Driving Instructor

Want to become a Driving Instructor?

If you think you have the nerve of a fighter pilot and the patience’s of a saint, you may just make a good driving instructor.

Apart from an interest in driving, becoming an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) will be down to your personal characteristics and the ability to build a good rapport with your pupils.

Teaching people to drive can be an extremely rewarding career. You get to help new drivers begin to learn a brand new skill – one that will serve them for the rest of their motoring lives. So imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll get when your learner driver passes their driving test.

What does it take to be a Driving Instructor?

The job of an Approved Driving Instructor is to teach learners to drive safely and get them ready for their driving test. This involves not only giving sound instruction, but also mentoring the learner about the road safety and other related matters.

It’s up to you as a qualified instructor to be in full control of the lesson and be able to deliver the correct level of tuition, suited to the individual learner’s needs.

Time management is also key.

Why become a Driving Instructor?

– Work the hours you want, take time off when you need to.
– Take control of your Work/Life Balance.
– Be your own Person-In-Charge.
– Improved Job Satisfaction.
– Good Earning Potential.
– Job Security.

What is the Qualifying Process?

1. You must hold a full UK or EEA unrestricted car driving licence.

2. You must have held your licence for at least 4 years previously, in order to be
entered into the Approved Driving Instructors Register.

3. You must not have been disqualified from driving at any time in the 4 years
prior to being entered in the Register.

4. Be a ‘fit and proper’ person to have your name entered in the Register.

5. You will also need to apply for a Criminal Record Bureau check as part of this

The Hours

Typically you should look to be working approx 30 to 35 hours per week, with allowing time for travelling from pupil to pupil.

Your working week would have to fit around your pupils’ availability to have driving lessons. Bearing this in mind, you should be prepared to work evenings and weekends.

You will be normally be spending most of your time, sitting as a passenger in the car while conducting your driving lessons and this can be sometimes up to two or three hours.

The Earnings

There are many bold claims by the media and other training establishments & schools of earnings up to £40.000 + … and a company car (which, of course, you need to pay for).

The average cost of driving lessons is £22.00 per hour, working an average 30 hours per week.

See below

Earning based on 30 hours x £22.00 = £660.00

Weekly expenses:

Car rental, Insurance, Franchise: £100.00 to £300.00 depending on which school you go with. So let’s say approx £150.00 per week
Fuel: £80.00

ADI Badge: £50.00

Total Weekly expense: £280.00 Approx
Minus £280.00 from £660.00 means you earn £380.00!

So how do you earn more money from this profession, without working long hours?

In the beginning you will need to work hard for a local reputable driving school, in order to qualify and get some insight into how the Industry works.

After qualifying, you will notice that a lot of new pupils joining your school will be asking for you by name. This is great news, and you should at this point consider setting up your own driving school and going solo.

I did exactly this and never looked back, with this being my 18th year as a solo Driving Instructor. Besides, you would not want your learners to say, “Hey I passed with such-and-such driving school,” and hardly ever mention the Driving Instructor’s name. Why should the driving school named on your head board take all the credit for your hard work?

The work is certainly out there. By the way of hard work, lots of good recommendations, word of mouth, and social media advertising you could see your business grow and income rise to a good, sustainable level.

Good Driving Instructors are always in demand and can charge anything from £26.00 to £30.00 per hour. I started charging £29.00 per hour a few years back, with waiting times of up to 3 weeks to join my school even now.

So now look at the new potential earning figures based on you running your own car!

Earnings based on 30 hours per week at average £25.00 per hour
30 x £25.00 = £750.00

Minus all your expenses weekly:
Car lease £40.00
Insurance: 15.00
Petrol: £80.00
ADI Badge: £1.00
Servicing: £10.00

Total: £146.00
Earnings now: £750.00 Minus expenses £146.00 you earn £604.00 or over £30.000 gross per annum.

(There are not many driving schools who will demonstrate it like this for you)

There are also good opportunities to earn extra money as a Driving Instructor. To mention a few:

– Sell theory books to your pupils
– Run theory test classes
– Run your pupil to the theory test centre during a two hour lesson
– Do the Pass Plus course

The Exams

There are 3 qualifying tests to become an ADI.

You will need to complete the qualifying process within 2 years of passing the ADI part 1 test exam.

You’re only allowed 3 attempts at each of the ADI part 2 and part 3 tests. You’ll have to restart the process if you use up all your attempts on part 1 & 2 or if it’s more than 2 years since you passed the ADI part 1 test.

First part:
Theory Test – The test takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and includes: multiple-choice questions on Hazard Perception / Highway Code Plus / Signs, Signals and Road Markings

Second part:
Test of Driving Ability- This is an advanced driving test and a very high standard of competence is required. You must display a thorough understanding of the principles of good driving and road safety.

Third part:
The Instructional Ability test, this takes around one hour and includes an assessment of:

– Core competencies
– Instructional techniques
– Instructor characteristics

The examiner will assess these by playing the role of 2 different pupils during the exam. The exam lasts for 1 hour.

You can apply for a trainee Driving Instructor’s badge and teach learner drivers for payment after successfully completing parts 1 and 2 of the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) test.

A trainee instructor’s licence:

– Helps you to get familiar with how the training industry works.
– Allows you to teach pupils to drive, which then helps you to get ready for the ADI test part 3.
– Allows you to get paid for giving driving instruction.
– The badge is valid for a duration of 6 months.

Important Note:

The trainee licence should be only considered as an aid to help you gain experience for your last and final qualifying exam. It is all too easy to start using the trainee licence to make lots of money and forget the real purpose it was granted for.


Your training could cost from zero, to up to £5.000. Yes ZERO..

How? Well there are some training establishments out there, who will offer you free training in order to tie you into a 2/3 year contract to work with them.

This would mean you will need to work long hours, normally 7 days a week for a lowest hourly rate in order to pay off your training fees.

What you need to consider is, whether the training establishment you decide to go with is selling you a course or a career.

Remember cheap is not cheerful, and can in fact turn out to be tearful in the end!

Here at Book Driving Test we work with our own list of top U.K Driving Instructors and Training Establishments who won’t take you for a ride.

These have been vetted by us and have agreed to work to a code of ethics and a standard and – in the past – have turned out some real good quality teachers in the driving industry.

Our training centres are based all over U.K and we can put you in touch with a trainer local to you.
I have personally trained people to become Driving Instructors, and I can say today that, with the marketing help I gave them, they are still working independently on their own.

Poorly trained Instructors who find it hard to hold onto learners, will need to join a driving school (such as the major brands we see around our high streets) in order to get regular work.

Like any new business you will time need to build a good reputation. In the beginning, (as I did) it may be a good idea to carry on with your current job, while you go through the training process. Also be aware not to pay too much up front for your training. If your circumstances change and you are unable to continue the course, you may find that you lose part of or your entire course fee.

We hope the information above has given you an insight into how the driver training industry works. Do feel free to contact us for further information or an informal chat on how to become a Government Approved Driving Instructor (A.D.I).

Please email any questions via our Contact Us Page and I will personally respond to your enquiry via email, if you prefer to be contacted by phone? Don’t forget to add a daytime number we can reach you on.

Best of luck,

Approved Driving Instructor A.D.I (car)

High graded, experienced, Instructor with the Department of Transport with over 18 years of teaching experience.




Other Qualifications:

ADI: Driving Instructor Trainer (Train the Trainer)

Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) license Holder:  (D:Manual)

PCV Trainer

Midas Certificate – Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme