If you have turned 17 over the last 6months or decided to finally get that licence you may be finding it difficult to get a driving instructor. So, why is this. WE are only allowed to teach NHS workers or people who work with life threatened people who have booked an emergency test and have proof of this. Unfortunately, things are very backed up with all of the lockdowns last year. We all still have students who started pre COVID-19, that's over a year ago, and still have not been able to get to a driving test. Many had test booked and then their test was cancelled and re booked however with restrictions many didn't have access to practice and had to move their test back and have now been caught up in Lockdown two and three.
How will we get things back to normal! Well, if there is a normal! We hope to start lessons in March or as soon as the lockdown is relaxed. We wait to find out more when Boris sets out his 'road map' of coming out of lockdown week commencing 22nd February.
At KAR we have, where possible, re booked our students into test in March and April which will result in available slots coming available in late April/May. It is also worth remembering that sometimes without warning the students we have stop lessons due to health or financial reasons which can also free up a slot for you. Most of our students have a two hour lesson on the same day and time each week. We would advise you contact us and get yourself onto our waiting list, you may be far down the list but if, for example, we get a slot come available on a Monday morning and everyone above you on the list isn't available at that time then you would move to the top of the list and get this slot.
In normal times our waiting list would normally be six weeks so if you have a birthday coming up this year it is worth getting onto our list. There are three of us so depending on where you live in Exeter and your availability to how soon we can get you started.
Whilst you are waiting, we would recommend you get started on your theory and again as soon as lockdown is lifted book the next available Theory test. You can buy the highway code online or find it on many apps. We would recommend the Official DVSA Theory app or the Driving Theory 4 in 1 kit for cars and bikes both are £4.99.
So drop us a text or call on 07980 019474, message through Facebook - KAR Driving Instructor or go to the contact form on our web site and get yourself on the list.
Due to Covid-19 Driving Lessons are suspended due to the 2 metre distancing rule. The industry is waiting on an update from the government and DVSA however, we hope to start back with hairdressers from 4th July wearing PPE if we get to stage 3.
You may have seen several driving instructors out on the road during lockdown, some of these may just be carrying out an essential trip or their daily exercise as many of us use our instructor cars on a daily, personal basis. The other reason could be that the driving instructor is delivering a lesson to a key worker and they will have a badge to confirm they are allowed to do this during the lockdown.
When we are able to come back to work our main duty is to keep our student, their family, us and our family's safe along with protecting the NHS from a second wave. As the R rate decreases and confidence grows in our ability to take lessons however we all need to stay alert and stick to the rules. Track and trace will be very important for us as we will fall into the category of closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes so it will be important that both parties follow strict procedures if notified. Both the student and instructor will have to wear masks, as on public transport and the car will be sanitised before anyone enters it. Hands will need to be washed before the lesson and you may be asked to use AntiBac once in the car. We do not advise you wear gloves as they can be slippery but ask you to avoid touching your face.
It has been a difficult time for the industry and for many pupils waiting to take their tests. Every week the Theory Tests seem to get pushed back by another week. There is no confirmed date that they will open however if the government change the social distancing to 1 metre then hopefully things can start to get back to normal. Here is their latest update from the DVSA:-
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
Mon 15/06/2020 17:13
Important information about theory tests from 22 June to 3 July
All theory tests rescheduled
All theory tests in England, Scotland and Wales from 22 June up to and including 3 July have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
We will update you with a start date for theory testing as soon as we are able.
What DVSA are doing
We are emailing anyone with a test booked from 22 June up to and including 3 July to let them know it has been rescheduled.
Practical Tests - The DVSA have just put out an e-mail to say that they have put all Practical tests 'on hold' apart from key workers and they will be asking people in the backlog to log on to choose a preferred date and time to take it. This will be done in batches based on when your test was booked in. You will be contacted by the DVSA or your instructor letting you know when you can do this.
We have opened our diaries for Driving Lessons from 6th July however we will need to reach stage 3 and get confirmation from the Government and the DVSA that we can start up again. All existing students should stay in contact with their instructor and any new students wanting to start. It is worth getting you name onto our list a.s.a.p. as we are going to be very busy dealing with the backlog. Call Katie on 07980 019474.