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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 confirmation 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), by completing the section on the end of this webpage. 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 at the end of the day you pass your practical driving test or after a one-off mock test session). If you wish to stop taking lessons permanently, for whatever reason, you may do so at any time (providing me with at least 48 hours notice before any scheduled lesson).  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, have been cancelled three times or more (see section 10) or if there is a gap in your lessons of 21 days or more (without prior agreement). 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 payment requirements and 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 mitigating actions to ensure a safe working environment (in Section 4) may be changed or added at short notice (so 28 days notice of future changes to this section may not always be possible).

2. My Business Details – I am a self employed, independent driving instructor, currently 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 (drivinglessonswithmartin@gmail.com). 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 periodically check this throughout your course of lessons.

Sections 4a and 4b were introduced in mid 2020, during the early stages of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and have frequently been amended, in line with changes with UK Government Guidelines on providing Covid safe working environments. Any changes to these sections will be communicated immdediately.

4a -Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) – My Responsibilities

To protect your health, I am fully Covid vaccinated and committed to:-

(i) Cancelling driving lessons if I am showing any symptoms of any virus that is consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), refraining from lessons for at least 5 days from showing any symptoms and following current Government guidance on self isolation (which has changed several times over the course of the pandemic)

(ii) Making you aware of any increased risk (e.g. if a member of my household has symptoms of Covid or if I have been to a crowded indoor event or travelled on a plane) that may influence your decision to go ahead with your next lesson

(iii) Messaging you prior to your lesson to advise you that I am on my way/have arrived (to give you time to wash your hands)

(iv) Opening all windows fully between lessons (to freshen the air within the car) and keeping the car ventilated during lessons (by periodically opening windows) and avoiding use of the recycled air option on the aircon

(v) Wiping down 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

(vi) Cleaning my hands before your session (using hand sanitiser)

(vii) Wearing clean clothes on the day of the session

(viii) Wearing a face mask is you wish me to do so (see note below)

(ix) Facing the windscreen when talking to you when in the car, as much as possible.

Note: Unless required by law, a decision to wear or not to wear face masks or face coverings will be a mutual decision made on an individual basis.

4b – Working Safely During Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Your Responsibilities

To protect my health (and my other pupils), you are committed to:-

(i) Cancelling driving lessons if you are showing any symptoms of any virus that is consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), refraining from lessons for at least 5 days from showing any symptoms and following current Government guidance on self isolation (which may change from time to time)

(ii) Making me aware of any increased risk (e.g. if a household member is showing symptoms of Covid or if you have been to a crowded indoor event or travelled on a plane) that may influence a decision to delay your next lesson

(iii) Washing your hands thoroughly before coming to the car and/or sanitising your hands (with alcohol based hand sanitiser, provided by me) before entering the car

(iv) Wearing appropriate, clean clothes to your lesson

(v) Wearing a clean face mask during your session if I wish you to do so (see note below)

(vi) Facing the windscreen as much as possible when talking to me inside the car

Note: Unless required by law, a decision to wear or not to wear face masks or face coverings will be a mutual decision made on an individual basis.

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 have a 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). While 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.

As social distancing is not possible inside a car, we both accept that the risks of spreading/catching any virus (including 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. Prices/Payments – Given the current levels of inflation (reaching a 40 year high in June 2022) and rising fuel costs (petrol increased by 40% in the year up to June 2020), prices are now reviewed frequently. However, the price you pay will not increase for a minimum of six months (from the date of your first lesson).  If there is a price change after six months, I will give you 28 days notice.

The first lesson must be paid for at the time of booking/registration. Unless agreed with me in advance, subsequent lessons must be paid for by no later than the end of the day of the lesson, using bank transfer. Due to banknotes and coins potentially containing harmful bacteria and viruses, I no longer accept cash as a payment method.

7. Refunds of Pre-Paid Lessons – 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). For learners who work shifts or are on placement and request lessons on different days each week, booking priority is given to existing learners who usually have a regular weekly lesson (on the same day each week). 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 either be proposed by text message (or using the WhatsApp or Facebook messaging service, if preferred) or offered as a “Lesson Gap” via the Total Drive App (up to 10 days in advance).  If the lesson is proposed by a message, it will be reserved for you for 24 hours, awaiting your confirmation (but will become available to others if you do not confirm the booking within 24 hours).

