COVID-19 When will driving lessons resume Covid19

By Gareth Dalton

A year on, we are still living with Covid19. As a young driver, COVID-19 driving is especially causing issues if you are hoping to get your driving licence or you were about to buy a car. The disruption has been immense during the lockdown.

Fortunately, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel, with the vaccination process’s progress and the introduction of the Road Map to come out of lockdown. Hopefully, our freedoms being restored soon.

That said, there are still things you need to know, things you can and cannot do, rules and advice design to help you stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

Important – the following information does not constitute health advice. Official Government advice about travel and transport can change at any time. The latest information and advice on the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak always check official sources, including GOV.UK and NHS.UK.

MOTs

When the Government introduced the lockdown in March 2020, the knock-on effect meant that many garages had to close shop. This was a problem for cars that had MOT’s due. Thus, they decided to extend the MOT certificates of cars between 30 March 2020 and 29 March 2021 to 18 months, rather than the normal 12 months.

However, the Government has since cut short the six-month coronavirus MOT extension, with conventional testing rules applying to most cars from 1 August 2020. These changes apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

So, MOT centres are now open. Get it tested!!

Northern Ireland has different dates to restart MOT testing.

When will Driving lessons, theory and practical tests resume Covid19? 

England

In the Road Map, the Government state the go-ahead in England for driving lessons to restart at the earliest on the 12th of April 2021. Learner drivers to resume driving lessons with Coronavirus restrictions.

The ruling also applies to private driving practice with someone you live with or in your “support bubble”.

The restart of the theory driving test is on the 12th of April 2021 at the earliest.

The practical driving test for cars will restart on 12 April 2021 at the earliest with COVID measures.

Scotland

The Scottish Government follows a slightly different plan out of the Covid19 pandemic, and driving lessons will resume on the 26th of April 2021 at the earliest.

Both the theory test and practical driving test will also restart in Scotland at the earliest on 26 of April 2021 with social distancing measures.

Wales

For Welsh learner drivers driving lessons to have a planned restart date of 12th April 2021.

You can take the theory test on 12 April 2021.

The practical test will restart on 22 April 2021.

Northern Ireland

For restart dates in NI click here

The DVSA in GB and DVA in NI said:

The DVSA, which handles driver testing in England, Scotland and Wales (DVA in Northern Ireland), has promised to contact everyone affected and rebook all cancelled tests at the earliest opportunity.

When driving tests restart, they will only be for people who had their driving test cancelled because of coronavirus.

All driving tests shall remain suspended in areas under local lockdown.

What if I can’t pay my insurance payments because of Covid19?

Be upfront with your insurance provider ASAP. They will want to help you.

It would help if you did this as soon as possible. If you miss a payment and don’t tell your insurance provider, your policy may be cancelled, leaving you without valid insurance.

It’s illegal to drive a car without minimum third-party insurance, and you could end up with a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 points on your licence. You do, however, have the option of making your car SORN (Statutory Off road notice). See more below about this.

You can access free and impartial money advice, set up by the UK government:

Can I SORN my car and save on insurance and car tax?

Yes, you can!!

In some cases, the coronavirus pandemic may mean you will not drive your car at all.

Getting a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) for your car means you won’t have to pay tax or car insurance.

However, you mustn’t drive or even park your car on a public road while SORN is in place.

Visit our advice page on how to SORN your car.

What if I can’t keep up my vehicle repayments?

Most finance or leasing providers now allow a 3 month payment holiday. You will need to contact your provider directly to establish what their policy is.

Be aware you will still be charged interest at the nominated rate against your finance or lease agreement. No getting out of that one.

If your application for a payment holiday is accepted, it won’t affect your credit record.

What should I do if I need to submit an insurance claim during a lockdown?

We hope you won’t need to submit an insurance claim at this difficult time. Still, if you do, it’s reassuring to know that most insurance providers are continuing to operate as normal during the coronavirus pandemic.

So, if you need to submit a claim, you should be able to do it normally.

The best ways to submit a claim are to contact your insurance provider via email, using a claims portal on their website, or phone.

Be aware that some insurance providers may be running a slower service, especially if their claims handlers work from home. However, you can count on receiving the level of cover you are entitled to.

If you have problems when making a claim, you can refer your case to the British Insurers Association.

 

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