As the UK emerges from lockdown, 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
Lockdown restrictions are now lifting across the country. Each UK nation is taking its own approach to restarting lessons and tests, and PassMeFast is following all relevant guidelines.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland driving lessons, theory tests and practical tests have all restarted.
Driving lessons and theory tests have now resumed in Scotland, while practical tests will resume on 6th May.
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 has restarted across Great Britain.
We are working to secure suitable tests for all of our students, and will contact you personally once we have been able to find something that meets your requirements.
Practical testing has restarted in England and Wales, and will restart on 6th May in Scotland.
PassMeFast is in the process of securing tests for all of our customers. Given the current backlog, wait times are likely to be longer than usual. Rest assured that our fast-tracking service can help you to get the earliest date possible. We would like to thank you for your patience, and will contact you individually once we have secured you a suitable appointment.
Driving lessons have restarted across Great Britain.
If you have already been assigned an instructor, they will contact you regarding your lessons in due course. Students who have not yet been assigned an instructor will be contacted individually by the PassMeFast team.
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 CX Adviser via email, or by calling 0333 123 4949. Some members of staff may continue to work from home. We apologise for any disruption to our normal service that this may cause.
We’re open for new bookings, and cover the whole of Great Britain! 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.
Customers with ongoing bookings
I have a booking with PassMeFast. Is it likely to continue as normal?
With driving lessons now available across Great Britain, we’re working to help all of our students to pass as quickly as possible. PassMeFast is prioritising safe working practices and complying with all advice from the DVSA and UK Government. There may be some disruption to courses as a result of backlogs from previous lockdowns. We apologise for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience.
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?
We’re aiming to get all of our students on the road as quickly as possible, but are conscious of the delays created by months of lockdown. Though our wait times to begin your course may be longer than usual, we’re confident that we offer a quicker route to getting your licence thanks to our fast-tracking service. 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 students across the country having faced delays and cancellations, there is currently a large nationwide backlog for driving tests. PassMeFast is working to help secure the best possible dates for our students via our fast-tracking service. Though we envisage some short-term delays, we are working to help our students to pass fast.
What precautions are being taken to ensure that driving tests are safe?
Protective measures are in place at test centres and during practical tests to minimise the spread of the virus, and to keep both examiners and candidates safe.
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 provides as much covering as possible
- 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.
I’ve already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Do I still need to wear a mask during lessons and tests?
Yes. In Scotland, it is the law that you must wear face coverings during lessons and upon arrival at test centres. In England and Wales, this is not a legal requirement, but you should still do so unless you are exempt.
Should I take a COVID-19 test before my driving test?
The government is advising candidates to do so wherever possible. In England and Scotland, rapid lateral flow tests are available to order on-demand; in Wales, a collection service is available. Useful links can be found below:
- Information for driving test candidates in England
- Information for driving test candidates in Wales
- Order a lateral flow test (England only)
- Order a lateral flow test (Scotland only)
- Collection information for lateral flow tests (Wales only)
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.
Is private practice allowed?
Yes. Under the current rules, you may practise driving while supervised by a member of your household or support bubble. You may do so during both essential and non-essential journeys.
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 CX Adviser if you already have a course.