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How hard is it to become a driving instructor?

People decide to become driving instructors for a whole host of reasons. Perhaps they’ve recently been struck with redundancy, maybe they’re looking for an exciting new career outside of the mundane 9 to 5, or possibly just want a new challenge. Whatever the reason for becoming a driving instructor, once you embark on the journey and pass all the exams, you’ll be met with the same benefits all driving instructors experience; a work life balance you only dreamed of, fantastic earning potential, and the ultimate job satisfaction of teaching new people a skill they’ll take with them for the rest of their life…we can tell you now, nothing quite beats it!

If you’ve ever looked into becoming a driving instructor, you’ll know there’s quite a lot to it. Lots of information, and many different schools and training providers promising and quoting a wide range of different benefits, features and figures. However, what many training providers won’t tell you is the reality of training to become a driving instructor, and just what you need to make it work for you. The sad reality is, for some training providers once they have your hard earned money for the training course they’re happy. Not for us, we’re only ever happy when you get given your shiny green ADI badge. 

We haven’t created this blog to make training to become a driving instructor sound horrible or traumatic, in fact, it’s quite the opposite! But if you enter a training programme committing both money, and time, it’s important that your expectations are set so you know exactly what it entails. 


Basic requirements

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way to start. What are the basic, legal requirements that you need to become a driving instructor? You must:

-          Be over the age of 21 and have held a driving licence for at least three years
-          Have not been banned from driving in the last 4 years
-          Have no more than 5 points on your license 

Because you’ll be teaching real people how to drive a vehicle, you must also obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. 

That’s the boring legal bits out of the way…but what else do you need to become an awesome driving instructor?


Soft skills

Being a top-tier instructor requires an individual to have several different skills. Obviously, being a good driver certainly helps, and you’ll even need to take another practical driving test as part of the process to ensure that you are but being a driving instructor is so much more than just knowing how to drive. 

I’m sure when you were at school you had those subjects that you really excelled at, or enjoyed more than others? There’s a very good chance that’s because you liked the teacher you had. Driving instruction is no different, you’re essentially teaching someone a new subject they have no experience in…or have had a negative experience previously (it happens more often than you’d think!). So, ensuring you have a good set of soft skills is paramount. Patience, the ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances and situations and great interpersonal skills are just a few! Ever been told you’re a fantastic communicator? You’ll probably make a great driving instructor…

Business spirit

As a driving instructor, whether you are running your own school or you’re part of a franchise like My Four Wheels, you are a business owner. You’re self-employed, and therefore it’s important that you treat it as it is…a business. Now we’re not saying you need to be the next Elon Musk but getting to grips with all of the ‘stuff’ outside of the actual teaching is a really important part of it. Not only will it make the job much more enjoyable, but it will also maximise your earning potential…and who doesn’t want that? 

Diary management, keeping on top of your accounts, having the spirit and enthusiasm to work the hours you can…not just the hours you want, and understanding you might have to go that extra mile in the first instance to build up your reputation are all qualities we look for when recruiting new driving instructors. Could that be you?


How much can you earn as a driving instructor?

Answering this question isn’t a simple one, as there are many different variables that come into play. However, as a fully qualified driving instructor working the same hours you would expect from a full-time job, you can expect to earn over £30,000 per annum. 

If you’d like more information on how much you can earn as a driving instructor, read our handy little guide here. 


Training and exams

So, you’ve got this far, and everything sounds pretty promising. You’re happy in yourself that you have what it takes, in principle, to make a fantastic driving instructor…so how do you actually do it? 

To become a driving instructor you must sit and pass 3 exams. These are known as your Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. They are a theory test, a practical driving test, and an instructional ability test. Now, can you pass these exams without any training from a professional? Technically yes, but your chances of passing are slim to none! The tests you must pass to become a driving instructor are not straightforward, and many will stumble along the way. To give you an idea, here are the national pass rates for the 3 tests in the UK:

-          Part 1 – N/A
-          Part 2 – 54.7%
-          Part 3 – 36.7%

Those numbers seem quite low, don’t they? That’s why it’s really important that you choose a training partner that can offer you the very best support to help you nail the test the first time and offer you the career of your dreams. Want to find out more about that? Get in touch with us today and we’ll let you know how we can help. 

For more information on what each test entails, and the process you need to go through to become a driving instructor, click here.  

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