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Driving Instructor training

Do you want a high income, flexible hours and an apparently easy lifestyle?
Those are the kind of promises made in many adverts about training to become a Driving Instructor. But are these promises true? This website is dedicated to giving down to earth, no nonsense impartial advice. Whilst there are many benefits in becoming a Driving Instructor, it's not all plain sailing!

Of all those who set out on the road to qualify as a Driving Instructor it is estimated that only 1 in 10 actually pass the Final Exam and become a fully qualified ADI (Approved Driving Instructor)! Others fail the exams, or find it too hard, or change their minds or other factors have intervened. Everyone assumes they will pass but there are no guarantees that you will.
Then even when you've qualified, there's no certainty about how much work you will get and what salary you will earn as a Driving Instructor. Although most Driving Instructors have been fairly busy in recent years, you cannot be sure that this will always be the case. In the 1990's many good Instructors went out of business because there simply wasn't enough work available, while instructor training organisations were pumping out more and more Driving Instructors. Read on...


Instructor training

How much can you earn as a Driving Instructor

Most Driving Instructors are not on a fixed salary. Even those who work for the big Driving Schools like BSM or the AA, are self-employed and unless they are totally independent they have to pay a weekly franchise fee. Then you also need to budget in that you will get no holiday pay, sick pay or pension scheme other than what you provide for out of your gross income. You will need to make provision for these out of your earnings. Also check on whether the advertised potential earnings are for the number of hours worked or number of driving lessons. If it is for say 40 x 1 hour lessons, you need to add in approximately 10 minutes travelling time between lessons (ie another 6½ hours) and then add time for admin, bookkeeping, lesson planning, ongoing training, phone calls, car maintenance etc. 40 lessons can easily add up to 50 hours of actual work time per week.

Be realistic about how many hours you want to or are able to work each week. Many experienced Instructors would recommend that you work no more than 7 lessons per day (= 42 lessons for a six day week). That gives you no extra time off! 42 lessons for 48 weeks at £20 per lesson = £40k gross income. Take off £2k for petrol £160 per week for an average franchise including a car and your left with about £30k less any other expenses. So a Driving Instructor could earn around £30,000 for working 50 hours a week (42 lessons + travelling time etc) with 4 weeks off for holidays and public holidays. This of course assumes you can fill every lesson slot available, every week in your calendar.

Many Instructors when qualified, leave the organisation they trained with, disillusioned by the lack of pupils that are provided for them!

Now lets look at a more realistic scenario:!

A more realistic scenario would be 35 lessons on average per week. This allows for the odd lesson off here and there, the odd day sick, slack times eg coming up to and just after Christmas and pupil cancellations. 35 lessons x 46 weeks (4 weeks annual leave and two weeks effectively for public holidays) = 1610 lessons x £20 per lesson = £32,200. Subtract an average franchise fee and petrol from this and you get a more realistic figure of about £22-23,000 pa.

To earn a high income as a driving instructor, you have to work very hard...

What is the best way to get trained? There are many driving instructor training providers around - just look in your local paper or yellow pages. Don't just go to the one offering the highest potential earnings or cashback deals or the biggest adverts but look carefully at their instructor training packages. What is the total cost. What support do you get? Is there a limit to the number of hours available for Part 3 training? Can you speak to people who've been through their training programme? How many Instructors stick with their driving school after they've qualified? Don't be afraid to ask questions and get the whole story! Ordit is the DSA register of approved Instructor Trainers. You can also find more information about Franchises.

How much does Driving Instructor Training cost?

Expect to pay in the region of £2000 for a full course to cover all three instructor exams. This usually includes 40 hours of tuition for Part 3 - the test of your instructional ability. In addition you will have to pay exam fees totalling around £200 and when qualified your licence to give instruction for 4 years costs a further £200

Amongst the biggest driving instructor trainers are BSM and The Instructor College. Some people say that you should go with the biggest as they must be the best. However, this is not the view of most people in the driving instruction industry! There are many more local and very good local smaller businesses such as those listed at driving instructor training



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