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, Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) – DVSA reference 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, by completing the section on the end of this webpage. Please see Section 1 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 and have completed the registration process (no later than the day before 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 five 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. However, please note that mitigating actions to ensure a safe working environment (covered 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 (email@example.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 before your first lesson can commence. Information about your entitlements to drive and any endorsements are not recorded on your photocard licence but 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). It is your responsibility to 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). 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 originally devised as part of a response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. These sections now reflect a broader approach to our joint responsibilities of working together in the car.
4a -Working Safely Together in the Car – My Responsibilities
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).
To protect your health and safety (and the safety of other road users), I am committed to:-
(i) Cancelling driving lessons if I am showing any symptoms of any virus that is considered contagious or consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), refraining from lessons until being free of symptoms for at least 24 hours (or at least 24 hours after a negative lateral flow test, if previously tested positive).
(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 in the week leading up to your lesson) that may influence your decision to go ahead with your next lesson.
(iii) Opening all windows fully between lessons (to freshen the air within the car) and wipe down controls within the car (that you will come into contact with during your lesson) periodically between lessons or at the end of each day.
(iv) Wearing clean clothes every day and washing my hands (or using hand sanitiser) between each lesson. I am also willing to wear a clean face mask if you should wish me to do so.
(v) Operating the car’s fitted dual controls and provide assistance with steering, where verbal instruction is neither a timely nor an appropriate option, to help you avoid breaking a law (e.g. speeding or not stopping at a red traffic light or pedestrian crossing) or where your 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).
(vi) Using dual controls 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. 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.
(vii) Avoiding physical contact with you. Please note that if I need to take control of the steering wheel, gears or parking brake, this 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.
(viii) Ensuring my mobile phone is switched off or on silent mode during your lesson. Legally, hand held phones can only be used when the car is parked and the engine is switched off.
4b – Working Safely Together in the Car – Your Responsibilities
To protect my health (and that of my other pupils and other road users), you are committed to:-
(i) Cancelling driving lessons if you are showing any symptoms of any virus that is considered contagious or consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19), refraining from lessons until being free of symptoms for at least 24 hours (or at least 24 hours after a negative lateral flow test, if previously tested positive).
(ii) Making me aware of any increased risk (e.g. if a member of my household has symptoms of Covid or if you have been to a crowded indoor event or travelled on a plane in the seven days leading up to you lesson) that may influence my decision to go ahead with your next lesson.
(iii) Wearing appropriate, clean clothes to your lesson, washing your hands prior to coming to the car (please note that hand sanitiser is available in my car for your use).
(iv) Doing your best to follow instructions provided by me during your lesson, which are designed not just to help you learn but to ensure the safety of you, I and other road users. Please note that displaying a disregard for road safety 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.
(v) Ensuring your mobile phone is switched off or on silent mode during your lesson. Legally, hand held phones can only be used when the car is parked and the engine is switched off.
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 and contact details 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 we sit very close to each other in 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 any virus from each other during a driving lesson (through some of 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 – Prices are reviewed annually but, during times of high inflation or where there are above inflation increases in petrol costs, lesson prices may be reviewed more frequently. However, the price agreed with you is guaranteed not to increase for a minimum of twelve months (from the date of your first lesson). If there is a price change during this nine month period, I will give you 28 days notice of any increase, to apply after the twelve month period (noting that most learners have passed their test within a year of their first lesson).
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 (see Section 1o), 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). Where cancellation charges have been triggered (see Section 10), any credit will be used to fund the cancellation charge.
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 (of 21 days of more), 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 WhatsApp, 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 of a contagious virus (including symptoms that are consistent with those of coronavirus (Covid-19) or have recently tested positive for Covid test, giving me as much notice as possible (but at least one hour).
My approach to cancellation charges is that any lesson cancelled by you, due illness, 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.
My approach to cancellation charges is as follows:-
- Scheduled lessons cancelled due to illness (with at least one hour’s notice) will not be charged
- Where a scheduled slot is cancelled for reasons other than illness (with at least 48 hour’s notice), there will be no charge (up to a maximum of 3 cancelled lessons)
- Where a scheduled slot is cancelled (other than for illness) with less than 48 hours notice or once the maximum amount of free cancellations has been reached, future cancellations may incur a cancellation charge of up to 25% of the lesson price. However, if the slot can be filled by someone else, no charge will apply. This does not apply to lessons cancelled by (school, college or university) students due to leaving Nottingham during official school, college or university holidays but it will apply to students who cancel a lesson (other than for illness) as a result of choosing to leave Nottingham during term time.
- Failure to provide the minimum notice (which includes not turning up for a lesson) may result in a cancellation charge of up to 25% of the lesson price (unless the slot can be filled by someone else)
- Failing to show up for a lesson (within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time) will result in a cancellation charge of up to 50%
- In the event that more than 25% of scheduled lessons are cancelled (for any reason), consideration will be given to the termination of the contract for lessons or, if it is agreed to continue providing lessons, they may be scheduled in a different way (e.g. through the lesson gaps section of the Total Drive App).
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.
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 are likely to be late for your lesson, please text me as soon as you know. If you do not message me or show up within 15 minutes of my arrival, the lesson will not go ahead and a cancellation charge will apply of up to 50% of the price of the planned lesson.
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). Details of these benefits are provided at the time of enquiry/booking but may change from time to time (without advance notice).
12. 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.
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 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 your test can be rearranged/cancelled without losing the DVSA fee).
(iv) I allocate 2.5 hours for the test day. Depending on your location and the time of the test, 45-60 minutes is used for a pre-test lesson (and drive to the test centre, arriving 10 minutes before the test time), one hour is allocated for the test itself (including the examiner’s 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) If a test is cancelled (within three working days of the test) because you are unwell, do not show up or are not available for any reason, you will lose the DVSA test fee (currently £62 or £75 for weekends). In the event that you are unable to take the test because I am unwell or my car develops a fault that cannot be fixed in time (within three working days of the test), I will refund the DVSA test fee. If the test is cancelled by DVSA (e.g. an examiner is unwell), you will not lose the test fee and DVSA will reschedule your test date.
14. Trust & Confidentiality – 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 consent 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. 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 – 24.0
Version Control Notes (Last Twelve Months):-
Version 23.1 – July 2023. Removed reference to use of Facebook messaging service (as I have deactivated my Facebook page) and amended section 4 requirements (as lateral flow test kits are no longer readily available and testing for Covid is no longer required)
Version 24.0 – December 2023. Annual Review. Section 6 amended to reflect that the price guarantee has changed from 9 months to 12 months. Section 10 amended to include changes to cancellation policy. Section 13 (v): New clause added to provide clarity regarding the responsibility for the DVSA test fee if a test is cancelled within three working days of the test.