The Sofia Echo asked the ministry’s Kostadin Vardev when foreigners will be able to take the driving exam in English, given that Bulgarian law does not allow an interpreter during the exam.
“The English translation of the driving tests has already been done by the ministry and the tests are being sent to the printers.
However, I do not know when the printing companies will be ready with the English version. It depends on them. I expect that very soon the English version will be in the distribution network,” Vardev said.
The English version of 800 multiple-choice questions will be sold as an supplement to the Bulgarian tests. The documents will be identical but the foreigner may take the test in English, not in Bulgarian, Vardev said.
“Once you have the English version of the driving tests you can go to any driving school and start your lessons,” he said.
It depended on the driving school, whether it would be willing to teach foreigners and how much it would charge them for lessons, Vardev said.
He said that there were plans to translate the tests into German, French, Spanish and Italian, but “first we want to see how strong the interest will be among foreigners in taking the Bulgarian driving licence test,” Vardev said.
Tonev said that interest was likely to be strong.
“We expect many foreigners to come to apply for Bulgarian driving licences because the course is much cheaper here than in other EU states,” he said.
Given that Bulgarian driving licences are recognised in every EU member state, the average price of 250 euro for obtaining one in Bulgaria will be very attractive to foreigners, Tonev said. For example, a candidate driver in Germany must pay more than 1000 euro for a driving test. In France the average price is 800 euro.
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