The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our lives. Things are no different for those learning to drive, many of whom have put their plans on hold for the time-being or even had lessons and tests cancelled.

The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. December saw the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered, which means we can start to get our lives back on track in 2021.

However, for those who have stopped their driving lessons or are yet to have their first, the question still remains – should you start or restart your lessons during COVID or wait until everything is completely back to normal?

Are you allowed to take driving lessons during COVID?

The first consideration is simply whether you’re allowed to take driving lessons and the eventual test in light of the current COVID tiered system. From 2nd December, the government put around 99% of the population of England into tier 2 or 3 – the highest level of restrictions.

Fortunately, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) confirmed they would be resuming all lessons and tests, including theory and practical, from 2nd-3rd December. Of course, things have been changing at a rapid pace over the last year, so it’s always worth checking local regulations to see whether driving lessons and tests are still permitted.

Making driving lessons COVID-safe

If you do choose to start or restart your lessons, it’s worth considering the precautions you can take to minimise the risk of transmission. In Scotland, it’s mandatory for both pupils and instructors to wear a face covering during driving lessons. While that’s not specifically outlined for the rest of the UK, it’s certainly recommended.

According to the DVSA guidelines, all candidates will need to wear a face covering for their test. Refusal to wear one without exceptional circumstances being pre-notified and agreed upon could result in the test being cancelled.

All of the other COVID car sharing advice still applies too. This includes ventilating the car by keeping windows open, avoiding contact with people from other households and washing your hands before and after any lessons. It goes without saying that you should cancel or postpone your lesson if you’re self-isolating after a positive test or experiencing symptoms without yet receiving a negative result.

Start now or wait?

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take driving lessons during COVID is down to you. With the second wave past its peak in most areas and the vaccine slowly being rolled out, it’s much less likely that tests will be cancelled and lessons put on hold again in the coming months. However, for some, the unease of wearing a mask while doing something you’re already quite nervous about, could be enough to put you off.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, even though the vaccine is being administered, measures like face masks and social distancing could remain in place for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, it might be better to bite the bullet and take some lessons rather than holding off for months on end.

Planning ahead

Buying your first car might seem a world away when you’re taking lessons and tests during COVID or otherwise. However, it doesn’t do any harm to plan ahead and get a better idea of what kind of car you’ll be able to buy.

At My Car Credit, we make it much easier to get your first set of wheels, with fast and fair car finance from over 27 trusted lenders. Using our car finance calculator, you can get a clear idea of how much you can borrow and what it would cost, so you’ll be ready to spread the cost of your first car once you’ve passed your test.

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 14.9%

Evolution Funding Ltd T/A My Car Credit

My Credit Rating

Excellent

  • You are a home owner
  • You have been on the electoral role for a long period of time
  • You have current credit arrangements and mortgage with no defaults
  • You have no CCJs, credit arrears or missed payments
  • You rarely apply for credit
  • You are employed or self-employed

Good

  • You are on the electoral role
  • You are a home owner or long standing tenant
  • You have a stable employment history
  • You have current credit arrangements with occasional missed payments
  • You have no CCJs

Fair

  • You are or have recently been on the electoral role
  • You may have recently changed address
  • You may have occasional missed payments
  • You may have an old CCJ
  • You may have regularly applied for credit

Poor

  • You may have had frequent changes in address
  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • You may have exceeded credit card limits
  • You may have missed payments on current agreements
  • You may have had a CCJ in the past

Bad

  • You may not be traceable on the voters roll
  • Your credit cards are over their limits
  • You have recent CCJs
  • You may have been refused credit elsewhere
  • You may be in a debt management plan
£

X monthly repayments of
£X

Typical rate

Loan amount

Total payable

X% APR*

£X

£X

*for illustration purposes only

No impact on your credit score

Representative Example

Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 14.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 14.85%, 47 monthly payments of £204.69 followed by 1 payment of £214.69 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,335.12, total amount payable is £9,835.12.

Evolution Funding Limited, trading as My Car Credit, is a credit broker and not a lender.

Require more help?

Got a question you can’t find the answer to, or need some advice and guidance around taking out car finance? Our Car Credit Specialists are friendly, experienced, and here to help so get in touch today!