Sometimes you couldn’t make it up.
About a month ago I was rear-ended by some idiot at a pedestrian crossing. As a result, my car went in for repair and I had a replacement/courtesy car supplied – which was totally different to my normal car. It took me a few days to properly figure out how it worked (absolutely everything was controlled from a touchscreen system). It scared some of my pupils shitless.
I had one pupil whose test was approaching. She was away with the fairies as far as lane discipline was concerned – she simply had little or no awareness of them when she was driving. But we’d already postponed her test once as a result by over six months, and to be fair I had managed to improve her a lot. But I still wasn’t 100% happy.
But she didn’t like the substitute car. She texted me and told me she was going in her own car as a result. I fist-pumped and shouted ‘yesss’ when I got that text. We did a few more lessons and I made sure she had everything she needed to give it her best shot. And she only went and bloody well passed! Quite a high number of driver faults, it has to be said, but at least my badge wasn’t involved.
Then, I took on another pupil. He’d been taught by his parents and his driving was outstanding – seriously good. The only significant issue was the manoeuvres, none of which he had been taught, and his theory test (which he hadn’t done). So I got him to book his theory, and started covering manoeuvres with him. We did four lessons, during which he passed his theory first time, and then I got him to book his practical – which was in November.
I got a text a couple of weeks ago and he’d got a cancellation date. But it coincided with another test I had booked (ironically, I turned up for that one today and then discovered DVSA had cancelled it and moved it to August), and it was at a test centre outside of Nottingham, which I didn’t cover. So we agreed he would go in his own car with his mum. My only concern was we hadn’t polished the manoeuvres, but I pointed out that apart from that he had a bloody good chance of passing.
And he passed with a clean sheet! Zero faults. In a place he’d never driven before.
His parents are singing my praises and have already referred someone to me as a result. I’m happy with that, of course, but I am quick to point out it was his parents who actually taught him (and the whole family is really nice) – I just polished a few rough bits, aided immeasurably by the fact he was an outstanding driver. And he’s going to do Pass Plus with me.
So, apart from not getting official DVSA credit for the passes (especially the clean sheet), I’ve avoided the higher faults of one against my name, and got what is likely to result in a lot more work from the other.
Being an ADI is fun. And complicated.