For parents & Caregivers
Gavin Buchanan is a qualified AA Driving Instructor with an "I" endorsement. This means as well as being qualified to teach driving, he has been through a "fit and proper person" assessment. This confirms he has no transport-related offences, criminal convictions or past complaints. An "I" endorsement also requires a current Medical Certificate, Vision Test and of course a Driving Test (both written and practical).
Find out more about Gavin Buchanan, Driving Instructor
Driving Instructor, Gavin Buchanan, with a driving student
Lessons include use of our car. As an AA Driving School, Thames Driver Training uses the latest model automatic Suzuki Swift. The car is dual controlled for safety. The Suzuki Swift is the latest in safety and technology with an ANCAP Safety 5 star rating. To achieve the maximum 5 star ANCAP safety rating, a vehicle must perform to the highest level across all crash tests and assessments (source: ANCAP).The vehicle is new (August 2018) and is dual control.
The lesson includes the cost of insurance in the hourly fee. However, there is a $350 excess to be paid by the driver, in the event of an accident. I hold personal liability insurance for up to one million dollars. Thames Driver Training accepts no liability in the event of damage to your person, vehicle, property or third party.
Using Your Own Car
Lessons in your own manual or automatic car are fine. In fact, it's good to have lessons in the car you will be driving and probably doing the test in. Your vehicle must registered, warranted etc. Insurance while you or your child is learning is your own responsibility. Please check with your own insurer to ensure you have the correct cover. The lesson cost is the same, whether we use your own car or our dual controlled automatic Suzuki Swift.
If paying by online banking, please make sure payment is in our account the day before the lesson. If paying by cash, please pay on the day at the start of your lesson. Lessons will only proceed once payment is received.
Please give 24 hours notice of cancellation to avoid paying for missing the lesson.
Please text me on 027 268 6381 urgently to advise if you are running late. Your lesson may be shortened as lesson times are tightly scheduled.
Students need to bring their driving licence with them
It is critical the student has their driving licence with them for their lessons. We are legally unable to do a lesson if a student does not produce their licence. Students can avoid the cost of a last minute lesson cancellation, by ensuring they have their licence at all times when they drive.
Gift driving lessons and/or courses
Give the gift of driving lessons, a simulated practical test or a Defensive Driving Course. Simply contact us to arrange your gift and the recipient can schedule lessons/courses to suit
Please see our Covid-19 page
Key things parents of learner drivers need to know
On a Learners Licence, the driver must be accompanied by a "supervisor"* at all time whilst driving. Passengers are permitted but are the responsibility of the "supervisor".
On a Restricted Licence, the Restricted licence holder cannot carry any passengers at all whilst driving without a "supervisor".
A Restricted Licence holder can only drive by themselves between the hours of 5.00am and 10.00pm.
A Restricted driver may carry passengers or drive after hours, only if, they are accompanied by a supervisor. Again the supervisor is fully responsible for any passengers.
As the "parent or guardian"and or owner of the vehicle, if you allow any of these rules to be broken, you can also be held accountable and responsible for any infringements.
Zero alcohol limit applies to any driver who is under the age of 20 years old.
*A "Supervisor" must meet ALL of these requirements
- Full Licence holder
- Over the age of 20
- Held their full licence class for two years or more.
Driving without a supervisor will result in demerit points leading to possible loss of licence and fines.
"Two of the riskiest situations for young drivers are driving at night and carrying passengers. Drivers on a restricted licence are seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal or serious injury crash than other drivers"
Source: NZTA Find out more about risks for young drivers