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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Listed below are our latest FAQ's - please click on the questions listed to view the full answer and explanation.
If a person holds a full GB licence do they need an International Licence to drive abroad?
Do I need to register under the Data Protection Act? I have received a FINAL NOTICE to register from the Data Protection Agency Services, whose address is Summerseat House, 39 Summerseat, Liverpool, L3 6HB. They say I could be fined and they want me to complete a form and send a cheque for £95 plus VAT.
If a pupil has six penalty points on their licence before they take a test and they pass do they immediately revert to provisional licence status under the New Driver's Act?
If vehicles waiting to turn right are blocking the only available lane as the left lane is an operational bus lane, would it be in order to enter the (obviously empty) bus lane to pass these stationary obstructions?
What are the conditions attached to a category B provisional licence?
Can someone with a disability qualify as a driving instructor?
Can an ADI be removed from the register just because a few people complain about their conduct?
Who is the patron saint of driving instructors?
Is it ok to conduct a driving lesson with a space-saver tyre on the tuition vehicle?
Is it legal for me to refuse to take a pupil on test if I have previously agreed to take them and booked an appointment in my diary?
I want to use my own car to take my ADI Part 3 examination. However, the DSA state that the examiner has to be insured to drive my car but they will not tell me who the examiner will be on the day. My insurance company will not insure me unless I can name the driver. Can I get insurance just to cover the Part 3 Test?
I keep progress records on all my pupils they are made up of ticks in record boxes demonstrating progress to date together with a few notes about routes taken and difficulties encountered or successes enjoyed. One of my pupils has decided to transfer to another instructor and wants a copy of the progress report and notes I have kept about her. Do I have to give this information to her?
Could the MSA or perhaps a local association set a price for driving lessons so that all instructors charge the same price?
My pupil has a letter from her doctor stating that she does not need to wear a seatbelt. Is that OK for lessons, and will it be all right on test if she tells the examiner about the letter?
I am teaching a client, a learner driver, to carry out a left hand reverse when a driving school car pulls up before the corner obviously positioned to carry out the reversing exercise. I can see that person accompanying the learner driver is obviously a driving examiner presumably conducting a test. What should I do?
I have noticed that a number of local instructors are using stick on or magnetic L-plates on their cars both back and front in addition to the L-plate on their roof signs is this actually necessary.
Should I give pupils mock tests? If the answer is yes, where can I obtain copies of the Driving Test Marking Sheet to use on mock tests?
Does it matter whereabouts on my windscreen I display my Trainee ADI licence, or hopefully in the future my ADI certificate?
How many ADIs are there in Britain who are employed as opposed to self employed and how much are experienced driving instructors earning in the real world?
I have received a parking ticket for a vehicle I no longer own. What should I do?
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 • If a person holds a full GB licence do they need an International Licence to drive abroad?

ANSWER
You may use your GB licence for driving in all other European Community/European Economic Area (EC/EEA) member states. Check with a motoring organisation if you want to drive in a non-EC/EEA country. They will advise you whether you need an International Driving Permit (IDP). IDPs are issued by the AA, the RAC, RSAC and Green Flag Motoring Assistance Recovery Club.

EXPLANATION
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Recognized internationally, it normally allows you to drive a private motor vehicle without further formality when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence.

International Driving Permit notes:
IDP applications can only be made up to three months in advance. An IDP may be post-dated up to three months in advance but, under no circumstances can it be backdated.
If you're going for more than three months, to live or to work, or for any reasons other than tourism, you should make enquiries about your personal position before relying on a permit. Remember, it is an offence to drive a vehicle without a valid driving licence and, where required, a permit. It is important to check the accuracy of the personal information printed on your driving licence. If there are any errors or you have a change of name or address, you should immediately notify the authority that issued your licence.

