Local, independent driver training for Swindon and the surrounding area.

1. Code of Practice

1.1 Introduction

A driving instructor who gives lessons in a motor car in return for payment must be on the "Register of Approved Driving Instructors" (ADIs). To gain entry to the register prospective instructors need to pass a series of examinations administered by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). People training to be ADIs who have part completed the examinations can obtain from the Agency a licence to acquire practical experience which is strictly limited to six months. Once fully qualified and on the register, ADIs are regularly tested by the DSA to check their continued ability to give instruction to an acceptable standard.

The DSA and the driving instruction industry place great emphasis on professional standards and business ethics. The code of practice set out here has been based on the codes issued by the Driving Standards Agency, Motor Schools Association of Great Britain and the Driving Instructors Association.

1.2 Personal Conduct

The instructor will, at all times behave in a professional manner towards clients.

Clients will be treated with respect and consideration.

The instructor will try to avoid physical contact with a client except in an emergency or in the normal course of greeting.

Whilst reserving the right to decide against giving tuition, the instructor will not act in any way which contravenes legislation on discrimination.

1.3 Business Dealings

The instructor will safeguard and account for any monies paid in advance by the client in respect of driving lessons, test fees or for any other purpose and will make the details available to the client on request.

The instructor on request should provide clients with access to copy of their terms of business:

  • legal identity of the school/instructor with full address and telephone number at which the instructor or their representative can be contacted
  • the price and duration of the lessons
  • the price and conditions for use of a driving school car for the practical driving test
  • the terms under which cancellation by either party may take place
  • procedure for complaints

Instructors will advise clients when to apply for their theory and practical driving tests, taking account of local waiting times and forecast of client’s potential for achieving the driving test pass standard. In the event of the instructor’s decision to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test, the client will be informed of this decision before the day of the test.

The instructor should at all times, to the best of his/her ability, endeavour to teach the client correct driving skills according to the DSA’s recommended syllabus.

1.4 Advertising

The advertising of driving tuition shall be honest; claims made shall be capable of verification and comply with codes of practice laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority. Advertising that refers to clients’ pass rates should not be open to misrepresentation and the basis on which the calculation is made should be made clear.

1.5 Conciliation

Complaints by clients should be made to the driving instructor/driving school/contractor following the complaints procedure issued.

2. Explanatory Notes to Accompany the ADI Code of Practice

2.1 Personal Conduct

  1. Being professional means acting in a manner that brings credit to the instructor personally and to the industry in general. It means not openly discussing with others matters that a pupil has disclosed, whether in confidence or not. It also means having a training vehicle which is properly maintained, roadworthy, legal for giving instruction and internally and externally clean.
  2. The instructor should recognise the individual needs of the pupil and conduct themselves and their lessons accordingly. The instructor’s priority should always be for the safety of the pupil, always taking every practical step to ensure that the pupil will feel at ease and secure in the learning environment.
  3. Physical contact can be misconstrued. Except in an emergency an instructor should try to avoid it.
  4. Instructors are free to choose their pupils. An unwillingness to give lessons should not give offence and the individual should have no reason to suppose any form of discrimination has been applied. Not every instructor has been trained or is equipped to teach people with some disabilities.

2.2 Business Dealings

  1. The instructor should explain the terms and conditions of contract on request. It must always be clear to pupils who have entered into a contract for instruction whether they have a contract with the instructor personally or with a driving school. The instructor or driving school must ensure there is a full compliance with the terms specified in the Consumer Contracts Regulations and in particular with the unfair terms section.
  2. The pupil’s readiness for the driving test should be openly discussed and honest advice be given. Should a pupil insist on taking the test against the instructor’s advice the instructor may withhold the use of the tuition vehicle.
  3. At the commencement of intensive courses a pupil’s attention should be drawn to the potential loss of fee, if judged not ready by the instructor, and the fact recorded.
  4. The instructor should try to teach the pupil to drive safely as a life skill (not just to pass the driving test), adapting the instruction to the needs of the pupil. The instructor should endeavour to give driving tuition on a wide variety of roads and in varying traffic conditions. Teaching on test routes alone should be avoided, as should conducting manoeuvres frequently in the same place.
  5. The whole of a paid lesson should be given over to the pupil’s instruction (this includes theory and discussion); none of it should be used for the instructor’s personal business.

