Become a driving instructor

Becoming a driving instructor can be a fantastic career if you succeed. If you don’t, it can become an expensive headache you wish you didn’t have. We’ve put together a five-step guide to help you avoid unnecessary pitfalls along the way.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Become a driving instructor


Earn up to £30k a year. Tempting isn’t it? If you do the maths it all adds up doesn’t it – but are those figures achievable? The reality is, most inexperienced ADI’S could take years before generating a turnover/profit of £30k. Check out  as they back up our statement. its stated there that an ADI salary will vary form £15-30k based on experience.

Before embarking on your journey as a driving instructor, I would recommend researching the key points I’ve listed below. 

• Hours you’ll work each week
• Holiday/sick pay
• Allocate 5/10% losses through lesson cancellations
• Operating costs
• Turnover
• Net Profit


Be your own boss, work your own hours. In reality, working your own hours will only be achieved if you have a constant supply of pupils who are able to take driving lessons to fit in with your schedule. Managing your hours will be determined on supply and demand. If the demand for driving lessons is low, you may find yourself not being able to cherry pick your hours. With experience and gaining a good reputation, you may find you have a nice supply of pupils, making working your own hours more achievable than it was when you first started. 

National driving schools v independent schools


I spent a lot of money with a large training organisation, which left me short of where I needed to be when taking my part 3 test. After failing my first attempt, I contacted an independent trainer who got me through the test on my next attempt. The standard of these two trainers was miles apart. In retrospect I regret paying for all my course costs upfront, as once I did that – I was tied in. My advice to you would be to go for a pay as yo go scheme for flexibility.  


Below is a list of a couple of national and local school course prices

National schools

Red course costs £2599. BSM course cost £1995 Smart course cost £1799

Local School (Liverpool)

Ashley Neal Costs £2250 Learn our way Costs £3500

As you can see, its well worth shopping around as there’s a £1600 difference between the cheapest course and the most expensive. 


Th qualifying process to become a driving instructor has 3 tests

part 1: Theory & hazard perception test Pass rate 57%

Part 2: driving Test Pass rate 48%

Part: Instructional ability Test 22%

Based on 100 people that’s a pass rate of 6/100. So why are the pass rates so low? My theory is, a provisional driving instructors pass rate could be compared to practical driving test pass rates, in the sense that everyone is different. Some learner drivers may need 30 hours to get to test standard, some could need 40, 50 or even 60 hours to get there. The same theory should be applied to your PDI training too. This could be one of the big reasons why the part 3 test pass rate is so low, given that too many PDI’S take the test when they’re not ready.


The DVSA require you to have a minimum of 40 hours part 3 training before you take the test. Will that be enough hours for everyone? Definitely not. If you don’t feel ready, don’t take the test. Yes it’ll cost more money in the short term but it will definitely save you more money in the long term.

Ask your ADI trainer what their pass rate is. Don’t be scared to ask them to prove their answer. Confirmation can be obtained by the DVSA on a yearly basis. If your trainers course costs are reasonable and their pass rate is above average its a no brainier.