An IDP issued in the UK is not valid for use in the UK.
When hiring a car overseas remember that driving licence requirements worldwide do vary. Although many hire companies need only to see your national driving licence, some will require an IDP and others a locally issued temporary licence.
Therefore, if you are making an advanced reservation in the UK, ask the company concerned to confirm driving licence requirements of the country to be visited.
In the absence of such information consider an IDP as a precautionary measure, especially if travelling outside Europe. Hire companies also have varying minimum/maximum rental age limits and generally require you to have held your national driving licence for a minimum of 12 months.

It is important to check the requirements of the particular country you are visiting as they do vary.
For example both Uruguay and Bangladesh accept a GB licence but an IDP is recommended. In Argentina and Poland, an IDP is compulsory. In Saudi Arabia, an IDP is recommended but women need not bother to obtain one, as they are not permitted to drive!

FURTHER INFORMATION
Further details available on the DVLA web site - www.dvla.gov.uk - and from the organisations that issue IDPs - AA, the RAC, RSAC and Green Flag.
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 • Do I need to register under the Data Protection Act?
I have received a FINAL NOTICE to register from the Data Protection Agency Services, whose address is Summerseat House, 39 Summerseat, Liverpool, L3 6HB. They say I could be fined and they want me to complete a form and send a cheque for £95 plus VAT.


ANSWER
No. driving instructors do not need to register under the data protection act even if they keep pupils records on computer. This letter, which is the latest in a long list of similar correspondence received by driving schools and other businesses, is an attempt to obtain money under false pretences and should be thrown in the bin or passed on to local trading standards officers who are trying to bring the perpetrators to justice.

EXPLANATION
The Information Commissioner (the government appointee responsible for data protection) warns: "Do not be misled." Speaking from his office in Wilmslow, Cheshire, he said: "I advise data controllers to ignore any approach made by these businesses, who appear to be charging up to £95 + VAT for notification. Other than paying the annual statutory notification fee of £35, on which no VAT is payable, there is no charge made by this office to any data controller wishing to notify."

FURTHER INFORMATION
is available at www.dataprotection.gov.uk and at www.dpr.gov.uk.
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 • If a pupil has six penalty points on their licence before they take a test and they pass do they immediately revert to provisional licence status under the New Driver's Act?

ANSWER
No - This question is the most asked question at Head Office this year so we make no apologies for repeating the FAQ for the benefit of all readers.

EXPLANATION
The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act came into affect for all those who passed their driving test on or after 1st 1997.
If a driver reaches six or more penalty points within two years of passing their driving test (i.e. during the probationary period) DVLA will automatically revoke their driving licence when notified by a court or fixed penalty office.
To regain a full licence the person must then
  • Obtain a provisional licence
  • Drive as a learner, and
  • Pass the theory and practical test again.
Penalty points counting towards the total of six include any incurred before passing the test, as long as the offence took place not more than three years before the latest penalty point offence.
Points imposed after the probationary period will also count if the offence was committed during that period. Passing the retest does not remove penalty points from the licence, and if the total reaches 12, licence holders are liable to be disqualified by a court.

FURTHER INFORMATION
the information above is taken from the DSA web site at http://www.dsa.gov.uk/ more information is contained in the Acts of Parliament and at the DVLA web site www.dvla.gov.uk.
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 • If vehicles waiting to turn right are blocking the only available lane as the left lane is an operational bus lane, would it be in order to enter the (obviously empty) bus lane to pass these stationary obstructions?

ANSWER
No, not if the bus lane is in operation.

EXPLANATION
The Highway Code rule 141 states Bus lanes. Bus lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs that indicate which (if any) other vehicles are permitted to use the bus lane. Unless otherwise indicated, you should not drive in a bus lane during its period of operation. You may enter a bus lane to stop, to load or unload where this is not prohibited.

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 • What are the conditions attached to a category B provisional licence?

ANSWER
Any vehicle driven by a provisional licence holder must display clearly L-plates or alternatively D-plates in Wales, at the front and rear. The provisional licence holder must be accompanied by a driver qualified for that category of vehicle, who is at least 21 years of age and who has held a full licence in that category for at least three years. Category B learners are not allowed to drive on a motorway unless they are learning to drive a car and trailer (B+E).

FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information see Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 2717, The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2005.
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 • Can someone with a disability qualify as a driving instructor?

ANSWER
Yes. If their driving licence is marked with a medical restriction, the details listed must be sent with their initial application.

EXPLANATION
Under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended by The Road Traffic (Driving Instruction by Disabled Persons) Act 1993, people with certain physical disabilities, who are only licensed to drive an automatic vehicle, may take the ADI examination. However, they must be able to demonstrate that they could take control of the steering and brakes from the passenger seat in the event of an emergency.

The assessment consists of seven exercises each of which is designed to test the Potential Instructors ability to take control of the vehicle as and when relevant in the interest of safety. The test will be carried out in an adapted car. To apply for an Emergency Control assessment application form. The candidate should contact: The Instructor Services & Registration Team at the DSA. The completed application form should be sent to: The Training & Development Centre at Cardington.

The requirements for the practical tests - Parts Two and Three of the qualifying examination are exactly the same as for all other candidates, except that in Part Three - The test of instructional ability - the adaptation listed on the Emergency Control Certificate must be fitted.

FURTHER INFORMATION
The information above is taken from the Transport Office website at www.transportoffice.gov.uk
More information is contained in the Acts of Parliament quoted the Road Traffic Act 1988 as amended by The Road Traffic (Driving Instruction by Disabled Persons) Act 1993.
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 • Can an ADI be removed from the register just because a few people complain about their conduct?

ANSWER
Yes it has happened.

EXPLANATION
In a recent case the ADI Registrar had so many written complaints about a particular ADI that he decided to remove on the basis that he was not a "fit and proper person" to be on the ADI Register. Complaints were received by the Registrar and after notification of these to the ADI and representations from him the Registrar decided to remove his name from the register.

The ADI appealed against removal to the Transport Tribunal who heard his case.
Apparently there had been twelve complaints made about this particular ADI. A number of the complainants gave evidence at the appeal hearing. The first complainant called stated that when his son had become 17 he and his wife had decided to pay for an intensive course of driving lessons for their son and looked in Yellow Pages. They found an advertisement for a particular driving school that this ADI was the proprietor of and contacted him. The ADI agreed to provide a course of 25-30 hours of driving instruction over two to three weeks. The cost was £389.50, all of which the complainant paid in advance. Lessons started but the pupil had difficulty with the theory test. It was agreed that he would have one lesson a week until his test was completed, when it was, the complainant again contacted the Appellant and said that his son was ready to take the intensive course.

The ADI agreed and stated that he would start this on the following Tuesday, with everything being over by the summer holidays. The ADI was over 15 minutes late for the first lesson and then rang to cancel the third because his car had broken down.

Thereafter there were frequent excuses such as trouble with the car or illness. There were some eight to 10 lessons only, which got further and further apart. This caused great difficulty for the pupil who had to take time off from his studies and then found himself sitting waiting for an instructor who usually failed to appear. Each time it took 3-4 weeks to contact the ADI again and arrange for another lesson, which he then failed to give.
Eventually the complainant arranged for another driving school to take over and after 14 lessons his son passed his driving test first time.
Further complainants gave evidence along similar lines regarding payment being made in advance and the instructor failing to turn up.
Concluding the case, dismissing the appeal and upholding the Registrars decision to remove the ADI on the basis that he was not a fit and proper person to be an ADIthe chairman of the Transport Tribunal Hugh Carlisle QC stated, "it may be that when taken individually these complaints are essentially contractual in nature. However, when viewed as a whole we have no doubt that they demonstrate a persistence of conduct which supports a finding that the Appellant is not a fit and proper person within the meaning of the Act. He states that the complaints do not "relate to his ability to instruct" but we have to say that we disagree. His conduct overall reveals a lack of professionalism and a level of personal incompetence and indifference to pupils which is below the standard properly to be expected from a driving instructor."

