Terms of Service – Online Copy

The terms and conditions below form the agreement with which driving lessons and courses are offered to you (the client) by me (Paul Farrant).

Please read them carefully. By employing me as your driving instructor, you’re agreeing to abide by these terms. I’ll ask you to confirm this by e-mail or text message. If you’re 17 or under, I’ll ask you to have someone aged 18 or over to read them with you. If you’re both happy for you to agree to them, they’ll need to email or text me on your behalf.

1. What you can expect from me:

I’ve signed up to the government’s code of conduct for driving instructors and I’ve pledged to continue my professional development (CPD) throughout my career. I’ll behave professionally and ethically.

My car will be well maintained, and kept as a comfortable learning environment. It’ll be fitted with dual controls for both your safety and mine. It’ll be fully insured for the purpose of driving lessons. I’ll never smoke in my car. Your lesson time is dedicated to you, which means I won’t conduct any other business during lessons.

2. My qualifications:

I’m a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), having successfully completed all three parts of the government’s testing process. These are: theory and hazard perception; a test of my driving ability; my ability to instruct. This will be tested in future by the DVSA to make sure I’m up to scratch.

3. Before your first driving lesson:

You must hold a current and valid driving licence in your own name (provisional or full). This will be checked using an online government tool. You’ll be asked to present your license when we first meet, or on your first driving lesson. It’s also a good idea to keep it with you during lessons. The only time this rule won’t apply is for young drivers taking part in off road driving experiences or activities.
You’ll be asked to read a number plate in the same way you would on your driving test – at a distance of 20.5 metres (67 feet, or about 5 car lengths). If you need contact lenses or glasses to do this, you’ll need to wear them. If you wear specific eye correction for driving, you must bring them on lessons too.

4. Lesson length, pricing, and tuition format:

Individual lessons are a minimum of 90 minutes in length, and a maximum of 2 hours. Pricing is based on an hourly rate.

In line with the latest DVSA guidance on best practice, and “standards checks”, I use a method of driving tuition built upon “Client Centred Learning” (CCL). This moves away from old fashioned drill sergeant or school teacher delivery, and is more in line with modern coaching ideas.

I aim to create a welcoming and positive atmosphere. You and I will work together to achieve driving test success.

5. Paying for lessons and courses:

Payment for standard lessons or block bookings must be made in advance.

You can pay by cash, bank transfer, or cheque (timescales apply, please confirm directly for details).

Courses must be paid for in full a minimum of two weeks before training begins. You can secure your course and book dates into my diary with a 50% deposit.

Please take note – your deposit and/or training fees are non-refundable once date(s) have been agreed.

Exceptions will only be made in the unlikely event I’m unable to fulfil any special requirements that may have been agreed when lessons or courses were booked.

Individual lesson bookings or block bookings must be taken within 6 months of payment, and courses within 12 months.

6. Postponing and cancelling lessons:

I’m selling you my time as a self employed driving instructor. An ADI’s business relies on a level of financial predictability to meet fixed and variable costs. This means 48 hours notice is needed for all cancellations by all clients. If this isn’t met, I’ll charge for the lesson in full. Exceptions will only be made if I was easily able to re-sell the time slot. If lessons are repeatedly missed without a decent reason, I’ll reserve the right to end our working relationship.

I reserve the right to postpone lessons if I feel the weather or road conditions are not fit for driving lessons. On rare occasions I may need to postpone lessons on other safety grounds, such as unexpected mechanical problems (e.g. punctures) or illness (my alertness is vital at all times). If I have postponed or cancelled a lesson for any reason, it’ll be rescheduled for the first available time that’s mutually convenient.

I always give driving test bookings priority over other lessons. This means your lesson may be postponed to allow for someone else’s driving test – In the event this happens, you’ll be informed immediately.

I can’t be held responsible for any costs you may incur as a result of lessons being postponed, for any reason.

7. Driving under the influence:

Your private life is your own business. The public’s safety, plus yours and my own, is my business. If I suspect you’re under the influence of alcohol, or any drugs (whether prescribed or recreational, legal or not), I reserve the right to cancel a lesson. This is never personal, simply an evaluation of risk. If this occurs the full training fee for the session will be lost or charged.

If you’re taking prescription medication which may cause drowsiness or have an effect on your judgement, please discuss it with me directly before a lesson begins. We can then monitor your well-being throughout the lesson to keep everyone safe.

