In the three months to September 2019, there were over 400,000 people learning to drive in the UK, so if you’re thinking about being a driving instructor, there’s plenty of business out there. But there’s also quite a bit to do if you want to qualify and that can mean significant costs. Here’s a career guide on how to go about becoming a driver instructor…
Start your engines
To begin, you’ll need to apply to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to become an ADI (Approved Driving Instructor). To do this, you’ll need to be over 21 and held a licence for at least three years. A quick online test will show if you meet all the eligibility requirements. Obviously, you’ll need to be qualified to drive the same category of vehicle that you’re planning to teach.
If you do meet the requirements, before proceeding, you’ll need to get a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) to ensure you don’t have a criminal record. For people in England and Wales, this costs £23 and takes about 14 days. While the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is responsible for general motor licensing and tax, the DVSA is responsible for ADI licensing.
Shift up a gear
Of course, to be a driving instructor, you’ll need training yourself, which means signing up for a driving instructor training programme. After that, there are three qualification tests you need to pass to qualify. The first of these is a theory test consisting of two parts: a multiple choice questionnaire and a hazard perception test. The second is a test of your driving ability – similar to a standard driving test – however, during this, you will have to demonstrate advanced driving skills and knowledge. You’re allowed three attempts to pass this part of the qualification procedure.
Once you have completed 40 hours training with a qualified ADI, you can apply for a six month training licence to gain practical experience in teaching students. This costs £140. Your own driving instructor must accompany you on at least 20% of hours spent teaching your own students.
The third and final part of the qualification procedure is the Instructional Ability Test where you will be overseen by a driving examiner in a client-focused driving lesson lasting an hour. You will have to book this in advance for a registration fee of £111 and, on the day of the test, bring your own pupil.
Driven to succeed
Once you’ve passed all the exams, you then have 12 months to register as an Approved Driving Instructor through www.gov.uk. The fee for this is £300. Bear in mind, you’ll need to renew your registration every four years and book at least one standards check in the same time frame.
Now you’re fully qualified as a driving instructor you can apply for openings at a driving school, find a range of driving instructor jobs with a quick search on Zoek UK, or set up your own business. When it comes to the typical driving instructor salary, you can expect to earn anywhere between £15,000 and £30,000 per year, depending on experience and your reputation – should you choose to work for yourself.
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