FURTHER INFORMATION
See the Transport Tribunal website www.transporttribunal.gov.uk.
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 • Who is the patron saint of driving instructors?

ANSWER
There does not appear to be one.

EXPLANATION
Calls to both the press office of the Church of England and the news and publications office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales both drew a blank.
A quick trawl of the internet revealed a number of website listing patron saints. Particularly thorough is the Patron Saints Index of the Catholic Community Forum which lists some 4,973 saints, although no, particular one for driving instructors.
Saint Christopher; Elijah the Prophet; Frances of Rome and Sebastian of Aparicio all include automobile drivers; automobilists and motorists in their lists of patronages.
Probably most prolific in this area is Saint Christopher who includes, automobile drivers; automobillists; bus drivers; cab drivers; lorry drivers; motorists; porters; taxi drivers; transportation; transportation workers; travellers; truck drivers and truckers in his list of patronage.

Lest driving instructors should feel slighted by this lack of a patron saint we can report that there is no listing for a patron saint of driving examiners. Perhaps ADIs could adopt one of the patron saints listed for teachers and educators: Saints Catherine of Alexandria; Francis de Sales; Gregory the Great; John the Baptist de La Salle and Ursula. Incidentally there is a patron saint for test takers, Saint Joseph of Cupertino to whom, according to his website profile, did obtain from God the grace to be asked at his examination only the questions he knew the answers to. Apparently he would often levitate and float which led to his patronage of air crews; air travellers; aircraft pilots; astronauts; aviators; flyers and paratroopers.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Web sites of The Catholic Forum www.catholic-forum.com ; the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales www.catholic-ew.org.uk and The Church of England www.cofe.anglican.org/.
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 • Is it ok to conduct a driving lesson with a space-saver tyre on the tuition vehicle?

ANSWER
No. to do so would be a breach of Regulation 27 (1) the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).

EXPLANATION
Space-saver tyres are specifically for use in emergency situations only. They are designed for short term use to "get you home" after a puncture or simply to allow to progress to the nearest tyre repair centre. They are not designed for any other purpose e.g. a driving lesson is a contravention of the Construction and Use Regulation.

WARNING an MSA member has recently received a fixed penalty notice for conducting a lesson with an unsuitable tyre. A £60 fine and three penalty points was the result - you have been warned!

FURTHER INFORMATION
For more information see the relevant Act of Parliament and appropriate regulations.
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 • Is it legal for me to refuse to take a pupil on test if I have previously agreed to take them and booked an appointment in my diary?

ANSWER
Yes - all instructors have the right and some would say duty to withdraw the use of their car for a test if they think it appropriate.

EXPLANATION
Like all dealings with pupils it is easier if the pupil has been given details of the instructor's terms and conditions of business at the start of the learning process. Both the DSA Code of Practice for ADIs and the MSA Terms of Business for Those Undertaking Driver Training cover this point. The DSA Code of Practice states in the event of the instructor's decision to withhold the use of the school car for the driving test sufficient notice should be given to the client to avoid loss of the DSA test fee.

Of course on occasions it may not be possible to give sufficient notice. The MSA Terms of Business for Those Undertaking Driver Training enlarges on this point under paragraph 9 - The Driving Test it states:
a) 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.
b) The school/instructor reserves the right to withhold the use of the training vehicle for test or a lesson, if in the opinion of the instructor the client is:
  • Not at driving test pass standard.
  • Medically unfit (including eyesight).
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Is not properly licensed to drive.
  • Consistently fails to keep, or is late for appointments.
  • Falls into arrears over payment.
  • If, for any reason, the instructor considers the client will be unsafe to handle a motor vehicle.
Paragraph 9 also covers other aspects of the driving test booking.

