Advising pupils left with no trainer to support their driving test

Advising pupils left with no trainer to support their driving test

The Driving Instructors Association’s (DIA) members have stated that they are being approached by pupils who find themselves without a trainer to accompany them to test, in part due to the ongoing situation with driving test availability and the high demand for trainers.

Accessing instructors, when pupils are left without a trainer as they move towards test, is also fraught as there is an understandable reticence by trainers in taking on new trainees at this stage, given the fact the trainer has not trained the pupil in question and cannot vouch for their competence and safety on test.

Some trainers are also concerned that taking ‘unknown’ pupils to test can result in fails which they fear then reflects on their individual ADI performance data (we are speaking to DVSA about issuing some communications on the subject of what really impacts performance data, as the agency does stress data is gathered over a greater period, and greater number of tests, so the TIP is not affected as badly as some trainers believe by a few fails)

Sadly, given the unusual times post-pandemic, there will be pupils left without a trainer for their actual test, and members have asked if there is any advice they can give these pupils (if they can’t take them on themselves).

Finding an alternative trainer

  • Point pupils to reputable instructor search directories such as DVSA’s Find Your Nearest or our own GetintoDriving where pupils can search for a trainer in their area who may be willing to take them on
  • Advise pupils that they should be willing (and communicate that willingness to the trainer when enquiring) to take on some extra sessions to allow a new trainer assess test readiness, rather than just assuming a new trainer will want to take a new pupil into test ‘cold’

If a pupil has to attend test without an ADI and in their own car

Ideally, we know as an industry it really is better all round if a pupil attends test in a trainer’s car,  and with a trainer they have experience in learning with. However, being realistic, there will be times when a pupil has to attend in their own car – or find an alternative car to attend test in. Here are some tips to help best advise them in this scenario:

  • If insuring a parent’s car (or other non-trainer vehicle) just for test is an issue, there are some short-term insurance solutions which may help. For example Veygo offer short-term flexible insurance tailored to learner driver (and parent/guardian) needs and may be able to help. Visit https://bit.ly/3apU5Cu for more information
  • For private practice and attending test, dual control cars can be hired on a short term basis from providers such as Arnold Clarke. Visit arnoldclarkrental.com/dual-control-hire

 

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