How much does a driving instructor earn?
That is an impossible question to answer.
How much you earn depends on whether or not you succeed and the only person that can make that happen is YOU.
There is no fixed salary. You aren’t employed and you don’t get paid a wage.
Let me make this crystal clear: how much you earn as a driving instructor is up to you.
Some driving instructors scrape by on £10,000 a year and others can make £50,000 or even more. Yes, there are rich driving instructors that have grown their business and earn big money but they are the exception, not the rule.
Can a driving instructor earn 40k?
That’s the most common question I get asked on a daily basis so here’s the honest answer:
Yes you can but most won’t.
Driving instructors that earn good money are more than just good instructors. They’re good at marketing, have great people skills, understand the internet, psychology and many other things.
If you understand that then you’ll do well. If not you’ll be yet another frustrated instructor, angry that they are making no money.
Don’t expect to train as an instructor in a few weeks and immediately earn £50,000 a year from day one working through a driving school.
How a driving instructor can earn £40,000 or more
Imagine a driving instructor that has spent years in the job, knows it inside out and has a well-established business.
They’re charging £30 an hour with no discounts or intro offers. They pay nothing for advertising because they are so well-known.
This instructor works 36 hours a week which consists of doing lessons at 0900-1100, 1200-1400 and 1500 to 1700 Monday to Friday and 0900-1100 and 1300-1500 on a Saturday.
All of those things are achievable. I have worked 6 days a week myself for 20 years and doing 6 hours a day with at least an hour between lessons is just like a normal working day. People are available at those times for lessons; I haven’t worked evenings for 10 years and mornings and afternoons are always popular times with students and part-time workers.
36 hours a week times £30 an hour = £1,080 a week
£1,080 times 48 weeks (taking 4 weeks holiday per year) = £51,840
What about business expenses though?
- A Ford Fiesta Titanium will cost around £390 per month so £4,680 a year. All servicing, parts, breakdowns, tyres etc. are included in this cost.
- Diesel costs will be around £2,700 a year for a 36 hour week.
- Insurance can vary hugely but let’s say £600 a year.
Those total business expenses come to £7,980.
£51,840 income minus £7,890 business expenses = £43,950.
You still have to pay tax but that’s the same for any job. The point is, there are no tricks here. I’m not hiding any costs or exaggerating prices. Those figures are all perfectly achievable and realistic.
So there you go. It is perfectly possible BUT you need to remember that this example is for an instructor at the top of their game who really knows what they are doing. Not everyone will earn that, especially new instructors or those that just aren’t as good.
This income could be dented by the odd pupil cancelling or illness but that isn’t going to happen very often. Many self-employed people would have another income stream to cover those things, such as renting out a house or having other instructors paying to use their franchise.
Can you imagine yourself as such an instructor?
What the average driving instructor earns
The average driving instructor earns around £15,000 to £20,000 a year (after paying expenses but before you have paid tax and national insurance).
I know this from talking to hundreds of instructors over the years, talking to accountants who do the books for instructors and having been in that position myself.
This doesn’t mean you will earn that because as we’ve already said several times, it’s up to you. If you want more you can get it but for people who insist on having a figure than that’s what most instructors get.
Why most driving instructors don’t make any money
I’ll soon be creating a whole section on this topic because there is a lot to say.