FURTHER INFORMATION
The ADI Industry Code of Practice agreed with the DSA is available here.
The MSA Terms of Business for Those Undertaking Driver Training is available for MSA members here.
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 • I want to use my own car to take my ADI Part 3 examination. However, the DSA state that the examiner has to be insured to drive my car but they will not tell me who the examiner will be on the day. My insurance company will not insure me unless I can name the driver. Can I get insurance just to cover the Part 3 Test?

ANSWER
Yes you can.

EXPLANATION
MSA Insurance Services have negotiated with www.instructorcover.co.uk that they will provide 1 day cover for MSA probationary members who need temporary insurance whilst taking their Part 3 examination.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Contact MSA Insurance at www.instructorcover.co.uk by phone on 0800 011 2422 or text INSURE to 872020.
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 • I keep progress records on all my pupils they are made up of ticks in record boxes demonstrating progress to date together with a few notes about routes taken and difficulties encountered or successes enjoyed. One of my pupils has decided to transfer to another instructor and wants a copy of the progress report and notes I have kept about her. Do I have to give this information to her?

ANSWER
Yes you do.

EXPLANATION
Under that Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) individuals have a right under the DPA to have a copy of the information held about them on computer and in some manual filing systems. This is known as the right of subject access.

If you do receive a subject access request, then you must deal with it promptly and in any case within 40 days of the date of receiving it. You should send the individual a copy of the personal information you hold on them, and certain other details of your processing. You are entitled to charge a fee of up to £10 for responding to a request.

FURTHER INFORMATION
More details can be obtained from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK's independent public body set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. They regulate and enforce the Data Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and the Environmental Information Regulations.
The ICO provides guidance to organisations and individuals. They rule on eligible complaints and can take action when the law is broken. Reporting directly to Parliament, the Commissioner's powers include the ability to order compliance, using enforcement and decision notices, and prosecution.
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 • Could the MSA or perhaps a local association set a price for driving lessons so that all instructors charge the same price?

ANSWER
No. to do so would be an offence under the Competition Act 1998 which governs cartels.

EXPLANATION
In its simplest terms, a cartel is an agreement between businesses not to compete with each other. The agreement is usually verbal and often informal.
Typically, cartel members may agree on:
- prices - discounts - credit terms.
There are severe penalties for businesses that operate as part of a cartel - members of cartels can be fined up to 10 per cent of the UK turnover for up to three years. In terms of a one person driving school averaging 35 lessons a week at around £18 per lesson it could amount to a figure around £9,000.
Whistle blowers start here
Cartels are widely accepted to have the most damaging affect on consumers and the wider economy, so the OFT has a special interest in ensuring that they are uncovered and broken up. Members of cartels might wish to end their involvement and inform the OFT of the existence of the cartel, but are deterred from doing so by the risk of incurring large financial penalties.

To encourage members of cartels to provide evidence of the cartel in which they are involved, the OFT leniency programme can give total or partial immunity from fines to companies who come forward with such information. Full details on the policy on when lenient treatment will be given is set out in Part II of the "Director General of Fair Trading's guidance as to the appropriate amount of a penalty".

Total immunity is available to the first member of the cartel to come forward with relevant information Immunity is automatic if the information is provided before the OFT has begun an investigation and the OFT does not already have sufficient evidence to establish that the cartel exists.

FURTHER INFORMATION
For more information, visit the Office of Fair Trading website, www.oft.gov.uk .
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 • My pupil has a letter from her doctor stating that she does not need to wear a seatbelt. Is that OK for lessons, and will it be all right on test if she tells the examiner about the letter?

ANSWER
No, it is not OK on a lesson, on a driving test, or at any other time. If you allow this pupil to drive with this lack of proper documentation, they may be fined for failing to wear a seatbelt, and you may be fined for aiding and abetting them.