2.3 Advertising

  1. All advertising should be honest and any claims made to such things as pass rates or check test grading should be capable of verification. It is not uncommon for trading standards officers to prosecute for inaccurate or misleading claims. Both the Advertising Standards Authority and the Office of Fair Trading have the powers to act against the publication of misleading advertisements.
  2. If advertising pass rates is to have any meaning then it must be on a consistent basis across the industry. Records should be kept to substantiate any claims made.

2.4 Conciliation

  1. Complaints are a fact of business life and the instructor should have a procedure for dealing with them which is open, honest and fair. Positively handled complaints enhance customer loyalty; sensibly run businesses encourage customers to raise queries before they turn into complaints and correct mistakes before complaints arrive.

3. Terms and Conditions

3.1 Lesson Reminders

It is the responsibility of the client to keep track of their bookings. Where bookings are made online it is recommended that the client signs up to reminder texts.

3.2 Driving Licence

Clients must personally ensure that they are the holders of a valid, signed current driving licence, which must be produced at the first lesson and may be regularly checked by the instructor.

Clients must inform their driving instructor if they receive any endorsements on their licence during the time that they are receiving tuition.

Clients must inform their driving instructor of any disabilities they have which may affect their ability to drive.

3.3 Client Well-being

In the interests of comfort and safety, clients are advised to wear suitable footwear and comfortable clothing which does not restrict movement. Please ask your instructor for any advice you may require.

3.4 Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are as stated in the driving school’s price list and Payment Details below and are payable in advance. All accounts must be cleared, before proceeding on an official driving test.

3.5 School/Instructor Guarantee

The school/instructor guarantees that only legally authorised instructors will give instruction.

Instructors’ official authorising documents will be displayed on the windscreen of the car and may be inspected freely at any time.

Clients may be accompanied on their lesson by a supervising examiner / trainer whose job it is to ensure that the tuition given meets the required standard. This is a legal requirement and is in the public interest.

If an authorised trainee instructor is used, the pupil must be informed that the instructor is a trainee and can expect a senior supervising instructor present during some of the lessons. The pupil has the right to decline training by a trainee instructor.

3.6 Postponement or Cancellation of Lesson by Clients

At least two working days notice of postponement or cancellation of lesson is required. Please note that Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays are not counted as working days. Late cancellations or postponements will be charged for as specified in the Price List and Payment Details. An administration charge may be added if it is required to invoice the pupil for late cancellation or postponement fees.

Such notice to the school/instructor shall be deemed to have been served on the day that the communication is received at the school/instructor’s premises where it will be timed and recorded.

3.7 Postponement of a Lesson by the Driving School

If by reason of a vehicle failure or other emergency a lesson has been postponed at short notice, an alternative appointment shall be made with mutual consent. Should such a postponement be a driving test, the school shall be responsible to the client for the fee of the next test if it cannot be cancelled within the required time (see below about test cancellations).

Driving tests take priority over lessons; therefore, a lesson already booked may sometimes have to be cancelled or postponed if the driving school receives short notice of a driving test.

Except as provided for in the first sub-paragraph of this section, the school will where possible give notice of re-arrangement or postponement of a lesson within the same limit as the school imposes on a client postponing or cancelling a lesson.

If circumstances arise that a change of instructor becomes necessary, the client shall have the right to decline and also the right to discontinue lessons with the school.

3.8 Postponement or Cancellation of a Test

The attention of clients is drawn to the fact that the DSA require at least 3 clear working days’ notice, not counting the day DSA received your request and the day of test, for the cancellation or postponement of a test. If you don’t give enough notice you’ll lose your fee.

If possible, the client will be advised in good time of the advisability of cancelling their test. The school/instructor cannot be responsible for the loss of the test fee if the client fails to immediately notify the test booking office. The address and telephone number for cancellations/postponements is given on the test appointment card.

The school/instructor cannot be held responsible for any postponement or cancellation of a test by the DSA – at whatever notice.

Clients should note that where lessons or tuition vehicle hire are cancelled at short notice, because of a cancellation by the DSA, fees are still payable. It may be possible for clients to claim lost fees from the DSA.

3.9 The Driving Test

Your instructor will advise the appropriate time to make an application for a driving test. The advice will be based on the client’s progress to date. It does NOT imply that the necessary standard has been reached or that it will for certain be reached by the appointed test date. The school/instructor will not hesitate to advise, where necessary, the postponement of the test. This condition is intended to save the client expense, unnecessary failure and the consequent delay in waiting for another test and obtaining a full licence.

