How to become a driving instructor

Learn to drive without being taken for a ride

How to become a driving instructor

How to become a driving instructor

If you’re thinking of becoming a driving instructor I recommend you spend time reading through my website. It will give you an insight into what the job is REALLY like. Forget anything big schools or training companies tell you because they’re just selling you a training course and franchise. I’m not selling you anything.

Clicking these links will open the page in a new window so you can easily get back to this page.

Next, you need to read the official DVSA guidelines to becoming a driving instructor. It’s written by the DVSA (Driver and Vehcile Standards Agency) who conduct all the driving tests for both learners and instructors. It’s remarkably open and honest, much more so than many driving schools!

The above document is much more detailed than my points here but what it boils down to is that to become a driving instructor you must:

  • Have held a full UK manual driving licence for 4 years with no points. Automatic licences are not allowed unless you have a disability and want to become an automatic instructor.
  • Be over 21.
  • Be able to read an older style car number plate (such as A111 AAA)  from 27.5 meters away or for a new style plate (AA11 AAA) from 26.5 meters away. That’s because the font used on newer plates is very slightly smaller than on the older plates.
  • Be able to say the word “stop” clearly and immediately. People with stutters or stammers are not usually allowed to become instructors because of this.
  • Be able to pass an extended criminal records check.
  • Know every single road within at least a 5 mile radius of where you live and be able to plan routes in your head instantly, avoiding junctions that the pupil couldn’t handle (don’t worry about this one too much, you’ll learn it on the job).
  • Get on well with people, have good communication skills and be personable.
  • Be able to run a small business successfully (even if working at a driving school you will be self employed).


If you meet those requirements…

You’ll then need to pass three difficult tests.

Part 1 – Advanced theory

Part 2 – Advanced driving

Part 3 – Test of ability to teach

These tests are all conducted by the DVSA, that’s the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. They are a government body that conduct all driving tests for learners, instructors and anyone who wants to gain a driving/riding licence of any kind.

Once you have passed these 3 tests you’ll be given an ADI badge which gives you the right to take money in return for driving tuition. Only ADI’s can do this by law which means that anyone who wants to learn to drive properly and professionally will have to come to you.


Running your own business

There is also a 4th part to being a driving instructor – running your own business. This is a vital part because without it you’ll never succeed as an instructor and will be one of many instructors that quits the job within months of qualifying.

I’ve always found it stupid that so many training school and colleges are happy to just get you through the 3 DSA exams and then drop you right in at the deep end when you have no idea how to survive as an instructor. Ask any questions about paying income tax, book keeping or self employment and they don’t want to know. My training includes a full course on all of those things and a lot more.

All driving instructors are self employed, there’s no such thing as an instructor who works for a driving school. Even if you work with a big school you’ll still be responsible for running your own business, paying your own tax, booking your pupils in and taking payments.


Taking your first steps to being a driving instructor


1) First of all, read everything on this site about becoming a driving instructor and make sure it’s for you.

2) If you’ve done your research and are keen to get started as an instructor then you’ll first need to have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check done. This used to be known as a CRB (criminal records bureau) check. You need this because you’ll be working with people under the age of 18.
Click here to arrange your DBS

3) When you’ve done that just click on the link below to register your interest with the DSA and start the ball rolling.
Yes, I want to be a driving instructor!

You’ll then be sent all the info you need to book your part 1 along with lots of useful info on what to expect from your exams and training.


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