EXPLANATION
IThere is overwhelming evidence to show that seatbelts prevent death and serious injury in road traffic accidents. For this reason, the law makes it compulsory for car occupants to wear seatbelts, where fitted.
The only exception allowed by legislation is if the car occupant has a valid exemption certificate, which confirms it is inadvisable on medical grounds to wear a seatbelt.
The certificates are issued by medical practitioners, who have to consider very carefully the reasons for exemption, in view of the weight of evidence in favour of seatbelts.
Regarding the wearing of seatbelts on test the following is an extract from the DT1 the DSA Driving Examiner Guidance Notes section - WEARING OF SEATBELTS BY DRIVING TEST CANDIDATES AND THIRD PARTIES. If the candidate does not wear their belt, the examiner should remind them that, unless they are medically exempt, the law requires the seat belt to be worn. If the candidate does not have an exemption certificate and declines to wear the seatbelt, the test must be terminated. The circumstances should be reported on the DL 25.

Candidates are allowed to remove their seatbelt whilst carrying out a manoeuvre which includes reversing.
When a third party accompanies a candidate on test (i.e. instructor/interpreter) and a rear seatbelt is available and that person does not wear the belt, the examiner should ask the rear seat passenger to pout it on. If the response is a negative one, it should be pointed that for health and safety reasons and regulations they are required to wear a seat belt - if they decline to do so, the test will be terminated. In these circumstances the third party has the choice of wearing the seatbelt, not to accompany the candidate on test, or having the test terminated.
In the event of a termination a note of the circumstances should be made on the DL25.
Additional clarification on rear seat belt use:
  • Any rear seat passenger(s) accompanying an examiner during a driving test MUST wear a seat belt.
  • Any rear seat passenger(s) refusing to wear a seat belt, should not be allowed to accompany the examiner on test - this includes a person who holds a seat belt exemption certificate.
  • When rear seat belts are not fitted to the vehicle - rear seat passengers MUST NOT be allowed to accompany an examiner on test
  • If a rear seat passenger refuses to wear a seat belt (whether or not they hold an exemption certificate) and refuses to leave the vehicle, the test should be terminated.
FURTHER INFORMATION
Further information is available from both the DfT & DVLA web sites. Medical Practitioners can obtain supplies of the relevant certificates and guidance leaflets from The Department of Health, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH; Tel: 08701 555455 (NHS Response Line); Fax: 01623 724524.
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 • I am teaching a client, a learner driver, to carry out a left hand reverse when a driving school car pulls up before the corner obviously positioned to carry out the reversing exercise. I can see that person accompanying the learner driver is obviously a driving examiner presumably conducting a test. What should I do?

ANSWER
Instruct the client to abandon the exercise, move off and find another corner. Unless they are within a few moments of completing the exercise say already straightened up in which case let them complete and then clear the area as quickly as safety will permit.

EXPLANATION
There are a variety of reasons why it is sensible and best practice to clear the area if a car on test is about. If it were your client, taking the test you would not want them hanging about getting nervous whilst a learner practiced reversing.
Examiners have limited time to conduct a test let them get on with it. Be polite to examiners and their candidates and hopefully they will be polite to you.

FURTHER INFORMATION
For further information talk to an experienced ADI who can advise you on the age old art of politeness. Note to examiners: bear in mind that the instructor keeping you waiting may be new to the area and therefore not know you, or alternatively if you are new to his area etc.
In the good old days examiners used to identify themselves to instructors by raising their clipboards - you could try that.
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 • I have noticed that a number of local instructors are using stick on or magnetic L-plates on their cars both back and front in addition to the L-plate on their roof signs is this actually necessary?

ANSWER
No.

EXPLANATION
It is only necessary to display one L-plate (or D plate in Wales) to the front and one to the rear providing they are proportioned and displayed in accordance with the regulations.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Statutory Instrument 1996 No. 2824 The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1996 - states the following under the Conditions attached to provisional licences section 15. (1). Subject to the following paragraphs of this regulation, the holder of a provisional licence shall comply with the following conditions in relation to motor vehicles of a class, which he is authorised to drive by virtue of the provisional licence. That is to say, he shall not drive or ride such a motor vehicle unless a number of conditions are met. One of those conditions is set out in section (b). it states that a distinguishing mark in the form set out in Part 1 of Schedule 4 is displayed on the vehicle in such a manner as to be clearly visible to other persons using the road from within a reasonable distance from the front and the back of the vehicle.

