One of Prague’s oldest driving schools helps foreigners get their driving license

Horázný Driving School was founded in January 1991; today the trusted school has the technology and know-how to help you get your license. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.08.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 02.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

The Horázný Driving School (Autoškola Horázný) was founded in January 1991. Almost 15,000 people who wanted to obtain driving licenses were made ready for their final examinations during its long existence. Apart from taking a complete course for obtaining a driving license, the driving school also offers renewing your driving skills after a long interruption.

As one of Prague’s oldest and most well-respected driving schools, it helps foreign learners pass their driving exam. The school provides tailored lessons to assist expats in Czechia in understanding the complexities of the driving exam. 

The Horázný Driving School has been preparing expats for their driving exams since 1994. The instructors speak English and Russian as well as Czech, and in its 32-year history, the company has made helping foreigners one of its priorities.

A helping hand for foreigners

Learning how to drive is hard enough in your home country, and expats who take their exam in the Czech Republic face an even greater challenge.

A significant difficulty faced by expat learners is the range and amount of questions which are a part of the exam. Horázný Driving School is one of the only schools in the country which translates all these test questions into English, preparing students to pass the exam despite the language barrier. All students receive a textbook of the traffic rules in English or Russian. Ondřej Horázný, who has been teaching people to drive since 1990, says exam questions pose a particular difficulty for foreign learners.

“Each year, about 25 to 30 percent of our students are foreign speakers. And while they aren’t all Brits or Americans, English is the chosen language for many,” Horázný said.

“But the exam questions are mostly from the Road law and often written in legal Czech, which is very complicated and difficult even for Czechs to comprehend. We translate these questions and help students to understand them. That way they learn to choose the right answers on the test more easily,” he adds.

Horázný Driving School helps students through this difficult process with modern equipment and study materials. Each student has an online account and can use a mobile app to review their progress. 

Students are also able to view their driving history through a GPS tracker, and they have the opportunity to learn in a car with automatic transmission.

“Students can also use the online application to practice tests. When they’re ready for the exam, we book a date for them. The entire learning process usually takes about 3 months,” said Horázný.

A new chapter for the Czech driving test

Since 2022, a number of new, modern questions have appeared in the tests. This is a significant step forward in driver testing. 

"Most questions are now accompanied by a picture or video, which makes them much easier to understand, especially for foreigners," explains Horázný.

This allows students to experience, at least virtually, situations that don’t occur in their city, such as tram operation and the specifics associated with it.

How does the exam work?

The student can use an interpreter during the exam. The process is no different from a regular exam, except that the interpreter sits next to the examinee and translates the questions and answer options. The student only ticks the correct answers. During the practical part of the exam, an instructor who speaks English or Russian is present and can help the student and the inspector communicate with each other if necessary. In most cases, an interpreter is not needed during the practical part.

Training vehicles

Horázný Driving School uses modern vehicles with manual and automatic transmissions – Škoda Fabia, Škoda Yeti, VW Golf and the new Toyota Corolla 1.8 HSD with hybrid drive. The latest cars are equipped with assistance systems such as parking sensors and cameras, hill start assist, collision warning, etc.

The golden rules for driving in Czechia

Driving is one of the skills that once learned, is never really forgotten. But at the same time, driving in Czechia can feel very different to driving in other countries. 

"Our students who come from countries like Australia, the U.S., Canada, and South America, and especially those who have driven there, often behave very differently. They are often overly cautious. For example, in Europe and many neighboring countries, there are typically intersections without signs, governed by the rule of giving way to the right. When some drivers encounter such a traffic situation, they do not understand it and tend to wait for the problem to resolve itself. It is these differences that I have to teach them to be successful in the test," says Horázný.

When you take your driving test, you must "not only drive defensively, but also demonstrate that you have the right of way if you have the right of way. You need to know the rules of the road well, you need to be technically proficient with the car and you need to have good reactions to find the right solution quickly. Don't be indecisive!"

Understanding the rules of the road can also be the key to keeping your license; Horázný points out that many drivers lose their licenses because they don't know them.

Violation of the rules is punishable by a fine from the police. Some offenses are subject to the so-called demerit point system. This consists of recording penalty points on the driving record for certain offenses. Once a driver reaches 12 points, they lose their license for a year.

Driving training tailored to expats

Horázný Driving School (Autoškola Horázný) is located in close proximity to the Jiřího z Poděbrad (JZP) metro station in Prague 3, so it is a place with very good transport links for its students. The Driving School provides students with a teaching regime that suits their personal schedule. They also take care to not only prepare them for driving in quiet surroundings, but also in rush hour traffic, through the city center, and also on the motorway outside the city.

Anyone who has passed a driving test will attest to the feeling of freedom that comes with getting your license. Horázný Driving School is determined to bring that same feeling to expats as they build a life in Czechia.

This article was written in cooperation with Autoškola Horázný. Read more about our partner content policies here.

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