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Ultimate Guide to Driving Instructor Insurance

We know how daunting it can be when you’re facing the task of insuring your driving school or your personal driving instructor business.

Finding cheap driving school insurance can be difficult and time consuming. First you must find the companies that specialise in such insurance, as not all will provide the correct cover.

Then you’ll then have the mammoth task of contacting them all individually to see what they can offer – and this could effectively take you all day!

But don’t stress, we recognize your worries and here at Utility Saving Expert we hope to make finding the correct driving school insurance policy that little bit easier.

Read our ultimate guide to driving school insurance and you should find your questions are answered, easing your ability to make an informed decision when choosing your policy.


Why do I need driving school insurance?

Teaching people to drive can be an extremely rewarding experience. Having the ability to drive gives people the freedom to travel and explore, as well as the independence of not having to rely on others to take you the places you need to go.

It’s no wonder then, that many people take up teaching people to drive as a career – seeing the excitement and accomplishment of a student who has just passed their test will no doubt make you feel great too. With this enjoyment however comes added risk and using a vehicle to teach someone to drive usually means regular car insurance is not enough to cover the various aspects of teaching.

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What is driving school insurance?

There are two types of driving school insurance you may require, and these are dependent on your level of expertise:

ADI insurance

ADI is the shortened term for approved driving instructor. To become an approved driving instructor, you must have passed three examinations. This will mean you are no longer in training and you will be considered a highly trained and skilled driving instructor. If you have passed the three examinations, you must look for specialised ADI insurance cover.

PDI insurance

PDI insurance is the shortened term for potential driving instructor, which simply means you are still in training.

A PDI driver can only provide tuition if two out of three examinations have been passed, and only for a set period of six months. If you are yet to pass your third exam, you will need this type of insurance to cover you and your students until you are fully qualified.

PDI insurance is unfortunately more expensive, simply because you carry more risk than a fully qualified driving instructor. The good news is however, the training doesn’t usually take too long, so this type of insurance will only be needed on a temporary basis.

Both ADI and PDI insurance policies carry near enough the same level of cover; however, it is important you state which insurance you require before taking out a policy, otherwise it could turn out to be invalid further down the line.


What is the difference between standard car insurance and driving school insurance?

Standard car insurance usually only covers vehicles that are used for social use, domestic use, personal use and commuting to and from a permanent place of work. This means you are covered through a standard insurance policy to go about your daily activities and even drive to and from your office, however it doesn’t cover you should you need to use your vehicle for business purposes. If you run a driving school business, or you’re a driving instructor on a self – employed basis, your driving school vehicle will most definitely be used for business purposes, so under a standard insurance policy you will not be covered should you need to make a claim.

Unlike standard motorists’ vehicles, you will also need a vehicle that has dual control to be able to teach your students safely. This means purchasing such a vehicle will be costlier than a standard car purchase. For this reason, it is important to ensure you have the correct level of cover in place, should anything happen to your vehicle. Without the correct cover in place, imagine the costs you could face if your vehicle needed repairing before you could get it back on the road? It would certainly have a negative effect on your bank balance, especially for smaller businesses with less cash float.

Alongside this, the correct driving school insurance will mean you are provided with the appropriate replacement vehicle, should you need one in the future. Again, without the correct cover in place, you could be without a vehicle and therefore without the ability to earn a living. Covering the cost, yourself, to provide an appropriate replacement vehicle is not going to be a cheap task.

Why is driving school insurance more expensive than a standard car insurance policy?

Usually, driving school insurance is more expensive than a standard private motor insurance policy. This is because a driving instructor will require several additional covers that a standard motorist will not need.
This may be an annoying point to discover, however, having the correct driving school insurance in place will mean you as the instructor, any instructors you employ and anyone your teaching to drive is safe and covered, in all eventualities.

What additional cover will I require?

There are several additional elements you will require whilst using a driving instructor vehicle, so let’s explore these in more detail:

Replacement dual control vehicle cover

Should your vehicle be involved in an accident which deems it to be off the road for repair, most standard car insurance policies will only offer you a non-dual controlled car as a replacement. This effectively will mean you are unable to offer lessons to pupils, as you must have a dual controlled vehicle to be able to do so. Without the ability to teach, you have no way of working to earn any money, and let’s face it, this scenario would be pretty rubbish.
By ensuring you have replacement dual control vehicle cover, your specialist driving school insurance provider will be able to provide you with an appropriate dual controlled replacement vehicle, so you can carry on working as normal. The good news is, the replacement is offered quite quickly – usually within 24 hours. This means you should be able to continue teaching as soon as possible, as well as sit any pre-booked driving tests. You should however, check with your insurance provider the time it will take to offer you a replacement before you consider taking out any cover.

