Terms of Business – Learner Drivers
These terms form a contract between us, so it is important that you have read and understood all the terms before starting lessons with me. Please note that, throughout these terms, “I” or “me” refers to Martin Ferlinc, Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). My DVSA reference is 460309. The word “you” or “your” refers to the learner receiving lessons.
I will ask for written confirmation (usually by email) that the terms have been read and accepted before you start your lessons (please see Section 1 for a note regarding learners under the age of 18). If there is anything you do not understand, please ask me before you accept these terms.
1. Contract – The contract for driving lessons commences from the day you confirm agreement to these terms (no later than the day of your first lesson) until the end of the day when your lessons have permanently stopped (this will usually be the day you pass your practical driving test).
If you wish to stop taking lessons permanently, for whatever reason, you may do so at any time (and no notice period is required). If there is a gap in your lessons of 21 days or more (without prior agreement), lessons will cease and this contract will be automatically cancelled (without notice). However, this period is reduced to 14 days where lessons are taken at peak times (weekends or after 4pm). The contract may also be cancelled by me, where the terms of this contract are not followed (e.g. failing to pay for lessons in a timely manner) or if lessons become infrequent or are cancelled three times or more (see section 10). Where a contract is cancelled, you may request a refund of any credit, in line with my refund policy outlined in section 7 of these terms.
Regardless of age, all learners must read and accept these terms before lessons can commence. However, if you are under 18 (legally a minor), a parent/legal guardian will need to formally accept these terms. In addition, if a third party (e.g. parent, legal guardian, relative or friend) is paying me directly for your lessons, they will also be made aware of these terms (particularly in respect of cancellation charges).
If there is any material change to my terms of business, while you are still taking lessons with me, I will provide you with an updated copy (and a summary of any changes) at least 28 days before they come into effect (and I will ask you to reconfirm your acceptance). However, please note that, due to the nature of working at the time of a pandemic, mitigating actions (in Section 4) may be changed or added at short notice (so 28 days notice of future changes may not always be possible).
2. My Business Details – I am a self employed, independent driving instructor, operating under a franchise agreement (AA Solo Contract) with AA Driving School (AADS). I am registered as a sole trader under the name “Driving Lessons with Martin (Nottingham)” and can be contacted by phone (07980111234) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Although I am contracted with AADS, this is purely for the arrangement of a fully maintained and serviced driving school car. Your contract for driving lessons is solely with me (for the duration of your lessons with me) and not with AADS.
3. Driving Licence – You must have a valid provisional driving licence and produce the photocard version on or before your first lesson. Information about your entitlements to drive and any endorsements are not recorded on your photocard licence but this information is stored and available online via DVLA’s “View My Licence” service. If you have driven before, I will require you to access this service and provide me with a computer generated code (so that I can also view your entitlement to drive prior to your first lesson, using DVLA’s “Check Someone’s Licence” service). You must tell me of any changes (to entitlements or endorsements) during the course of your lessons with me.
4. Health & Medical Fitness to Drive – Prior to registering for lessons, I will carry out a health risk assessment, based upon details you provide regarding notifiable medical conditions, medication currently used or any condition that may affect the way you learn (e.g. ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, anxiety issues etc). As a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, this health assessment has been extended to include Covid-19 associated risks as well. You must tell me if your medical situation changes at any point, while you are taking lessons with me. It is your legal responsibility to report any notifiable medical conditions to DVLA but I may seek assurances from you that suitable action has been taken (e.g. that you have discussed the impact of a medical condition on driving with your GP and/or reported this to DVLA). Any medical information you provide to me is treated confidentially, will not be shared and any email containing this information will be retained for up to 30 days after lessons have stopped permanently. While it remains your legal responsibility to be fit to drive at the time of any lesson (which includes checking that any medication you may be taking will not affect your ability to drive), I may cancel or curtail any lesson where I believe that you are not fit to drive (and especially if suspected to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs). I will also check that your eyesight meets the minimum requirements (being able to read a car registration plate from 20 metres) on or before your first lesson but may also periodical check this during your lessons.
As a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and in order to comply with UK Government Guidelines on providing safe working environments, a risk assessment has been carried out and the following sections (4a and 4b) outline mitigating actions to help reduce the risk of spreading/catching the virus.
