Should I Start Driving Lessons During or After COVID?

young woman taking driving lessons during covid

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 13.9%

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 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

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

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

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!

L Plate: Tips for First Time Car Buyers

First time car buyer driving car bought on finance

Buying your first car is a major milestone, and something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life. It’s easy to get caught up with all the exciting details such as the model, the colour and specifications – imagining yourself cruising around in your own set of wheels. However, you need to take a few important (and perhaps less fun) things into account first, to make sure that your final decision is a happy one.

Do your research

This is something we can’t stress enough. It has never been easier to find out everything you need to know about the car you want and the ways to finance it. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to get your ideal car. It will be especially useful when it comes to discussing with your vehicle trader – if you can demonstrate your knowledge to a car dealership salesman, they will be far more likely to get the best deal possible.

Set your budget

Financing your first car is probably the biggest budgeting responsibility you’ve had. It’s vital to understand what you can afford to avoid any future financial problems. It’s best to start with any living costs you might have, such as your food, social events and rent/mortgage payments. Once that’s been calculated you’ll know how much is leftover to pay for car insurance, petrol, car maintenance and your finance plan. It’s best to be conservative with your numbers to make sure that you’re financially secure.

Car finance options

You may be purchasing your first car through a car finance agreement. There are plenty of options available to you and you should take your time to understand each one to make your final decision. Many lenders will accept first-time car buyers, especially if you have built up a good credit profile. Alternatively, you may be able to secure a Guarantor Loan, explained in more detail here.

Negotiate the price

Regardless of the fact that you’re a first-time car buyer, you should still be able to negotiate on the price of a vehicle. A lot of this comes down to your research on the vehicle – you can conduct an online investigation into the car’s true value to give you some idea. It’s also good to understand what factors contribute to the value of a car and express your knowledge to the car dealer.

Take a test drive

This is one of the final and most important parts of buying your first car – always ask to drive the car you’re looking to buy. Be wary of any dealer who offers you a test drive in a similar car when there’s no feasible reason for it, this could mean that the car you’re looking to buy has some undisclosed issues. It’s also important to test drive a car as it will most likely be very different from the car you’ve been learning on. It’s vital that you feel comfortable in your first car to avoid the chances of you driving the car improperly.

We understand that buying your first car is a very exciting experience, but it’s also important that you go through all the necessary processes before you sign on the dotted line. We hope that our tips will help to make this easier for you and (more importantly) we hope that you get the perfect first car for you!

Rates from 6.9% APR. Representative APR 13.9%

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 13.9%, annual interest rate (fixed) 13.85%, 47 monthly payments of £201.38 followed by 1 payment of £211.38 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £2,176.24, total amount payable is £9,676.24.

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

Please ensure you can afford the repayments for the duration of the loan before entering into a credit agreement.

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!