Bear in mind that many insurance providers will only provide a replacement vehicle for a fixed amount of time, so you should consider how long you may need a replacement vehicle, should such a scenario arise.

Any driver cover

As a driving instructor or owner of a driving school, you are no doubt aware that the pupils you will be teaching will often have little or no experience of driving a car. Part of the teaching process is to provide the learner driver the ability to drive the vehicle, and without this process, learning to drive would most probably be impossible. Time behind the wheel will ensure learner drivers get a feel for the car they will be taking their test in as well as boost their confidence on the road. This means that any driver cover is essential to your business needs. With this level of cover, any driver will have the ability to drive the insured vehicle whilst under tuition, regardless of their experience.
Alongside this, an examiner will be able to use the vehicle whilst a learner is undertaking their test. Having to provide the examiners details to your insurance provider every time a test takes place will be too time consuming and impractical.
Any driver cover is usually offered as a standard level of cover with most driving school insurance policies, but it is best to double check before making any agreements.

Negligent tuition cover

Negligent tuition cover is an extremely important requirement you will need to have as an add on to your driving school insurance policy. It will protect you and your business against any claims brought against you, due to an injury suffered by your pupil through some negligence on your behalf.

Although such circumstances are rare, accidents do happen, and people do unfortunately make mistakes. If a pupil suffers an injury, perhaps because you were unaware there was a fault with your vehicle, such as a bold tyre, you will be protected against any legal or medical costs you could incur.

Cover for hire and reward

When making money whilst using a vehicle, it is important this information is declared to any insurance provider, otherwise you run the risk of invalidating your policy. If you run a driving school, or you operate on a self-employed basis, you will be earning money from pupils receiving lessons in your vehicle. This means when choosing the right policy, you must ensure it contains an added cover for hire and reward clause, within its terms and conditions.

Modified vehicle cover

Many standard car insurance policies do not provide cover should your vehicle be modified in any way. Most driving school vehicles will have certain modifications to teach pupils safely. These can include modified or additional mirrors, dual controls, sign writing and disabled driving equipment. It is therefore important you explain any modifications to your insurance provider, and only take out insurance with those who can provide the appropriate cover for your modifications.


How can I cut the costs of driving school insurance?

Being a driving instructor and having to take out a driving school policy doesn’t come without extra costs. Given the nature of the role, it is not surprising the cost of your premium is likely to be higher than that of a standard insurance policy, however, there are certain steps you can take to stick within your budget. You can:

Compare quotes

You might want to renew your policy or get your driving business up and running as quickly as possible, however its important you take your time to research the best policies and prices available. Rather than choose the first insurance company you see, comparing different quotes available will help you consider the different levels of cover you need as well as explore the best prices on the market. Utility Saving Expert can help you with this, so why not check out or online comparison tool here.
Build your no claims bonuses

Driving safely and cautiously will mean you are less likely to be involved in an accident or have the need to make a claim in the future. By building up your no claims bonus, you will receive better discounts through your policy provider.
Try to limit the chance of needing to make a claim. Of course, this can be easier said than done, especially when your teaching inexperienced drivers. However, you could ensure you take extra precautions, such as avoiding busy roads until your pupil is more confident.
You could also ensure you only make a claim if absolute necessary. It may be that the cost to repair your vehicle without claiming, is less than taking out an insurance policy without a no claims bonus. Weigh up the pros and cons before making a claim and this could help keep your premiums without budget.

Improve the security of your vehicle

Insurance providers often base your premiums around the amount of risk associated with your vehicle. This means you should take appropriate measures to ensure you’re driving instructor vehicle is secure, ultimately reducing the overall cost of your policy.
You can do this by parking your vehicle in a safe place at night, perhaps in a garage or on a private driveway behind a locked gate. This means it is less likely to be targeted by criminals or damaged by third party drivers. You could also install an alarm or immobiliser which again, will deter thieves that could be lurking in your neighborhood.

Have the correct amount of cover in place

It might be your goal to secure the cheapest driving school insurance deal possible, however, the cheapest options usually offer the lowest amount of cover. Should you need to make a claim in the future for something that is not within the terms and conditions of your policy, it could cost you more than if you were to have chosen a more expensive premium in the first place! You must ensure your policy covers you for all scenarios, and in the long run, this will help lower your costs.

So now you have all the information you need to obtain the correct level of driving school insurance for your business. Why not put this new-found knowledge to use and head over to our online comparison tool? Here we bring together the best providers and the best deals to suit your requirements, so you can carry about your day worry free knowing yourself, your business and your pupils are covered!