Here at PassMeFast, we’re responding to the coronavirus pandemic by setting out new guidance to help make learning to drive as safe as possible. This guide details our advice for both students and driving instructors to follow during lessons. By following these steps, we can help to stop the spread of the virus while allowing learners to get their licence.
Advice for students
The burden of keeping lessons safe during the COVID-19 pandemic does not fall uniquely on instructors. It’s also up to students to take appropriate actions to avoid spreading coronavirus.
- Ensure that you have washed your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before attending a lesson. If you are unable to do so, use hand sanitiser.
- You must wear a face mask during all lessons and tests. Where possible, use disposable gloves. If you are unable to wear a face mask, please contact us as soon as possible.
- If your instructor asks you to take certain precautions during your lesson, such as driving with the window down, please do so. This will help to keep both you and others safe.
- If you or a member of your household starts showing symptoms of coronavirus, self-isolate. Contact your instructor as soon as possible to cancel any lessons you may have booked during your period of self-isolation.
Advice for driving instructors
When conducting a driving lesson, it is not possible to comply with certain aspects of government advice, such as maintaining a one-metre distance from others. With this in mind, it is vitally important to take other actions to ensure that driving lessons are safe. These include:
- Wiping down all points of contact inside and outside the car with alcohol-based gel before each new lesson, including, but not limited to:
- Door handles (inside and outside the car)
- Window controls
- Seat adjusters
- Steering wheel and height adjuster
- Parking brake
- Gear stick
- Ancillary controls
- Calling or texting the student ahead of each lesson to confirm that:
- They are not experiencing any symptoms
- No one in their household is experiencing any symptoms
- They have not come into contact with anyone from a high-risk region
- Asking the student to wash their hands before entering the vehicle, and to cover their mouth and nose whenever coughing or sneezing
- Keeping the car well-ventilated by leaving a window open during the lesson
- Wearing clothing that covers arms and legs, as well as using personal protective equipment during lessons, such as:
- Disposable gloves (with a fresh pair to be used each lesson)
- Face mask or covering
- Optionally, using disposable covers for vehicle seats and steering wheels
If you or a member of your household shows any symptoms of coronavirus, you must not teach lessons. If this is likely to affect the ability of a student to attend their driving test, please contact PassMeFast as soon as possible.
Information about driving tests
Driving tests are not controlled by PassMeFast, but are instead operated directly by the DVSA, a government body. The DVSA is taking the following steps to ensure that driving tests are being conducted as safely as possible.
- Students must not arrive at the test centre more than 5 minutes before their appointment time.
- Students and examiners must bring and wear face masks or coverings during their test. If there is a reason why you cannot comply with this (e.g., if you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering), you must specify this when you arrange your test.
- Driving test examiners must:
- Wash their hands before every test
- Wear clothing that fully covers their arms and legs, as well as disposable gloves
- Avoid touching their face
- To reduce points of contact between students and examiners, handshakes will be avoided, and candidates will not be allowed to handle DVSA iPads or paperwork.
- Candidates will be prevented from taking driving tests if they arrive at the test centre unwell.
Though it will not be possible to maintain social distancing inside the car, social distancing will be imposed within test centres and before the drive begins.
Tests will largely be conducted as normal. However, in the event that a candidate fails their driving test, the examiner will end the test early and direct the candidate to return to the test centre. This will reduce the amount of unnecessary time spent in the car. For the same reason, post-test feedback will be given outside the car.
Driving tests may be postponed or cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and such announcements may be made at short notice. If it is not possible for your test to go ahead, the DVSA will typically reschedule your appointment to take place around three months after your original date.
You should not attend your driving test if:
- You, or a member of your household, shows symptoms of COVID-19
- You have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus
- You have returned to the UK in the last 14 days and are required to quarantine.
In these instances, you must self-isolate. If you need to cancel a theory or practical test due to coronavirus, contact PassMeFast, and we will make all necessary arrangements for you. We will not charge fees if you cancel your test due to coronavirus, even if this is at a late stage.
Additionally, if you are clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus, the DVSA advises that you do not take your test until after Saturday, 1st August, when shielding will be paused.
By implementing and following proper safety measures, PassMeFast is helping to ensure that learners are still able to achieve their driving goals in these unprecedented times. We’ll update this article regularly with the latest safety information, helping to stop the spread and keep lessons safe.