Schedule 4 to Regulation 15 gives details of the distinguishing marks to be displayed on a motor vehicle being driven under a provisional Licence. Part 1 shows a diagram of the mark to be displayed on a motor vehicle in England, Wales or Scotland. It also states that it should be a red letter on a white background and that the corners of the ground can be rounded off. Part 2 of the same schedule shows a diagram or an optional distinguishing mark to be displayed on a motor vehicle in Wales if a mark in the form set out in Part 1 is not displayed. It also repeats that the D should be a red letter on a white background and that the corners of the ground can be rounded off.
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 • Should I give pupils mock tests? If the answer is yes, where can I obtain copies of the Driving Test Marking Sheet to use on mock tests?

ANSWER
Yes, you should, of course give all pupils a mock driving test. The MSA would suggest that no pupil should attend a driving test until they have scored no serious or dangerous faults, and less than, say, six minor faults on a mock test.

EXPLANATION
A combination of nervousness and apprehension means that most pupils will perform below their best on a test they therefore need to demonstrate that they are above test standard before they sit the actual driving test.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Mock DSA driving test marking sheets, can be downloaded from this website (hyperlink to DL25)
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 • Does it matter whereabouts on my windscreen I display my Trainee ADI licence, or hopefully in the future my ADI certificate?

ANSWER
Yes it does it must be displayed on the left hand edge (looking from inside the car) of the windscreen with the photograph showing inside the car.

EXPLANATION
Statutory Instrument 1989 No. 2057 which are The Motor Cars (Driving Instruction) Regulations 1989 state in part V Supplementary Section - Exhibition of Certificate of Registration or Licence Paragraph 16 The Certificate of Registration or Licence to give instruction shall be - subsection (a) fixed to and immediately behind the front windscreen of the motor car on its nearside edge and sub section (b) exhibited so that the particulars on the back of the certificate are clearly visible in daylight from outside the motor car and the particulars on the front of the certificate or licence are clearly visible from the front nearside seat of the vehicle, where fitted.
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 • How many ADIs are there in Britain who are employed as opposed to self employed and how much are experienced driving instructors earning in the real world?

ANSWER
Firstly there are very few ADIs/PDIs in Great Britain employed in the business of driver training, a few are employed in related positions a number of RSOs are also ADIs and of course there may be as many as a third of ADIs who hold the qualification but do not teach so they may also be employed in other industries.
The vast majority of those ADIs teaching pupils to drive cars for the purposes of licence acquisition are self employed some estimates suggest that figure is in excess of 99 per cent. there are a small number of ADIs employed in instructor training and a few in fleet training.
The question regarding instructor earnings is impossible to answer on a definite factual basis. However, some idea of the costs likely to be incurred as a self employed instructor can be worked out along with the potential income and from these it is possible to extrapolate a range of possible pre-tax profits. The principal cost for a driving school is the car. In order to make the maths easy we will use as an example a fully inclusive contract hire vehicle. A standard driving school car can be contract hired for a year including insurance and VAT for about £85 per week (£4,400). The cost of a roof sign, stationary, MSA membership, telephone charges, car washes and the odd replacement tyre not covered on contract hire), seminars, conferences, marketing and advertising etc might even out over a year to about £50 per week (£2,600) a total of £7,000 per year. This cost stays the same regardless of how many or how few lessons are carried out and regardless of how much or how little is paid for them. The only other main cost is fuel and in this example we are going to use a cost per lesson. How much fuel will be used on each lesson is something of a variable dependant on such things as whether the business operates in a rural or urban area. Estimates suggest that at today's fuel prices between £2,.50 and £3.00 per hour is about right in order to make sure that we will cover costs we will use a figure of £3.00 per hour.

