Becoming a Driving Instructor

A New Career…

Have you ever imagined—what does it take to do this kind of work?

If this is you, here are some insights into what is involved in this very professional and challenging, yet highly rewarding career.

What does it take?

There are many attributes and skills needed to teach driving on today’s roads. Interpersonal and communicative skills for effective dialogue and building rapport, with many people. An aptitude to fit the role of a teacher with some insight into how people learn, and gain understanding. Problem solving, planning, multi-tasking, time management skills along with administrative and business skills for effectively working as a self-employed professional…

Above all you need the motivation to succeed and make a difference in the transport industry.

The Market

Several factors contribute to the continued need for qualified driving instructors such as the volume of people annually turning seventeen, and their need for vocational or educational mobility. Not to mention the number of international driving test candidates each year required to take a UK driving test. Combining this with the rising driving test standards reflected in the national average number of hours taken to pass the test now which is approximately 45 hours. This is statistically shown over the previous 10 years, between 1992-1994 54% of men aged 17 to 20 held a licence in contrast to 2004-2005 when the figure fell to 29%. There are also post-test training and evaluation opportunities.

Benefits of becoming an ADI

Flexibility—all driving instructors are self-employed, which means flexibility and freedom when managing your weekly schedule, to suit other demands on your time. You can work from 1 to 10 hours or more a day. This also means flexibility over your annual holidays. This level of flexibility also extends to the possibility of freezing your ADI licence and restarting again after time away from teaching, perhaps for study travel or maternity leave, an option rarely available in most employed positions.

Financial rewards

Self-employment is generally acknowledged as more financially rewarding than employed work of a similar nature, and this is generally true as a driving instructor in relation to other employed work when comparing working hours and qualifications earned / experience gained.
Typical weekly earnings—based on working for an established driving school:

Gross income for 40 hours at £20 per hour: £800


  • Franchise fee £200 (includes car costs and supply of pupils)
  • Inland Revenue / NIC £50
  • Fuel £50

Net income / week £500

Job satisfaction—Being a driving instructor enjoys the position of meeting many different people and gives a high level of satisfaction knowing that you are teaching someone a valuable life skill, both throughout their lessons to the test day and potentially beyond with the variety of post-test training roles available within today’s driver training industry.

There is scope for career development as an ADI with a range of possibilities, such as ADI, fleet or advanced driver training or theory presenting, besides more.

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