How to become a Driving Instructor

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: September 2016
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Driving instructors provide practical driving lessons to individuals who wish to pass their driving test, usually referred to as 'learner drivers'. Most instructors also provide lessons to newly licensed drivers who want to gain experience driving on motorways, at night or in winter conditions, and to licensed drivers who have had a break from driving and wish to refresh their skills. Some instructors provide Pass Plus training, which usually takes six hours to complete and can result in lower insurance premiums for the driver. There are also opportunities for driving instructors to provide lessons in advanced driving skills to couriers, taxi drivers and other professional drivers. The UK driving instruction market is extremely competitive and is dominated by national driving school franchises.

The provision of driving instruction on a commercial basis is strictly regulated in the UK, in order to protect learner drivers and other road users. A driving instructor must be registered as an approved driving instructor with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, or the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland. Applicants for ADI registration must have passed a three-part qualifying examination that tests their driving and teaching ability.

Driving instructors working in the UK are typically freelance, and while some run their own independent driving school, others offer their services to other local independent driving schools. Many instructors operate as self-employed franchisees of a national driving school such as the AA, RED Driving School, Pass 'N' Go and BSM. There were almost 39,800 ADIs in England, Wales and Scotland in March 2016, and a further 1,160 in Northern Ireland.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a driving instructor. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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