Terms and conditions of service

Introduction
The following terms and conditions represent the basis upon which driving lessons and courses are offered to you by your local Learner Driving Centre (LDC) driving school instructor (LDC instructor). Please note the contract for service is between yourself and the local LDC instructor. Each LDC instructor operates his or her own driving school business under franchise from the LDC (a trading/brand name of Teaching Driving Limited) and has agreed to be bound by the following terms and conditions. The LDC National Booking Office is a separate entity which has been authorised to act as a booking agent and a quality controller for the members of the LDC driving school franchise network.

Any breach by the LDC instructor of the following terms and conditions will potentially put them in default of the contract for service with you and their franchise agreement with LDC. Only those driving instructors wlling to maintain the highest standards of customer care and tuition are permitted to operate under the LDC driving school name.

1. General Conduct
All LDC instructors are bound by a professional code of conduct. Your LDC instructor will be courteous, polite, tidy and punctual. They will also behave in a professional and ethical manner at all times. Your LDC instructor’s car will be well maintained, clean and tidy. All cars used by LDC instructors are fitted with dual-controls as part of their standard equipment. The cars are of course fully insured for driving tuition. LDC instructors will not smoke in the car while giving tuition, nor will they use your lesson time for any other form of business, personal or otherwise.

2. Qualifications
As a minimum your LDC instructor will be licensed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to give driving tuition. All LDC instructors will have been specially trained in the use of the “student-centred” LD System of driving tuition and LDC’s customer care standards before being allowed to operate as an LDC driving school instructor. Before an LDC instructor can be finally approved by the DVSA on a permanent basis they may choose to serve a probationary period of 6 months as a trainee on license from the DVSA to prove their suitability. Those new LDC instructors still in this probationary period will have a senior LDC instructor trainer assigned to them to give guidance and occationally observe their tuition to ensure they maintain the necessary standards.

3. Course Materials
When you purchase a One Week Pass, Semi-intensive, Midway Pass or Test Booster course through the LDC National Booking Office, your Driving Skills Workbook and Driving Skills DVD Video set will be provided to you directly from the LDC National Booking Office and are for you to keep. Please note the Theory Test Study Pack of materials is not included with these driving courses but access to the LDC online student learning hub is. If you book Weekly Lessons you can purchase the Driving Skills Workbook and Driving Skills DVD Video set from the LDC National Booking Office or directly from your local LDC instructor. As an alternative to purchasing the Driving Skills DVD Video set your local LDC instructor will loan or rent them to you and may ask for a small deposit to ensure their safe return at the end of the training. The contents of the Driving Skills videos and workbook are also available via LDCs online student learning hub but in this form it will contain adverts.

4. Driving Licence and Eyesight
The learner must hold a current, valid driving licence (provisional or full), which must be produced on or in advance of their first lesson. The learner must also check that they can read a number plate at a distance of 20.5 metres (i.e. 67 feet – about 5 car lengths) with prescribed visual aids (i.e. contact lenses or glasses) if normally worn. Any such prescribed visual aids must also be worn on every driving lesson if needed to meet this minium eyesight condition.

5. Payments
Please note payments must be made in advance of the training. To book a course, a 50% deposit or the full course fee. If the course start date is within 4 weeks of the booking date the full fee is required.

Please note the deposit or any subsequent training fees paid are not refundable in the event that you decide to cancel the training once the booking has been accepted by your local LDC instructor and booked into their diary. At this point a binding agreement is made between yourself and the local LDC instructor. This does not in any way affect your statutory rights to be provided with the goods and services you have bought (please see term 13). Please also note that a full refund will be given if the LDC National Booking Office or your local LDC instructor is unable to meet any special requirements noted and as shown under “Special Requirements” on your booking confirmation.

6. Customer Care Payment Protection Scheme
When you pay money direct to the LDC National Booking Office it is held in the LDC instructors’ clients holding account. This money is being held on behalf of you and the LDC instructor. This money is not normally passed onto the LDC instructor until the learner signs a form instructing the booking office to do so in part or in full. At various points during the training, the LDC instructor will ask the learner to sign a form confirming their satisfaction with any training given. The learner should not sign this form unless they are totally satisfied with the training and want the LDC National Booking Office to pass on sufficient money held in the clients account to cover the training time authorised.

To ensure that each LDC instructor provides services to the same high standards all the LDC instructors have agreed that the LDC National Booking Office should also act as an arbitrator and withhold any money in the clients account in the event of a complaint. Only when this matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the LDC Quality Assurance Manager will payment be passed on, or refunded, as the case may be. In this way, the standards of the franchise network of LDC driving schools can be maintained and you can be assured that you get what you pay for. Please note if you book directly with your LDC instructor this scheme is not operated unless specifically requested and agreed by your LDC instructor and confirmed by the LDC National Booking Office.

7. Lesson Postponement
Provided the LDC instructor can easily obtain additional work for any individual lessons postponed no penalty will be incurred. If this is not possible the full training fee for the period in question may, at the total discretion of the LDC instructor, be lost or charged. Your LDC instructor reserves the right to postpone lessons if he or she feels that the weather or road conditions are unsuitable or dangerous. Any lessons postponed will be rescheduled at a mutually agreed time. The LDC instructor cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred as a result of him or her having to postpone any lessons, for whatever reason.

