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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Update from PassMeFast

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.


Current status

Last updated: 16/07/2020 11:04

Customers with ongoing bookings

In line with government advice, PassMeFast began restarting driving courses from Saturday, 4th July. We will be contacting students individually to inform them when they will be able to start taking lessons with us.

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 tests

Theory testing in England resumed on Saturday, 4th July, with the exception of any areas under a local lockdown. We are therefore able to book a new theory test for any customer who requires one. Please note that anyone attending a theory test will be required to wear a face mask, and will otherwise be denied permission to sit the test. Limited exceptions exist for those who may find the wearing of a mask difficult, such as those with respiratory conditions.

Please note that theory testing will remain suspended in Scotland until Wednesday, 22nd July, and in Wales until Monday, 3rd August.

Practical tests

Practical driving tests in England are set to resume on Wednesday, 22nd July. In order to effectively manage the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the DVSA has announced that they will be taking a phased approach, including the following steps:

  • All driving test bookings have been placed ‘on hold’ by the DVSA. This is to ensure that all candidates can take their test at a convenient time and to keep the system as fair as possible.
  • Existing bookings will not go ahead as scheduled. New appointments will need to be booked for all tests. This includes any tests due to take place on or after 22nd July.
  • Candidates with existing bookings will be given priority for any available appointments before the DVSA’s test booking service opens to the wider public.

We apologise for any inconvenience you may experience as a result of these changes. We will begin booking new tests as soon as possible, and will be in contact with students individually once we have secured you a suitable appointment.

Please note that car practical testing will remain suspended in Wales until Monday, 17th August, and in Scotland until further notice.

Driving lessons

If you began taking lessons before lockdown restrictions came into force, your instructor will be in touch with you to discuss resuming your course. Please note that not all driving instructors will be returning to teaching immediately, and we expect some disruption to courses to continue as we adapt to the new environment. We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Outstanding balances

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.

Key workers

Emergency testing will still go ahead for those working in key sectors of the economy, with appointments unaffected by the recent announcement from the DVSA. If you believe that you are eligible for an emergency test, and have not yet informed us of this, please contact your Booking Agent as soon as possible. Please note that the DVSA is prioritising emergency test applications from those working in the NHS and social care sectors.

For urgent queries, please contact your Booking Agent via email, or by calling 0333 123 4949. Please note that most members of staff are currently working remotely. We apologise for any disruption to our normal service that this may cause.

Potential customers

PassMeFast is accepting new bookings. If you are interested in any of our driving courses, please call us on 0333 123 4949, where a member of our team will be happy to help.

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.


FAQs

Customers with ongoing bookings

I have a booking with PassMeFast. Is it likely to continue as normal?

Driving lessons are able to go ahead for all customers from Saturday, 4th July. As we return to teaching students, PassMeFast is prioritising safe working practices and complying with all advice from the DVSA and UK Government. There may therefore be some disruption to courses in the short term.

The DVSA has placed all practical test bookings on hold. As a result, if you already had a practical test booked, this appointment will no longer be valid, and will be rearranged. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, and endeavour to secure suitable tests for all students as soon as possible. Please note that this does not include emergency tests for key workers.

I am a key worker. Can I still take my test?

Emergency tests are ongoing for those working in critical sectors of the economy. If you have an emergency test booking, this will go ahead as planned.

If you have not yet applied for an emergency test, but believe you are eligible to do so, please get in contact with us. We may require additional information from you, which we will use to complete your emergency test application.

Please note that, at present, NHS and social care staff are being prioritised for test bookings. Tests will only be allocated to other key workers once NHS and social care staff have all been given appointments.

If you do apply for an emergency test, you must be willing to take it at short notice. Tests will take place at a location close to you, but you will not be able to choose the date or time.

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’ve been classed as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Can I still take a theory or practical test?

Shielding for vulnerable groups is set to be paused from 1st August. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should take your test after this date.

Potential customers

I’m interested in learning to drive with PassMeFast. When could my course start?

PassMeFast will begin operating lessons for the general public from Saturday, 4th July onwards. However, given high demand at present, our course wait times may be longer than usual. For details on when you could begin taking lessons in your area, please call us on 0333 123 4949.

I’m interested in learning to drive, and believe I qualify for emergency tests. Can I book with PassMeFast?

Yes. Ring in on 0333 123 4949 to discuss your options with a member of the team. Please note that we cannot guarantee specific dates for tests.

Will the pandemic have an impact upon course times and test dates?

As we adapt to all new regulations, we can expect extended course wait times for most customers. We are looking to fast-track theory and practical tests wherever possible, but cannot rule out this process taking longer than usual. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and endeavour to help you pass as quickly as possible.

General

What precautions are being taken to ensure that driving tests are safe?

The DVSA have brought in protective measures 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 are also 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
  • Keeping vehicles well ventilated, including by asking the candidate to open their window
  • 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

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.

I live in an area that’s under local lockdown. Can I still take my course?

Theory and practical tests are suspended in any area under local lockdown. If this applies to your area, you won’t be able to take your course until these restrictions are lifted.

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.