So let's look at a couple of scenarios:

Instructor A charges £23 per one hour lesson. Less fuel that leaves £20 per lesson. She gives 40 hours of paid instruction per week totalling (after deducting the fuel) £800. if we use as a multiplier 47 weeks assuming the instructor will have some holidays some quiet weeks at Christmas or other religious or secular festivals, days for having the vehicle serviced etc. means her income (after fuel costs) will be £37,600. Less the fixed costs of £7,000 per year leaves a pre-tax profit of £30,700.

Instructor B charges £20 per one hour lesson. Less fuel that leaves £17 per lesson. He gives thirty five hours of paid instruction per week totalling (after deducting the fuel) £595. if we again use as a multiplier 47 this means his income (after fuel costs) will be £27,965. less the fixed costs of £7,000 per year leaves a pre tax profit of £20,965.

Instructor C charges £17 per one hour lesson. Less fuel that leaves £14 per lesson. She gives 30 of paid instruction per week totalling (after deducting the fuel) £420. if we again use as a multiplier 47 this means her income (after fuel costs) will be £19,740. Less the fixed cost of £7,000 per year leaves a pre-tax profit of £12,740.


EXPLANATION
The formula for this calculation is (P - F x HW) - FC. Where LP=price for a one hour lesson, F=cost of fuel per one hour lesson, HW=paid hours worked per week and FC=fixed costs.

FURTHER INFORMATION
A number of experienced ADIs were asked to consider the answer for this question and some of their comments follow.

"Personally I think there would be very few instructors who would have the sustainable figures presented in scenarios A and B."

"Peaks and troughs in demand therefore suggest that an average instructor is likely to be on somewhere around the 20 - 25 lessons a week for 47 weeks of the year. That is the figure I think would be closer to the truth."

"With just a very quick tot up of costs - I estimate around £9,000 compared with the stated £7,000. not including petrol/fuel. I agree with fuel costs around £3 per lesson."

"I could go along with the estimates but I believe the multiplier used should be lower at maybe 45 weeks or less. You have to account for the fluctuation in the market and seasonal trends. Also some instructors choose quality of life over number of hours worked."

"Some instructors go out cheap for many years in an attempt to establish themselves. Many actually leave because of low earnings at this time, accounting for the large turnover in the profession and of course the deflation of prices. I wonder how many have actually put up their prices because of recent fuel rises."

"I don't think these figures are far out although I suggest that Instructor C charging £17 per hour would be more likely to be doing 45-50 hours a week to make a living. As an example my last years accounts showed expenses of £5300 without fuel, and that is buying vehicle insurance, servicing, advertising, telephone, car wash, licences, miscellaneous."

This really is one of those questions where there is no absolutely correct answer. Hopefully the above goes some way towards answering the question and at worst it is an excellent starting point for a debate on income, costs and profits. If you have a view drop Newslink Postbag a line.
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 • I have received a parking ticket for a vehicle I no longer own. What should I do?

ANSWER
Return the correspondence to the issuing authority informing them that you no longer own the vehicle. Give them as much information as possible about how and when you disposed of the vehicle or to whom you sold it to.

EXPLANATION
The authority issuing the parking ticket will have obtained your details from the vehicle records held by the DVLA and if you no longer own the vehicle these records need to be updated.
As well as returning the correspondence to the issuing authority you should also write to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BL as soon as possible. You should quote the Vehicle Registration Mark, make and model, exact date of sale and the name and address of the person you sold or transferred the vehicle to. If you do not have these details you should explain this in your letter and as soon as DVLA has this information they will update their records accordingly and send out confirmation to you.

SPECIAL NOTE: It is your responsibility to notify DVLA if you have disposed of your vehicle in return for a total loss payment from your insurers. REMEMBER if you is written off you need to write off and inform Swansea. You can do this by completing the relevant section of the vehicle registration document and returning it to DVLA.

FURTHER INFORMATION
Further information is available on the DVLA's website. Go to www.dvla.gov.uk.
 
           
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