of these characteristics.

The great inconvenience that code 78 represents is, on the one hand, the increase in the demand for tests in the examination system; and, on the other hand, that students prefer to prepare and take the exam with vehicles equipped with a manual gearbox. However, this situation means that driving schools lack incentives to acquire electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, which are all automatic.

“We have to look at countries like Germany, Switzerland or France, which have established a system of education and tests for aspiring drivers that has allowed them to circumvent the restriction that code 78 entails. Those who obtain the permit with said code pass after by the driving school where they receive training that enables them to drive a vehicle with a manual gearbox, without having to take the test again,” he explains.
Henry Lorca, president of CNAE. “Furthermore, in Germany, economic support in the form of subsidies, which the executive has promoted with the aim of boosting the change of model, has led to the total or partial electrification of the fleet of a good number of driving schools,” he adds.

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“This fact has immediately translated into a significant increase in the use of hybrids and electric vehicles by new drivers; because, thanks to the training received at driving schools, they have been able to familiarize themselves with the use of recharging points and perceive the advantages of these vehicles, which are more sustainable and safe, since they consume much less energy and are generally better equipped with driving assistance devices (ADAS) than those of gasoline and diesel, “he emphasizes.

«The energy crisis we are experiencing shows us the weakness of the current mobility model and reminds us of the reasons why we must bet on a transition towards a more sustainable one. For this, both the elimination of code 78 and the direct subsidy to driving schools, by the Administration, are essential, so that they can acquire electric vehicles, “concludes Lorca.


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