By Andy Boardman

Andy fell in love with driving while road tripping around Iceland. He'll provide you with plenty of useful motoring advice, helping you to get the most out of every trip. When he's not writing here, you're most likely to find Andy on the way to his next destination.

26 Comments

  1. Reply

    Elaine frawley

    Hello
    Could you ring me back to discuss an intensive driving course. I understand tests are postponed but i would like to start lessons. Thank you

    1. Reply

      Isobel Robb

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for showing an interest in our driving courses.

      I’ve passed your information on to our Sales Team, so someone should be in touch with you shortly.

      Kind regards,

      Isobel

  2. Reply

    Jane

    Hi there, am a student social worker, hoping to start employment in sep but on condition that I can drive. Any chance I can start to learn so when the test centres are open I can book my driving test then?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jane,

      At the moment, we’re only offering lessons to key workers. However, if you book in now, we can prioritise your course to take place as soon as possible once the current restrictions end. This means you should be able to pass well ahead of September. If you’d like to learn more, you can take a look at our list of courses and prices to see which would suit you best.

      Hope this helps.

      Andy

  3. Reply

    Georgina

    Hi,
    I would like to take an intense driving course I am currently a critical role worker and would like to pass by June. Please email

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Georgina,

      I’ve passed your details onto our sales team and they’ll be in touch in due course. Thanks for your interest in PassMeFast!

      Andy

  4. Reply

    Georgia

    Hi I’m a carer and would like to book lessons asap please for my job

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Georgia,

      Thanks for your interest in PassMeFast. I’ve passed your details onto our sales team, who’ll be in touch shortly. All the best for your driving future!

      Andy

  5. Reply

    Jonathan Ord

    Hello,
    I am hoping to be passed before University starts in September so I plan on taking my test by the end of August at the latest. If I booked with you can you guarantee me the lessons and a test before then and if I book but do not get a test in the allotted timeframe how do i claim a refund?
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jonathan,

      As I’m sure you can appreciate, we aren’t able to guarantee exact course dates at present, as it’s still uncertain when driving tests will restart. We are, however, working to prioritise customers who pre-book with us, and will begin the process of fast-tracking your test as soon as the DVSA booking systems is reopen. If you’d like to chat to a member of our team to discuss this in further detail, please call 0333 123 4949.

      Andy

  6. Reply

    Tim Fenby

    Hi
    I am interested in booking my son onto an intensive driving course.
    Please can you contact me to discuss the options.

    Best regards,
    Tim

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Tim,

      Our team will be in contact with you shortly regarding your son’s course. Wishing him all the best with his driving!

      Andy

  7. Reply

    isabelle smith

    hello,

    Are student nurses classed a key workers?

    Thank you

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Isabelle,

      Student nurses are classed as key workers if they’re on placement.

      Hope this helps,

      Andy

  8. Reply

    Joseph

    I would like to undertake an intensive driving course, can you provide me with available dates and prices?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Joseph,

      I’ve passed your details onto our sales team, who’ll be in touch with you soon. All the best with your driving journey!

      Andy

  9. Reply

    Yolande

    Andy Hi,
    I am a professional worker and need to obtain from the DVLA an assessment of ability to drive. Do you have a Driving Instructor who is able to test me and hopefully advice me of any improvements that are preferable. I look forward to hearing from you?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Yolande,

      PassMeFast doesn’t offer driving assessments at this time. You would need to go to an organisation such as RoSPA or IAM RoadSmart to book an assessment.

      Hope this helps!

      Andy

  10. Reply

    Richard Turner

    My daughter has had 2 Driving test exams cancelled due to Covid-19, and has been promised she will get priority for booking a new date once it is possible. problem is she hasn’t been in a car since March and will need some refresher courses again to get up to speed. Driving test has been paid for she’s currently at home and could do a 10 hour refresher course or similiar be it more or less hours…. would you be able to help us?

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks for your interest in our courses! A member of our sales team will be in touch shortly to discuss the best option for your daughter and to get her booked in.

      All the best,

      Andy

  11. Reply

    Jen Robinson

    Hi can you email me please regarding courses 15 hours to 25 thanks Jen think I’ve made contact before

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your interest in PassMeFast! I’ve passed your details onto our sales team, who’ll be in contact with you soon. Best of luck with your driving!

      Andy

  12. Reply

    Paula Wright

    Hi, Andy, I’m a keyworker with the NHS, I was almost test ready at lockdown. Moving house in July need to be driving for my job. Can you help .
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Paula,

      Our team should certainly be able to help you apply for an emergency test and get on the road! I’ve passed your details onto our sales team, who’ll get in contact soon to discuss your course in further detail. Best of luck with your driving!

      Andy

  13. Reply

    Rachel Newell

    Hi , I need to pass my test asap I am a key worker I have had a couple test before but failed due to nerves. I did my last test 4 years ago and would need a theory as well .please could you give me some information and the best course for me ..

    1. Reply

      Andy Boardman

      Hi Rachel,

      We should certainly be able to help you get on the road! I’ve passed your details onto our sales team, who’ll be in contact with you shortly. Best of luck with your driving!

      Andy

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