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A driving instructor is someone who is hired by a new driver who wishes to learn and improve their skills with the hope of passing a practical test. If you are already a driving instructor or you’re currently in training, you will also need a driving instructor insurance policy.

If you enjoy working with people directly and have a passion to teach, becoming a driving instructor may be a good career to consider. In this guide we will cover how to become a driving instructor. We will look at the following topics:

Driving instructor entry requirements

If you wish to train as a driving instructor, you will be required to apply through the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency). Here are a few prerequisites before applying:

  • blue-bullet-pointAge 21+ by the time you qualify
  • blue-bullet-pointHold a driving license for a minimum of 3 years
  • blue-bullet-pointYou are able to read a license plate from 27.5 metres (90 feet), the use of contact lenses or glasses is fine
  • blue-bullet-pointPass and complete enhanced motoring conviction and criminal record checks

The department of transport provides a list of training providers on the official register of driving instructor training (ORDIT). You will need to pass part 1 and 2 of the ADI (approved driving instructor) exams. By completing this, you will have the necessary license to give instruction, this will allow you to legally charge someone for driving lessons. After this you must pass ADI exam part 3, this will allow you to be added to the ADI register. It’s also worth remembering that you must pass a standards check every 4 years to continue working as a driving instructor.

The skills you will need

As a driving instructor, you will need the following skills:

  • green-bullet-pointBe able to give clear instructions
  • green-bullet-pointBe able to adapt your teaching style and technique to suit each individual learner
  • green-bullet-pointHave excellent driving skills and a strong knowledge base of road safety
  • green-bullet-pointBe able to react quickly and safely for any potential problems

What you will actually do

You have the option to work as self-employed and set up your own business, or be part of a driving school. Here’s a list of duties, your role will include:

  • pink-bullet-pointCheck the driving ability and knowledge of each learner
  • pink-bullet-pointPlan a series of driving lessons so students are ready to take a driving test
  • pink-bullet-pointTeach learners driving laws, the highway code and road safety
  • pink-bullet-pointTeach learners about vehicle control, steering, turning, reversing, and parking safely
  • pink-bullet-pointTeach learners how to handle an emergency situation
  • pink-bullet-pointDiscuss basic vehicle checks
  • pink-bullet-pointKeep a record of appointments (lessons) and payments
  • pink-bullet-pointManage the business (if you are self-employed)

Salary expectations as an instructor

A starter driving instructor can expect to earn between £15,000 to £20,000, while a more experienced driving instructor could earn between £20,000 to £30,000. Depending on where you are located and how much your competitors charge, on average, you may charge between £15 to £40 per hour.

A driving instructor’s salary can differ. Remember to factor in any running costs such as driving instructor insurance, fuel, and car maintenance. If you operate your own driving school, you will need to have your own dual control vehicle and pay for any repairs and servicing. If you decide to work for a franchise, you may be expected to pay a franchise fee.

Working hours, patterns and your new environment

If you are self-employed, you will have the option to select the hours you wish to work, be prepared to work on evenings and weekends. Remember it’s a good idea to be as flexible as possible to attract learners. In the summer, you can also work longer hours because there is more daylight.

Most of your time working will be spent in the car, so remember to choose a comfortable vehicle and make the right seat adjustments. Generally, driving lessons usually last between 1 to 2 hours. Organising appointments (driving lessons) effectively will be key to your success, as you will need to manage client availability and any ‘down time’ between bookings.

Future progression

By gaining further experience and training, you could potentially move onto specialist areas such as training disabled drivers, drivers of passenger carrying vehicles, large goods vehicles, or even emergency services vehicles. If you become highly experienced within your field, you could move onto becoming a driving examiner.

Here is a list of related career opportunities that may be of interest to you:

  • pink-bullet-pointBus or coach driver
  • pink-bullet-pointChauffeur
  • pink-bullet-pointTaxi driver

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