Becoming a driving instructor may sound like the ideal option for those who love driving and the idea of being self-employed. But it does take a lot more than simply having good driving skills to become a qualified driving instructor.
The ability to set your own hours and be your own boss is a desirable aspect to the many people who consider becoming a driving instructor. Driving instructors are teachers and for many, the act of passing on knowledge to others does bring job satisfaction. Driving instructors are passing on a skill that others can use throughout their lives. There is also the fact that driving is a skill that people will always want to learn and the job does come with a certain amount of job security. Driving instructors can make a relatively good salary, and of course, the more hours worked per week the higher the salary.
No actual academic qualifications are needed to become a driving instructor and no previous experience is required. Those wishing to become a driving instructor must pass tests set by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). Learner instructors must pass three separate tests set by the DSA in order to become an approved driving instructor (ADI). The ADI tests include a theory test and two practical tests; one for driving ability and one for instructing learner drivers. Candidates are permitted three attempts to pass these tests within a two year period of sitting the first theory test.
A full UK driving licence will be required to become an approved driving instructor. The driver must have held the licence for at least four years before registering to become an ADI. Drivers must also not have a driving disqualification marked down within the last four years prior to registering. The Driving Standards Agency will assess the candidate's suitability and this will include assessing penalty points and driving offences. A criminal background check will also be undertaken and this will be ongoing every four years.
There are driving instructor training schools across the UK that will train potential driving instructors. Some of these companies will offer candidates the chance to be part of their driving school if the candidate is successful. Candidates should compare what is actually offered by the driving instructor training schools before parting with any cash. The government has a list of driving instructor trainers known as the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT). Training can be expensive and can run to around £3000, which should be payable in instalments.
The pass rate is low; the practical instruction part of the test alone has a 34% pass rate. Candidates who are considering training through a school should always enquire about the success rate of the intending training school. Driving instructor schools have a high dropout rate among candidates, which is why it is never a good idea to pay the entire course fee upfront. Learning to become a driving instructor is a long process and the ADI tests themselves after training can take many months to complete.
The ability to teach others is of course a requirement for this job. Having an abundance of patience and a calm but professional manner is also preferable. Being a people person is also a bonus as word of mouth business referrals are essential especially for independent driving instructors. As this is basically self-employment the potential driving instructor should have a good head for business and time management. Marketing, advertising and accounts knowledge are all part of being a self-employed independent driving instructor.
Many driving instructor training schools will advertise that the sky is the limit when it comes to potential earnings. But there are only so many hours in a week and driving to and from the customer’s home is part of the instructor’s time, not the customers. Independent driving instructors also have to ensure cars are roadworthy, pay for fuel, have the correct insurance and meet the vehicle standards set to teach learners. Driving instructors can make a good hourly wage either independently or as part of a franchise. This is also a job that can be undertaken on a part-time basis even throughout the retirement years.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.