10. Cancelled Lessons – You MUST cancel your lesson if you are unwell, and especially if you have been suffering from any symptoms that are consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19) or have recently tested positive (or awaiting the result of a Covid test). In addition, you may be asked to cancel your lesson if you have knowingly come into contact with someone who has been displaying the symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) or if you have recently returned from a crowded event. In 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 but 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. There is no minimum period of notice for Covid related illnesses. However, if you fail to provide the minimum notice (1 hour for non Covid related illness or 48 hours for any other reason) a cancellation charge equating to 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).

If you book and pay for a one-off Mock Test and subsequently decide not to go ahead, a full refund of your payment will be provided MINUS a £10 administration charge. This nominal charge is to partly cover the cost in time that would have been spent preparing for the session and the time spent filling the slot.

11. Loyalty/Reliability Benefits – I offer a selection of benefits to reward loyalty (learners who have at least 15 hours of lessons with me) and reliability (where lessons are paid for promptly and lessons are not cancelled at short notice). Details of these benefits are provided at the time of enquiry/booking but may change from time to time (without advance notice).

12. 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.

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 (as part of your training). 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 towards other road-users, will result in serious consideration given to curtailing a specific lesson or ceasing future lessons.

13. Progress Review – I will maintain a record of your driving lessons, containing a summary of your progress, in your Driver Record (which is recorded in the Total Drive App). 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.

14. 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 15 hours of lessons with me and are actively having regular (at least weekly) lessons with me (this minimum requirement of hours may be reduced at my discretion)

(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 used for a pre-test lesson (and drive to the test centre, arriving 5-10 minutes before the test time), one hour is allocated for the test itself (including feedback session at the end of the test) and a further 30 minutes allows me 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 and always pay promptly, 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 10 days prior to a booked test). This is an unavoidable circumstance, outside of my reasonable control.

15. 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 a periodic 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. Use of Your Data – Please read my Privacy Notice, which gives an outline of any information that I collect, generate and hold that identifies you. More detail about my approach to the collection, generation and holding of personal data and how this is used, held and kept secure, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, is covered in my Privacy Policy.

17. 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.

18. 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 – 22.7

Version Control Notes (Last Twelve Months):-

Version 21.2 – June 2021. Section 4 amended to reflect that windows will remain closed on hot days to help maximise the effectiveness of the air-con (but the recycled air option will not be used) and an additional section added to formalise the offer of benefits that reward loyalty and reliability.

Version 21.3 – July 2021. Section 4 amended to reflect changes to legal restrictions (regarding wearing of masks and social distancing).

Version 21.4 – July 2021. Section 10 amended to include a new cancellation charge. This only affects learners who book and pay for a mock test but then decide not to go ahead.

Version 21.5 – November 2021. Introductory section changed to reflect that the terms are now agreed using the section at the bottom of the webpage and Section 1 amended to reflect that the contract expires at the end of the day of a one-off mock test session.

Version 22.0 – December 2021. Annual Review. Changes in Sections 4 to reflect changes due to working during a pandemic. (Changes apply to existing pupils from 1st January 2022 but apply to new pupils starting after 5th November 2021)

Version 22.1 – January 2022. Section 13 amended to reflect the use of an App to help monitor progress and version history limited to the last twelve months.

Version 22.2 – February 2022. Wording in Sections 4 and 10 amended to refer to following Government guidelines, rather mentioning the number of days required to self isolate (which can change from time to time). Section 8 now refers to booking lessons using the Total Drive App.

Version 22.3 – March 2022.  Changes in Section 4 to reflect a change in requirement to wear a face mask/covering in lessons (subject to mutual consent not to do so) and removing the reference to the use of the NHS Contact Tracing App (this was only a voluntary requirement but, with the removal of testing in April, is considered of little value)

Version 22.4 – March 2022.  The minimum number of hours of lessons before taking a test has increased from 10 hours to 15 hours to reflect the increased pressure from DVSA on ADIs to ensure that learner drivers are suitably prepared to take their test.

Version 22.5 – April 2022. Section 4 amended to reflect changes in Covid testing (i.e. free lateral flow tests are no longer available from 1st April 2022 and PCR tests are no longer provided for people with symptoms).

Version 22.6 – May 2022. New version for pupils registered after 10th May, removing the “lifetime” price guarantee and replacing it with a commitment not to increase prices for 12 months (from the date of the first lesson).

Version 22.7 – June 2022. New version for pupils registering for lessons after 19th June 2022.  Price guarantee reduced to a minimum of 6 months (from the date of the first lesson).

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