4a -Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) – My Responsibilities
To protect your health, I am committed to:-
(i) Cancelling driving lessons if I am showing any symptoms of a virus that is consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19) and staying at home for a minimum period of 10 days from the onset of symptoms (or from the date of testing positive)
(ii) Cancelling driving lessons if I have knowingly been in contact with someone suffering from coronavirus (Covid-19), including if I have been notified by an NHS Contact Tracing App or the NHS Test & Trace system and asked to self isolate, or if a member of my household is showing any symptoms of a virus that is consistent with those of Covid-19 (and will stay at home for a minimum period of 14 days after they started showing symptoms)
(iii) Cancelling a scheduled driving lesson if I am awaiting the result of a Covid test or if I am expecting to take a asymptomatic Covid test less than 48 hours after the lesson
(iv) Messaging you prior to your lesson (usually 5-15 minutes) to advise you that I have arrived or on my way (to give you time to put your phone away and wash your hands)
(v) Cleaning controls within the car that you will come into contact with during your lesson, and the exterior door handles, before you come to the car for your lesson (using anti-bacterial/disinfectant wipes or spray)
(vi) Opening all windows fully between lessons (to freshen the air within the car) and keeping the car ventilated during lessons (by keeping at least two windows partially open during the lesson).
(vii) Washing my hands before your lesson (or using hand sanitiser)
(viii) Wearing clean clothes on the day of the lesson (changing my top at least once during the day)
(ix) Wearing a clean face mask during your lesson
(x) Chatting to you at the beginning and end of the lesson outside the car (2 metres apart), weather permitting
(xi) Facing the windscreen when talking to you when in the car. If a long conversation is required or considered beneficial, it may be useful to park up in an appropriate place and hold the conversation outside the car (where social distancing can take place)
(xii) Downloading and actively using the NHS Contact Tracing App that notifies the phone user if they have been in close contact with someone suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). Downloading the App is considered advisory but voluntary.
4b – Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Your Responsibilities
To protect my health, you are committed to:-
(i) Cancelling any driving lesson if you are currently displaying the symptoms of any virus that may be considered to be coronavirus (COVID-19) or if you have been displaying those symptoms (or tested positive) in the previous 10 days
(ii) Cancelling any driving lesson if you have been in contact with anyone (especially in your household) who has been suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) during the previous 14 days (including if you have been notified by an NHS Contact Tracing App or the NHS Test & Trace system and asked to self isolate)
(iii) Cancelling a scheduled driving lesson if you are awaiting the result of a Covid test or if you are expecting to take an asymptomatic Covid test less than 48 hours after the lesson
(iv) Only bringing essential items into the car (such as house keys). Mobile phones may be brought into the car but, as they are not needed for the purpose of the lesson and can harbour harmful bacteria (and, potentially, viruses), they should not be used during the lesson except in an emergency. Any items you bring to the car should be kept in your pocket or in a separate bag (placed in an area of the car directed by me on the day). Larger items (such as handbags) and coats should be placed on the rear floor, behind the driver’s seat.
(v) Washing your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water) before coming to the car (to note: it is important that your hands are washed AFTER you last touched your phone and that you don’t touch your phone again until AFTER your lesson has finished)
(vi) Wearing appropriate, clean clothes to your lesson
(vii) Wearing a clean face mask during your lesson (and, if it is washable, cleaning it before and after use)
(viii) Only touching controls/items within the car that you are required to touch, to drive the car
(ix) Facing the windscreen when talking to me (and being prepared to hold longer conversations outside the car, where social distancing can take place)
(x) Downloading and actively using the NHS Contact Tracing App that notifies the phone user if they have been in close contact with someone suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). While you MUST act upon requests to self isolate by the NHS Test & Trace system, downloading the App is considered advisory but voluntary. If you wish to opt out of downloading and using any NHS Contact Tracing App, you may do so providing you tell me (so that I can reassess the risks of providing lessons to you).
5. Insurance & Liability – Providing that you have a valid provisional driving licence and are medically fit to drive, you are covered by comprehensive motor insurance should you be involved in a collision whilst driving the tuition car. In addition to the car being insured, I have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance (provided through my membership of Driving Instructors Association) but I am not liable for any losses that you may incur through circumstances outside of my reasonable control or outside of my legal duty (including, but not limited to, any business interest you have). I will do my utmost to ensure that your driving is always within the law, the driver is legally responsible for any breaches of the Highway Code and any resultant penalty points/fines and it is my legal duty to report the name of the driver in the event of any incident to any interested party (e.g. the Police, insurance company, any other affected road user).
As social distancing is not possible inside a car, we both accept that the risks of spreading/catching the coronavirus are higher inside a car. However, we are both committed to mitigating the risk of catching coronavirus (Covid-19) during a driving lesson (through the actions set out in Section 4), accept that the risk can be reduced but not eliminated and relieve each other of any further responsibility/liability.
