Here are some frequently asked questions about becoming a volunteer driver.
Do I have to make a regular commitment?
No you don’t. That’s the beauty of volunteering as a driver. You can drive as often and regularly or as little and infrequently as you wish. You can advise your local duty officer of any days/times when you know that you will be unavailable. The duty officer will call you with details of a job and if you can do it, great! If not, then the duty officer will simply contact another driver.
Can I claim expenses?
Yes – mileage and parking will be reimbursed.
Will it affect my insurance?
We will give you information to provide to your insurance company so that driving as a volunteer should not affect your premiums.
Do I need to take a driving test or undergo any other checks?
You’ll need a DBS check – this is free and transferable so you’ll be able to use it if you decide to volunteer with any other vulnerable adults.
How do I get started?
Once you’ve contacted us, we’ll put you in touch with your local scheme. They will make an appointment to visit you to explain how their scheme works, to get an idea of the type of driving you’re willing to do (local or further afield for example) and to answer any further questions you have. They will ask you for details of two referees and check your driving licence. Once the DBS check done and references have been received, then you can accept driving jobs to suit you.
Who are our clients?
We aim to help anyone who cannot access transport anywhere else or who cannot afford transport from other providers. Sometimes clients just need a companion to travel with them if they don’t have any relatives nearby.
Where do we go?
Clients ask for transport to the GP’s, hospital, shops etc. Sometimes we are asked to go further afield, but if you want to stay local all you have to do is say.
Do I stay with my client?
If you are transporting a client to the GP or hospital, the client sometimes would like you to stay with them. Other times you just take them to their destination and pick them up again. If you take a client shopping they may ask if, you would go around the supermarket with them but usually they are happy to push their own trolley and do their own shopping.
Do I go into a client’s house?
When we collect a client we usually go to their front door, check they have their key and then walk them down to the car. We help them in (we do not lift) and make sure they have their seat belt on. If we have taken a client shopping we would help them in with their bags and sometimes help them put their shopping away. On occasion a client may invite a volunteer to stay for a cup of tea – that is up to you if you have time.
There isn’t a scheme in my area. How can I start a new one?
Our Volunteer Car Scheme Co-Ordinator, Vicki Turton helps local people to set up new voluntary driving schemes in their area. Vicki can advise on the steps you need to take and give support.
For more information about voluntary car schemes, contact Vicki Turton on 01483 447121.