Superdrive Academy who is based in Salisbury, United Kingdom specializes in driver training and has severely been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Their business had to shut down as of the 23rd March 2020. Surprisingly, they still had a lot of leads come through their website https://www.superdriveacademy.co.uk/driving-instructors-salisbury/ asking if someone could still learn to drive and take driving lessons through the pandemic? The simple answer to this was no you can’t.
Superdrive Academy had to stop trading and as a result, their business lost a lot of revenue and no doubt lost a lot of customers too. As at the time of writing this journal, driving instructors are still now allowed to go back to work due to them not being able to carry out the social distancing measures of two meters. As you can imagine, sitting next to someone in a car teaching them is definitely not 2 meters. We are even sure that when the social distancing comes down to 1 meter that driving instructors will still be allowed to go back to work. While it is difficult for physical lessons to take place, some teenagers flocked to a DMV study app to try and gain the knowledge they would eventually need to drive a car properly.
It’s not just Superdrive Academy who are based in Salisbury England that is affected, but driving schools throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, which represents Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. We believe that the driving school business has been given the Greenlight by the government that they can return back to work on the 04th of July. We also believe that this is not the case for all businesses as those in the rest of the United Kingdom are going back at a late date.
We can only sympathize with the driving school industry as the financial impact they’re dealing with must be massive. Then, once they do return to work, what sort of PPE will they have to use? Will masks be made compulsory? How will this affect the communication in-car between the pupil and the trainer? One thing is for sure and that is there are interesting times ahead for the whole industry.
We believe that there is also going to be a backlog of driving test candidates as we are led to believe that these were all canceled around the 20th March 2020. The same applies to the whole of the driver training industry such as motorcycle training and testing and heavy goods vehicles. The impact this could potentially have could be that provisional license holders could be queued right back until November for their driving test.
We have been told that people who are going for their driving tests have to wear face coverings such as masks. Those that have a medical condition can be exempt from wearing masks. We’re not sure yet whether or not the wearing of gloves will be made compulsory. We’re waiting to hear from our colleague who’s in the driver training industry.
Most instructors but not all, have had some help from the English government with respect to grants to help ease the loss of revenue each driving instructor business has endured during the pandemic. One of the criteria for this was that they must have been running their own business for 12 months or more and have one year’s worth of trading. The grant from the government was 80% of their earnings based over an average of three years. Those who have only been trading for 12 months or so are still entitled to the grant but what about those who have recently set out in business. We’re led to believe that they are not entitled to anything.
For those entitled to nothing, there is universal credit which if you’re fortunate to be able to claim this, then it’s probably better than nothing.
As any business owner knows, sometimes business can be cruel as well as exhilarating so we would like to wish the whole driver training industry good luck for the future and keep safe.