6. Payments – Prices will be agreed with you (or the person paying me) prior to taking lessons and will be guaranteed not to change for as long as remain contracted to have lessons with me (noting that your contract ceases if you stop taking lessons with me for more than a month, without agreeing this with me in advance). Please note that occasional breaks in lessons (e.g. due to illness, holidays or university breaks) will not effect the guaranteed price, providing that any agreed break in lessons is not for more than three months. If resuming lessons after a three month break, any changes in my prices will apply.
Unless agreed with me in advance, all lessons must be paid for by no later than the end of the lesson, using bank transfer. Due to banknotes and coins containing harmful bacteria (and, potentially, viruses), I no longer accept cash as a payment method. One off sessions (e.g. a refresher session, mock test or motorway lesson) must be paid for at the time of booking (by bank transfer).
A one-off Registration Fee was introduced in 2020 to provide a nominal contribution to the admin costs of setting up a new pupil (including online theory support). The fee, payable at the time of confirming a booking, also helps to secure a specific slot. Although the fee is considered non refundable, if for any reason I am subsequently unable to start providing you with lessons, this fee will be refunded.
7. Refunds of Pre-Paid Lessons – Discounted, pre-paid block bookings were supended during 2020 (as a result of the pandemic). If a lesson has been paid for in advance but the lesson is cancelled (with sufficient notice, outlined in Section 10), the payment will be used for the next session. In the event that there are no further lessons, a full refund will be made to you (by bank transfer).
8. Availability for Lessons – Your availability for lessons will be discussed and assessed prior to your first lesson. Any changes in your availability or any planned breaks in your lesson plans should be notified to me at the earliest opportunity. If there is any change in your availability or any unexpected break from lessons, I will do my best to accommodate your new requirements but it may not be possible for me to continue providing lessons for you (and your contract for lessons will be cancelled immediately). Where there is a clash of requests for the same day/time, booking priority is given to people who usually have a lesson at that time followed by people who have purchased a block of lessons and then other PAYG learners who have regular (at least weekly) lessons. I will share my availability with you and notify you of any planned absences (e.g. holidays), with as much notice as possible.
9. Booking/Confirming Lessons – Booking lessons is subject to my own availability, which can vary from week to week (e.g. affected by the timing of driving tests booked by other pupils). Where lessons are held at the same time on the same day each week, the next lesson will usually be confirmed in the car at the end of each lesson (or an alternative option discussed, if the usual slot is not available). Where lessons are held at different times or on different days or can not be confirmed in the car, for whatever reason, the date/time of the next lesson will be proposed by text message (or using the WhatsApp or Facebook messaging service, if preferred) and will be reserved for you for 24 hours, awaiting your confirmation. If you do not confirm the booking within 24 hours, the slot will become available to others.
10. Cancelled Lessons – You MUST cancel your lesson if you have been suffering from any symptoms that are consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), or have tested positive, in the last 10 days, have knowingly come into contact with someone who has coronavirus (Covid-19) within the previous 14 days or if a member of your household has the symptoms (or had them within the last 14 days) or asked to self isolate (e.g. by the NHS Test & Trace system or the NHS Contact Tracing App). In addition, lessons booked less than 48 hours before a known/routine Covid-19 test will be cancelled (subject to my discretion, if weekly tests are required). In all of these circumstances, you will NOT be charged for cancelling the lesson but should give me as much notice as possible. Please note that I may also have to cancel a lesson for Covid-19 related symptoms or if I am asked to self isolate and will also let you know as soon as possible.
My approach to cancellation charges is that any lesson cancelled by you, due to non Covid-19 related illnesses, will NOT be subject to any charge providing that you let me know (by text message or phone call) at least 1 hour before the scheduled start time. If you cancel a lesson due to illness, any other lessons already booked will also be cancelled and no further lessons will be booked until you confirm that you are fit enough to resume lessons. Similarly, if I am unwell and not fit enough to provide a lesson, I will give you at least 1 hour’s notice (or, if my car develops a fault, I will advise you as soon as I can) and rearrange the lesson as soon as I am able to resume work.
If either of us need to cancel a lesson for any other reason (e.g. due to a change of work, school, college or university schedule), at least 48 hours notice must be given. If you fail to provide the minimum notice (1 hour for illness or 48 hours for any other reason) a cancellation charge of the full cost of the session will apply. When I arrive for your lesson, I will wait for a maximum of 30 minutes. During this time, I will contact you to highlight that I am waiting. If you do not respond or show up within 15 minutes of me making contact, the lesson will not go ahead and a cancellation charge will apply (equivalent to the full cost of the planned lesson). Where three or more lessons have been cancelled, for whatever reason (with the exception of lessons that were cancelled due to coronavirus (Covid-19) issues), consideration will be given to stop providing lessons.
