As the lockdown conditions start to be relaxed, it is essential to keep BIG TOM customers up to date with how they will potentially be affected.
Owner of BIG TOM Driving School gives the following advice:
Driving instructors have not as yet been given any specific time from the government, as to when they can start in-car training again. There is much talk of a start possibly being 04/07/2020, but as of today, there has not been an official announcement.
BIG TOM customers are continuing to book intensive courses so that they can receive a priority service and start to prepare for the theory test and also the in-car training. This continues to be a good opportunity to make full use of the downtime.
When it comes to tests, the DVSA are allowing theory tests to be booked post 31/05/2020, but practical tests continue to be suspended. Anyone who had a practical test postponed to June now has them automatically pushed back further by the DVSA into July and August. There is also talk of a reduced capacity at driving test centres when they do eventually open up. This situation is fluid, and there are no guarantees about future availability. It appears at this moment in time that in all likelihood, there is going to be an extreme demand for driving test slots, which is why we have created a prioritised system for bookings. It is very important that customers carefully consider the DVSA test booking issue prior to booking with us, as clearly this is a factor that BIG TOM has very little control over. This will be a nationwide issue I suspect, although there is likely to be slight variations across all the driving tests centres that BIG TOM uses.
The advantage of customers pre-booking courses at this stage is that once we have official notification from the government that it is legal to train, BIG TOM Admin will automatically contact these priority customers in the order of the date the course was booked – earliest first. This is simply an attempt to ensure fairness in a situation that is likely to get rather frenetic, due to there being excess demand.
I appreciate this is hardly an ideal situation and in light of these circumstances rest assured that at the time of BIG TOM Admin calling back customers, if the customer wants to change their mind at that time, they will receive an immediate full refund. Once a customer confirms the timing slot for the BIG TOM in-car training, then all of our cancellation conditions continue as normal. Should there be any hint of C-19 symptoms from instructor/pupil, then any cancellations will not incur any losses.
In summary, I think I would strongly advise customers who are considering making use of BIG TOM courses to get the theory test completed as soon as possible. Really don’t delay on that task. I don’t expect any delays to occur due to availability for in-car training, but the potential real sticking point is the DVSA availability of practical test slots.
BIG TOM continues to offer all customers throughout this lockdown, 1:1 online support for theory study, including the hazard perception and new changes soon to be introduced to the test.
Face masks are required to gain entry and take theory tests, and we await any instructions of the precautions required to undertake in-car training. BIG TOM will comply with any statutory conditions.
If there are any questions regarding this situation, we do appreciate that this is a very difficult time and will be happy to discuss and advise to the best of our ability with the clearest explanation without obligation.