The school/instructor reserves the right to withhold the use of the school car for the test or a lesson if in the opinion of the instructor the client is:

  • not at driving test standard
  • medically unfit (including eyesight)
  • under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • is not properly licenced to drive
  • consistently fails to keep, or is late for appointments
  • falls into arrears over payment
  • if for any other reason the instructor considers the client will be unsafe to handle a motor vehicle.

Clients may be accompanied on their test by a supervising examiner whose job is to ensure that official standards of testing are observed by examiners. This is a legal requirement and is in the public interest.

You are reminded that when you go to take your driving test you must take the required documents. Failure to comply with this regulation will mean the examiner will have to cancel your test, you will forfeit your test fee and have to apply for a new test date.

In the event of the test appointment being sent to the client they are required to notify the school/instructor as soon as possible of the date and time of the test and show the document to their instructor at the next lesson. The school/instructor cannot accept any responsibility for booking an incorrect time or date of a test unless the appointment document is produced. If the appointment is sent to the school/instructor, then an undertaking is given to show the client the document on their next lesson or notify them as soon as possible. The document will be handed to the client on request.

3.10 Lessons in Own Car

Driving tuition may be given in a client’s own car if the instructor is willing to do so, on the condition that it is clearly understood:

  • the car is fully insured for teaching for reward and this must be confirmed in writing by the vehicle underwriters
  • the instructor is covered by such insurance to drive the car – to be confirmed as above the instructor can in no way be held liable for any damage or accident. While the instructor will make every effort to prevent the client having an accident, or damaging the car, it will be realised that their control is very limited.
  • If clients wish to have lessons in their own car, then a second rear view mirror and an approved seat belt and approved head restraint must be provided for the instructor. In view of the extra responsibility entailed, there will normally be no reduction in lesson charges.

3.11 Insurance

School cars are fully insured for tuition and driving tests. The certificate of insurance is available for inspection.

No liability of any kind can be accepted by the school/instructor for the loss of, or damage to, any property belonging to or in the possession of the client.

3.12 Legal Liability

Clients should be aware that their instructor’s primary objective is to promote road safety and in doing so, he/she will have to issue instructions which clients must be prepared to carry out without undue argument

The instructor will make every effort to train the client to the highest standard, but in no way can be held liable for any errors the client may commit whilst driving and unaccompanied by the instructor either before or after a test pass.

3.13 Third-Party services

At any given time the driving school may offer third party tools to help aid client’s learning. These are often provided on a ‘use it or lose it’ policy and may be withdrawn without notice.

3.14 Complaints

If the client is unhappy with any aspect of their tuition, they should notify the school/instructor without delay and not later than seven days from the date on which the cause for complaint arose. Every effort will be made by the school/instructor to satisfactorily deal with the complaint in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the school/instructor.

3.15 Payment

Lessons normally start at the client’s home or a place agreed by mutual consent.

All fees are subject to adjustment from time to time at two weeks’ notice.

Payments are required at the time of booking

3.16 Online payments

Payments are made at the time of booking via the TotalDrive app.

3.17 Cancellations

Your Instructor reserves the right to charge for lessons cancelled with less than two working days notice.

Please phone or text cancellations directly to your instructor via the TotalDrive app.
Note: it is an offence for a driving instrutor to use a mobile phone while conducting a lesson and therefore will often not be able to reply for extended periods of time.

In their own interest, clients are advised to be punctual for their appointments. The instructor will wait for a maximum of 10 minutes. A reciprocal waiting time may become necessary for the arrival of the instructor due to some unforeseen circumstance. The lesson will commence from the declared start time or the time of the instructor’s arrival if that should be later. Where this is not possible the instructor will add time at another mutually convenient time.

3.18 Refunds

Where the driving instructor is willing and able to carry out the prepaid lessons refunds will be subject to a £20 + 5% of the value refunded.

3.19 Pre-paid lessons

Pre-paid lessons offer excellent value for money and boosts your commitment to learning. Where possible and reasonable these lessons should be weekly. The initial lesson is booked online, and subsequent lessons may be booked in advance online for a regular slot. Or at the end of the current lesson

Prepaid lessons must be used within a reasonable timeframe. Where no attempt is made to book in a lesson with prepaid hours the instructor may charge a 5% holding fee for each subsequent week where no attempt to book a lesson is made. The instructor will make every effort to find a mutually convenient time to carry out prepaid lessons before applying a charge.

3.20 Refunds for pre-paid lessons

Where a client requests a refund of remaining prepaid lessons the refund will be valued at the lowest discount based on the hours already used.