8. Driving under the Influence
To ensure the safety of you, your instructor and other road users your LDC instructor reserves the right to cancel any lesson if you are or if they suspect you are under the influence of drugs and or alcohol. If this occurs the full training fee for the period in question will be lost or charged.

9. The Driving Test

  1. Bookings
    Driving tests can be booked by you, your LDC instructor or the LDC National Booking Office on your behalf. Driving test bookings always take priority over other lessons. Therefore, your lesson may be postponed to allow for someone else’s driving test and vice-versa. Changes to lesson bookings as a result of this will be notified as quickly as possible. Test appointments must be notified to your LDC instructor as soon as they are known, otherwise he or she cannot guarantee to provide a vehicle for the test or any lessons just prior to it.
  2. Use of the vehicle
    In the interests of customer and public safety your LDC instructor reserves the right to withhold the use of a car for the test if, in their opinion, your driving is actually or potentially dangerous – behaviour which if repeated on the test would result in a test failure.
  3. Test cancellation
    Three clear working days (Sundays and public holidays don’t count as working days) notice of test cancellation or postponement is required by the DVSA. Therefore to cancel a test booked for a Friday you need to do this online no later than the preceding Monday thus giving three clear working days (i.e. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Failure to provide the required notice will result in the loss of your test fee. The LDC instructor cannot be held responsible for any postponement or cancellation of tests by you or the DVSA. However, the LDC instructor will do all that is possible to arrange another test as quickly as possible and to help you to reclaim expenses from the DVSA if appropriate

10. Punctuality
In their own interests learners are advised to be punctual for their lesson appointments. All such appointments should be recorded (and checked where possible by their local LDC instructor) in their driving skills workbook (Appointment Record section) to ensure that mistakes are avoided. The LDC instructor would normally wait for a maximum of 15 minutes before the lesson would be abandoned and the lesson fee forfeit or become due for payment. A reciprocal waiting time may become necessary if the LDC instructor is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. Any lesson time lost as a result of the LDC instructor being late would be made up by the LDC instructor either at the end of the normal lesson time if possible or at a later date. Any such shortfall should be recorded in the driving skills workbook lesson appointment section and initialled by the LDC instructor. An appointment record card may be used as an alternative to utilising the appointment section in the driving skills workbook.

11. Learner safety, comfort and well being
Safety is a shared responsibility between the LDC instructor and you as identified below:

  1. In the interests of comfort and safety you are advised to wear suitable footwear and clothing which does not restrict movement or which is inappropriate, distracting or could lead to embarrassing situations.
  2. It is important that you act responsibly at all times and give your undivided attention to the driving task at hand. Should anything be distracting you during the lesson it is important that you make the LDC instructor aware of this fact even if it is something they are doing. Similarly if you are feeling uncomfortable or uneasy about any driving task it is important that you make the LDC instructor aware of this as soon as it is safe to do so. The LDC instructor will be grateful for the feedback and he or she will think no less of you for doing so.
  3. In an emergency situation it is important that you follow the instructions of the LDC instructor and allow them to take control of the steering wheel if necessary to avoid an incident. The LDC instructor may also need to make use of the dual controls (i.e. brake and or clutch pedals) and thus override your use of them. As soon as it is safe to do so the LDC instructor will advise you of why his or her actions were necessary and help you to calm down if required. Any subsequent discussion will focus on what can be learnt from the situation rather than who was to blame.
  4. The LDC instructor will do their best to deliver any instructions or take any actions (even in an emergency) in a calm and measured manner so as not to alarm you or make you feel uncomfortable or disheartened in any way. The LDC instructor will definitely not shout at you or make any sarcastic or derogatory remarks.
  5. The LDC instructor will not use improper language or suggestive behaviour and/or physical contact.
  6. You must take note of any medication you are taking which may affect your ability to drive safely and advise the LDC instructor accordingly before taking any lesson booked. Similarly, you should inform the LDC instructor of anything you feel might impact on your ability to undertake the proposed lesson safely.
  7. In the event it becomes apparent that you are unable to concentrate due to illness, tiredness, or your emotional state of mind the LDC instructor reserves the right to terminate the lesson early or require agreement from you to choose an alternative learning activity which can still be undertaken safely.

12. Complaints
In the event of a complaint all efforts must be made to resolve the problem directly with the LDC instructor. However, please do not let a problem linger. If you booked your course or lessons through the LDC National Booking Office you may contact the person who arranged your training in the first place for advice and help by ringing 01977 691851 or 01977 691850. If you booked directly with the LDC instructor you will need to put your complaint in writing to the LDC instructor franchise Quality Assurance Manager, Teaching Driving Limited, LDC House, Stuart Road, Pontefract, West Yorkshire WF8 4PQ or email quality@learnerdriving.com.

13. Your Statutory Rights
Nothing in these terms and conditions will reduce your statutory rights relating to faulty goods or services provided. LDC instructors have a statutory obligation to provide you with goods and services fit for the purpose for which they were bought and as described. Similarly, any goods supplied by the LDC National Booking Office must also be fit for the purpose for which they were bought and as described. If you have any doubts about your statutory rights please contact your local Trading Standards Department or Citizen’s Advice Bureau.