As the coronavirus pandemic progresses, PassMeFast is keeping a close eye on the latest developments. This includes adapting to any new advice provided by the government. In this post, we will outline PassMeFast’s response to the coronavirus, and answer some common questions you may have regarding the impact on our services.
Customers with ongoing bookings
All four nations of the UK are now under lockdown. As a result, driving lessons, theory tests and practical tests are suspended nationwide. Disruption is likely to customers with courses due to start or continue in the coming weeks. We apologise unreservedly for the inconvenience this may cause.
PassMeFast will be adopting a more flexible approach to rescheduling courses for the duration of the pandemic, and will not charge any fees if you cancel or change your test due to coronavirus.
Theory testing is currently suspended across the UK. If your theory test was due to take place during the lockdown period, do not attend.
PassMeFast will work to secure alternative tests for all customers affected. We will contact you personally once we have found a suitable test. Please be aware that the date of your test may be affected by any future restrictions. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
Practical testing is currently suspended across the UK. If your practical test was due to take place during the lockdown period, do not attend.
PassMeFast will work to secure alternative tests for all customers affected. Please note that wait times are likely to be longer than usual, and that the date of your test may be affected by any future restrictions. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you, and would like to thank you for your patience. We will be in contact with students individually once we have secured you a suitable appointment.
Driving lessons are now suspended nationwide. All PassMeFast courses are therefore on hold. If you have already been assigned a PassMeFast instructor, they will contact you regarding your lessons in due course. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.
We urge all customers with an outstanding course balance to pay this in full as soon as possible. Doing so will ensure that your course runs smoothly, including allocating you a suitable local instructor, booking any required tests, and allowing lessons to go ahead on schedule.
Limited emergency testing is available for frontline mobile emergency workers only. If you are eligible, your employer will need to book a test on your behalf. Once your test is booked, you may be eligible to take lessons. Please contact us as soon as possible if you secure an emergency test. Note that PassMeFast cannot make this application for you.
It is not currently possible for those working in any other key sectors of the economy to apply for an emergency test.
For urgent queries, please contact your Booking Agent via email, or by calling 0333 123 4949. Most members of staff will be working from home during the national lockdown. We apologise for any disruption to our normal service that this may cause.
Please note that, given the current circumstances, our wait times for courses and tests may be longer than usual. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and would like to reassure you that we will be working hard to fast-track tests for all of our students.
Customers with ongoing bookings
I have a booking with PassMeFast. Is it likely to continue as normal?
Disruption to courses is highly likely, particularly for those students whose lessons or tests were due to take place during the period that the UK is set to be under lockdown. We are offering all of our students the option to put their course on hold until these restrictions are lifted.
What is the current status of emergency tests for key workers?
It is only possible to apply for an emergency test if all of the following apply:
- You work for an NHS Trust, emergency service or local council
- You need to drive as part of your job
- Your job involves responding to threats to life
If you are eligible, your employer will be able to apply for an emergency test on your behalf. PassMeFast cannot make this application for you. You may only take lessons if you have an emergency test booked. If you are eligible for an emergency test, but do not yet have a test booked, then it is illegal for you to take lessons.
The previous emergency test system, which was open to a wider range of critical sectors, is not available. This system closed on August 14th, 2020, and, despite speculation, has not been made available again. Should this option become available in the future, we will work to identify and contact all affected students as quickly as possible.
I am currently taking a PassMeFast course, but have developed symptoms associated with COVID-19. What should I do?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, you must stay at home for a minimum of 7 days. Do not attend any lessons. Please inform PassMeFast as soon as possible, and we will inform your instructor. Your emergency test will be cancelled if you have any symptoms.
My instructor has developed symptoms associated with COVID-19. What steps should I take?
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should self-isolate. Please inform PassMeFast as soon as possible, and we will put your course on hold.
What happens if I need to reschedule or cancel my driving test as a result of COVID-19?
There are currently no fees to reschedule or cancel your driving test, even at short notice, due to coronavirus. If you need to do so, please contact us as soon as possible.
My theory test is due to expire soon. Will the DVSA extend the expiry period in light of the pandemic?
Unfortunately, the DVSA have announced that they will not extend expiry dates. If your theory test expires, you will need to take it again.
I’m interested in learning to drive with PassMeFast. When could my course start?
Given the lockdown restrictions in force across the country, combined with high demand, our wait times are longer than usual. For details on when you could begin taking lessons in your area, please call us on 0333 123 4949.
Will the pandemic have an impact upon course times and test dates?
With driver training and practical tests suspended in England during the second national lockdown, wait times will be longer for many customers. This is out of the control of PassMeFast. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and endeavour to help you pass as quickly as possible.
What precautions are being taken to ensure that driving tests are safe?
At present, all driving tests are suspended. When they restart again, we anticipate that protective measures will once again be used by the DVSA to minimise the spread of the virus, and to protect both examiners and candidates.
Anyone taking a theory or practical test must wear a face covering. If you are taking a practical test and are unable to wear a face covering, you must declare this when you arrange your appointment.
Candidates will also be asked not to arrive more than 5 minutes before their specified appointment time. This minimises the number of people you could potentially come into contact with. Other safety measures being taken include:
- Ensuring that examiners wear clothing that fully covers their arms and legs
- Requiring examiners to wash their hands before entering the public waiting area, wear gloves for the duration of the test, and avoid touching their face
- Banning examiners from shaking the candidate’s hand
- Preventing candidates from touching the examiner’s iPad, stylus, or any paperwork used
- Checking the candidate’s signature and driving licence without the examiner physically handling it
- Not allowing any accompanying driver or ADI to sit in on the test, or to listen to the debrief at the end
- Stopping tests from going ahead if a candidate is unwell, or terminating the test partway through if the candidate becomes unwell during the drive
- Building in extra time for each test to ensure that examiners are able to carry out all the additional precautions
- Putting in place specific measures for the disposal of any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves and wipes
Candidates must clean their car before the test, including tidying away any unnecessary items and wiping down the dashboard and car controls. During the test, at least one window on each side of the car must be open. The DVSA permits any combination of windows—e.g., one at the front and one at the back. It is therefore advisable to wear weather-appropriate clothing.
To minimise the amount of time spent in the car, tests will be curtailed in the event that a candidate fails the test partway through. Additionally, you will need to exit the vehicle at the end of your test to receive your feedback. The driving test itself will be carried out as normal, including general and independent driving sections, reversing manoeuvres, “show me, tell me” questions and an eyesight check.
Should I call the DVSA if I have any questions about driving tests or test centres?
The DVSA is likely to be experiencing a very high number of calls. Avoid calling them where possible. If you need to get in touch, contact them via Twitter.
Can I still contact the PassMeFast office team?
Yes. You can continue to contact us by phone at 0333 123 4949 or by emailing your Booking Agent if you already have a course.