In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have had to change. The running of our normal service included. Passmate has, however, found a way for critical workers, including those in the NHS, to have subsidised driving lessons during this time of uncertainty.
As mentioned in our last blog post, the DVLA has suspended all tests until at least April 20th. Only critical workers can now take lessons and an emergency test. This is a decision that we completely understand and agree with. Passmate is a service that aims to support the driving industry and reduce the usual anxieties that come with being a learner driver and a driving instructor. Operating under these circumstances at our usual capacity would compromise the very thing that we set out to do – offer security and peace of mind to our users.
It is such a shame that we cannot help everyone on their driving journey during this period. However, if we can do our bit by supporting those that are doing so much for all of us during this difficult time, then that is the role we will gladly take upon ourselves.
What is The Passmate Critical Worker Programme?
This is simply our initiative to facilitate driving lessons for key workers. We will be subsidising each driving lesson with the commission that we would usually make. The idea is that we can make this opportunity more affordable, as well as more accessible. Our aim is to be as flexible as possible in terms of lesson times, too. We realise that our instructors need to work around their pupil’s schedules – this is a programme for critical workers, for their convenience and for their necessity.
Why Would a Critical Worker Need to Learn to Drive Now?
Our main thought was critical workers may be unhappy having to commute on public transport to work during this period. At present, there are transport services , as well as disrupted timetables. This makes commuting all the more time-consuming and difficult. As well as general interruptions, of course, there is the trepidation that comes with travelling on public transport during times like this. If a critical worker wants to stop having to rely on public transport, and travel to and from work in the sanctuary of their own car, then we want to help with that.
Another thought was that key workers could have a lesson before their shift started – a productive commute to work if you will. This way, they can get dropped off at their place of work once their lesson had finished. Or, alternatively, picked up once their shift has ended. We are aiming to work at their disposal and their convenience.
What Qualifies as a Critical Worker?
The guidelines that we have been given by the government pertaining to what counts as a critical worker are as follows: Health and social care, education and childcare, key public services, local and national government, food and other necessary goods, public safety and national security, transport and; utilities, communications and financial services. If you are a critical worker and are in need of driving lessons, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website https://passmate.co.uk/ and contact us via our live chat.
Is it Safe to Take Driving Lessons Now?
Those of our instructors that feel like they need to self-isolate have been doing so and will not be able to work within this programme for the next few weeks. Furthermore, instructors that would rather not teach, are not doing so.
We have ensured that all our instructors that are happy to support the key workers are not putting anyone at risk i.e they have never shown any symptoms of COVID-19, nor taught anyone with any symptoms in the past 2 weeks. We appreciate that this is a very delicate matter, so if you don’t feel comfortable getting in the car with a driving instructor, don’t feel obliged to. But please do contact us to see whether we can put your mind at ease or if there is anything we can help you with.
Additionally, in the coming weeks, home tests for the virus will become readily available. We know that our critical workers will be able to get tested, but we will also work on a way to getting tests to our instructors. This way there is no doubt. And although we trust the word of all our instructors, we will then be able to give guaranteed safety. This will also enable us to operate a more efficient service i.e get a critical worker into a car quicker.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on email@example.com.
Take care! And also a massive thank you to all of our critical workers!
The Passmate Team