If a practical driving test is cancelled on the day of the test by the DVSA (e.g. due to the absence of an examiner or industrial action), a full charge will be made (as you will be able to claim costs from the DVSA). However, if the test is cancelled due to weather conditions, you will not be able to claim from the DVSA. In those circumstances, I will not charge you, if the pre-test lesson is also cancelled, but a charge for the pre-test lesson will be made if that lesson is not cancelled.
If you are likely to be late for your lesson, please text me as soon as you know. Likewise, although I am a very punctual person, sometimes unexpected traffic can cause me to arrive slightly later than planned. In this case, I will contact you (to advise you) and, where possible, extend the lesson so that the lesson continues for the full scheduled time (or, if not, round up the time to the nearest 15 minutes and extend the following lesson accordingly).
11. Conduct in Lessons – I aim to create a safe and friendly environment in the car, in which learning can take place, and have agreed to abide by the DVSA’s voluntary Code of Practice and the Driving Instructor’s Association’s (DIA) Code of Conduct (both available on request).
If it is essential to bring your mobile phone to the car, it must be switched off or on silent mode during the lesson and kept in your pocket or in a separate bag. Legally, hand held phones can only be used when the car is parked and the engine is switched off. Following the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the use of your phone during a lesson will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances and must be done outside the car. Before returning to the car, you will be required to wash your hands (using hand sanitiser, provided by me).
My car is equipped with dual controls, which I will operate where verbal instruction is neither a timely nor an appropriate option, to ensure that you do not break a law (e.g. speeding or not stopping at a red traffic light or pedestrian crossing) or where actions would create a serious safety issue for either ourselves or others (e.g. emerging unsafely into a road or getting too close to parked cars). I may also use them to help prevent inconvenience to other road users or avoid you becoming too stressed in a particular situation (e.g. stalling at a busy junction) or to demonstrate an aspect of driving. If I do take control, I will explain what I have done and why I have done it. While I aim to avoid any physical contact during lessons, taking control of the steering wheel, gears or handbrake may result in inadvertent, brief physical contact with your hand or arm. In the event of any inadvertent physical contact with any part of your body that is not covered (e.g. hand or arm), hand sanitiser will be offered at the earliest opportunity. If there is a need to frequently take control, we will review whether the plan of lessons is appropriate or if there is an underlying area of learning to focus on. You will probably make many mistakes during the course of your lessons, while you are developing your knowledge or capabilities, and this is an expected part of the learning process. However, displaying a disregard for road safety (e.g. a tendency to frequently drive faster than is legal, suitable or instructed) or showing an inappropriate attitude towards me or to other road users, will result in serious consideration given to curtailing a specific lesson or ceasing future lessons.
12. Progress Review – I will maintain a record of your driving lessons, containing a summary of your progress, in your Driver Record. In your first few lessons, we will discuss how your progress will be measured and monitored and the best way for you to receive feedback during your lessons (and we will review this approach periodically, to ensure that it suits your learning style). Please be aware that every learner makes mistakes while learning to drive. Making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process and provides a key opportunity to check understanding and discuss any gaps in knowledge or difficulty in applying driving skills. Discussion and feedback given, following any mistakes made, will always aim to be constructive and focus on developing skills and measuring progress and should not be viewed as personal criticism.
13. Use of the Tuition Car for the Practical Test
(i) My driving school car is only made available to learners registered with me who have had at least 10 hours of lessons with me and are actively having regular (at least weekly) lessons with me.
(ii) The practical test should only be booked, in consultation with my availability, once I have agreed that you have reached (or are close to reaching) an appropriate standard to take a test and a lesson plan has been agreed in advance (leading up to the date of the test).
(iii) I reserve the right to withdraw the use of my driving school car for the practical test, where I do not believe that you are appropriately prepared to pass a test (i.e. planned lessons have not taken place, after booking a test, or you have not progressed to the stage of driving independently or safely, without frequent intervention or significant support), but I will advise you of any such decision at least 3 working days before the day of the test (so that you are able to rearrange/cancel the test without losing the DVSA fee).