8. Timekeeping:

It’s in your own interests to be punctual. All appointments and bookings should be recorded in your preferred way – ideally both in writing and on a personal smart device.

In the event that you’re running late, I’ll wait at our agreed meeting point for a maximum of 20 minutes before abandoning the lesson. Should I have to abandon the lesson, your lesson fee will be forfeited or will become due for payment. During this time I’ll attempt to contact you by text, WhatsApp, or our usual method of direct messaging. Any time lost due to your late arrival will not be made back up.

If I’m delayed for any reason (unusually heavy traffic etc) I’d expect you to also wait for me with the understanding I’ll be there as soon as possible. In line with the law, I won’t read or reply to any texts etc while I’m driving, so please be patient. Any lesson time you’ve lost due to my being late will be made back up as soon as possible, either at the end of the lesson or within a future booking (depending on my schedule). If it becomes clear that my delay will be so large that it won’t be possible to complete a meaningful lesson, I’ll reschedule the entire appointment.

9. Comfort and personal space:

The highway code advises us to wear suitable footwear for driving, so please aim to wear comfortable footwear which surrounds the entire foot, ideally with a flexible sole. You should wear clothing that doesn’t limit your ability to move.

In the interests of both your and my personal comfort, and that of all my other clients, I respectfully ask that your personal hygiene is of a reasonable standard, and your clothing free from any residue that might be left in the car after your lesson.

If I note any problematic issues I’ll raise this tactfully but promptly, and may implement practical solutions (e.g. disposable seat covers to protect against dust from work clothes – builders, plasterers etc, or those suffering excessive body odour).

I’ll avoid moving or reaching into your side of the car at all times, unless I gain your explicit verbal consent for the purposes of demonstrating control of the car or its features. The exception to this rule is in case of safety or emergency situations, where it may be necessary to take control of the car or its features (e.g. steering to avoid a collision).

10. Safety and control:

If necessary, I’ll use dual control pedals, or take charge of the driver’s steering wheel, to safeguard both the public’s and our safety. You shouldn’t resist my efforts if I have to step in. Once any such situation is over, we’ll work together to understand the events, draw positives from them, finding opportunities to learn and progress rather than dwelling too long on failures.

11. Your Driving Test:

Unless we’ve made other plans together, it’s normal to plan that you’ll take your driving test in my car. This’ll be the same car you learned to drive in, so it’ll be a comfortable and familiar environment.

a) Bookings: Everyone is able to book their own test. However, I cant guarantee my or my car’s availability if you do. Please aim to sit with me in the car, your home, or on the phone when any test is booked to avoid disappointment. Any self-booked tests must be notified to me immediately.

b) Safety refusal: If I believe you’re likely to present a risk to public safety on your driving test, or beyond, I reserve the right to refuse the use of my car. Please note that if I agree for your test to go ahead despite my concerns, I’ll make my issues clear to you beforehand. Please note I may also inform the test centre manager in advance of your test if I’ve got concerns. This is at the suggestion of test centre managers whose main concern is public safety, but will not influence the examiner and how they mark your performance on the day.

c) Cancelling your test:
The DVSA demands 3 clear working days notice to cancel or reschedule your driving test, without losing your test fee. If the DVSA cancels your test for any reason, I’m not responsible for any losses you may incur as a result (e.g. lesson time before your test, days off, etc). If your test is cancelled the DVSA will rearrange it for the next available date and time. You may be able to claim some limited expenses from the DVSA, unless a cancellation was due to bad weather, and the DVSA will help you to do that.

12. Complaints:

If you’ve any reason for complaint, you should first raise it with me directly. Most minor issues can be worked out easily and quickly, and there will never be anything held against you as a result of making a complaint.

You can raise your issues in person, over the phone, by text message or through a messenger app (such as WhatsApp).

You can get in touch through a third party (e.g. parent, partner, friend) providing you let me know in advance that they’ll be in touch.

In the unlikely event that you feel unable to continue training with me, I’ll aim to help you find another driving instructor upon request.

13. Your Legal Rights:

Nothing listed above in my terms of service change your legal rights relating to provision of faulty goods or services. ADIs must provide services fit for the purpose for which they were bought and as described.

If you’ve got any questions about your legal rights, you can get free and independent advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), or by contacting your local council’s Trading Standards team.