(iv) I allocate 2.5 hours for the test day. Depending on the time of the test, 45-60 minutes is needed for a pre-test lesson (and drive to the test centre, arriving 5-10 minutes before the test time), one hour is required for the test itself (including feedback session at the end of the test) and a further 30 minutes to allow me time to drive you home (or to an agreed drop off point). The cost is structured to reflect a reward for loyalty and reliability, as follows:-
- For learners who have had less than 15 hours of lessons with me, the 2.5 hour test day session will be charged at 2.5 x my standard hourly rate.
- For learners who have had at least 15 hours but less than 25 hours of lessons with me, a charge equivalent to the price of a two hour lesson is applied.
- For learners who have had at least 25 hours of lessons with me, a one-hour charge will be made (using my standard hourly rate) for the pre-test preparation session (i.e. there is no charge for the use of the car on the test or return travel).
- For learners who have had at least 25 hours of lessons with me AND have never cancelled a lesson, the entire test day session is free of charge (as a reward for loyalty and reliability). Please note that this reward applies to a first driving test only.
- Please note that a £15 supplement will be applied if a test is arranged for a Saturday or Sunday if lessons are usually taken during the week (Monday to Friday).
(v) A test will need to be cancelled if either of us are suffering from Covid-19 symptoms or are required to self isolate (within the 14 days prior to a booked test). This is an unavoidable circumstance, outside of my reasonable control.
14. Trust & Confidentiality – As trust is an important aspect in any relationship, I am committed not to share details of your progress with others. However, where lessons are being paid for by a third party (e.g. a parent) and where the person paying for lessons has expressed an interest in your progress, I will seek your permission to share an overview of your progress with them but will also expect you to be updating them on a regular basis, in more detail.
While I may, on occasion, refer to a situation that another learner has encountered, this will be purely to illustrate a situation that you may face yourself (as part of your learning process) and will not involve divulging the name or identity of any other learner. If you personally know of any other learner who has had (or is still having) lessons with me, I will not discuss their lessons with you (or discuss your lessons with them) or mention any situation that they have faced that might identify them.
Any personal or sensitive information you choose to share with me during the course of your lessons will remain confidential and will remain confidential after your contract for lessons has finished.
16. Complaints – Nothing in these terms affects any statutory rights you may have as a consumer. In the event that you are unhappy with any aspect of your driving lessons with me, you should discuss the situation with me immediately in the first instance. In the unlikely event that any concerns raised with me are not resolved between us, you may wish to contact your local Trading Standards office or DVSA.
17. Law – These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales and subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
Version: Learner Drivers – 21.1
Version Control Notes:-
1. The terms in version 20.1 apply to all new learners registered after 1st December 2019.
2. Learners who were registered with me before 1st December 2019 will have agreed to my previous terms. These revised terms (version 20.1) apply from 1st January 2020.
3. The latest version 20.2 included a new temporary section (4a) regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). This version was introduced prior to social distancing restrictions being announced by the UK Government on 23rd March 2020. This section was subsequently deleted and replaced with Version 20.3 in April 2020.
4. Version 20.3 includes a variation to terms (4a and 4b), outlining new responsibilities and amended cancellation terms (highlighted in bold text in Section 10) as well as a variance to conduct in lessons (highlighted in Section 11) and a statement that lessons can no longer be paid for by cash (Section 6). These will come into effect when driving lessons resume in 4th July 2020 (this date will inserted once a decision to resume lessons is announced).
5. Version 20.4 – There is a minor change in wording in Section 4 to reflect the new NHS Test & Trace system and to mention that the use of a tracking App is voluntary. The wording in Section 10 has been amended to make clear that no charge is made for cancelling lessons due to Covid-19 symptoms or self isolation and an extra clause entered in Section 13 to highlight the risk that a test may be cancelled due to Covid-19 symptoms or self isolation, within 14 days of a booked test. Section 5 includes a new statement that sets out an acceptance of Covid-19 risks.
6. Version 20.5 – Change in Sections 4 and 10 reflects that the requirement to self-isolate increased from 7 days to 10 days (on 30th July).
7. Version 21.0 – Annual Review (December 2020). Policy updated to clarify that lessons will be considered permanently stopped if there is a gap in lessons of 21 days or more (14 days for lessons at peak times) without agreement or where contact stops. The policy now reflects that information related to your health is retained until 30 days after you permanently stop taking lessons and includes reference to a registration fee (introduced in 2020).
8. Version 21.1 – Section 4 amended in March 2021 to reflect the fact that schools/colleges and universities (as well as some workplaces) now have routine (asymptomatic) Covid testing arrangements in place. Scheduled lessons cannot go ahead if either of us is awaiting for a Covid test result or if a routine Covid test is expected to take place within 48 hours after a driving lesson.