Becoming a driving instructor involves several steps and meeting specific requirements. Here’s a detailed guide on how to become a driving instructor. You could go straight to our Instructor Training page and sign up today but we have pulled together the information below to help you make the right choices for yourself.

  1. Eligibility Requirements

Before you can apply, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Age: You must be at least 21 years old.
  • Driving Experience: You need to have held a full UK or EU driving licence for at least three years.
  • Driving Record: Your driving record must be relatively clean. You shouldn’t have been disqualified from driving in the four years before you applied. Additionally, you should have no more than six penalty points on your licence.
  1. Apply to Become a Driving Instructor

You need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to start your journey. You’ll need:

  1. Pass the Three Qualifying Tests

To qualify as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), you must pass three tests.

Part 1: Theory Test

Format: The theory test consists of two parts – multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test.

Preparation: Study the Highway Code, driving instructional techniques, and other relevant materials. There are many study resources available, including books and online practice tests.

Part 2: Driving Ability Test

Format: This is an advanced driving test that lasts about an hour. It includes:

  • An eyesight test
  • Vehicle safety questions
  • General driving ability assessment
  • Independent driving

Preparation: Consider taking advanced driving lessons to polish your skills.

At this part of the process you can apply for a ‘Training Badge’ which enables you to ‘earn whilst you learn’. Use application Form ADI 3 – This form is available from the DVSA website.

Part 3: Standards Check

Format: The examiner watches you whilst you run a lesson.

Preparation: You’ll need to demonstrate effective instructional techniques and an ability to adapt to the learner’s needs.

  1. Register as an Approved Driving Instructor

Once you’ve passed all three tests, you can apply to join the ADI register. You will need:

  • Registration Fee: There is a fee for this application.
  • Renewal: Your registration is valid for four years. You’ll need to undergo a CRB check and pass a standards check every four years to remain on the register.
  1. Start Teaching

Once registered, you can start teaching learners to drive. You may choose to work independently or join a driving school franchise.

Additional Tips:

Continuous Professional Development (CPD): Stay updated with any changes in driving laws and instructional techniques through CPD.

Insurance: Ensure you have appropriate car insurance for teaching learners.


DVSA Website: For official guidelines, forms, and resources.

Training Providers: Many companies offer ADI training courses that can help you prepare for the tests.

Becoming a driving instructor in the UK is a structured process that ensures you are well-prepared to teach learners effectively and safely. Good luck!

What’s Next?

You have done all the training and passed your test but can I earn a living as a driving instructor?

Yes, you can earn a living as a driving instructor in the UK, but your income will depend on several factors including location, the number of hours you work, and whether you are self-employed or part of a driving school franchise. Here’s a detailed look at the earning potential and factors influencing income for driving instructors:

Factors Influencing Income

Location: Driving instructors in larger cities or areas with high demand for driving lessons often charge higher rates than those in rural areas. For example, driving instructors in London may charge more per hour compared to those in smaller towns.

Hourly Rates: The average hourly rate for a driving lesson in the UK can vary, typically ranging from £25 to £35 per hour. Some instructors in high-demand areas or those with a strong reputation may charge even more.

Number of Lessons: Your income is directly related to the number of lessons you conduct. Working full-time (35-40 hours per week) can significantly increase your earnings compared to part-time work.

Self-Employed vs. Franchise: If you are self-employed, you keep all the money you earn from lessons but also bear all the costs (car maintenance, insurance, fuel, marketing). If you join a franchise, you may have to pay a weekly fee but might benefit from a steady stream of clients and reduced administrative burdens.

Operational Costs: Consider expenses such as fuel, car maintenance, insurance, taxes, and marketing. These can eat into your profits, so managing costs effectively is crucial.

Potential Earnings

Self-Employed Instructors

Gross Income: If you charge £30 per hour and work 35 hours a week, your weekly income would be £1,050. Over a year (assuming 48 working weeks), this would amount to £50,400.

Net Income: After deducting expenses (estimated at £10,000-£15,000 per year), your net income could be around £35,000-£40,000 annually.

Franchise Instructors

Gross Income: Similar to self-employed, but with franchise fees deducted.

Net Income: Franchise fees vary (around £100-£200 per week), so your net income might be slightly lower. However, the stability and support provided by a franchise can make this a worthwhile trade-off for some.

Additional Income Streams

  • Intensive Courses: Offering intensive driving courses can bring in higher fees.
  • Specialised Training: Providing Pass Plus courses or other advanced driving courses can add to your income.
  • Instructor Training: Experienced instructors can train aspiring driving instructors, which is often more lucrative.

Pros and Cons of Being a Driving Instructor


  • Flexibility: Set your own hours and schedule.
  • Job Satisfaction: Helping people learn to drive can be rewarding.
  • Potential for High Earnings: With effective management and high demand, you can earn a good income.


  • Irregular Income: Demand can fluctuate, leading to periods of lower income.
  • High Initial Costs: Training, car purchase, and other start-up costs can be significant.
  • Stress: Teaching can be stressful, particularly with nervous or difficult learners.

In conclusion, earning a living as a driving instructor in the UK is certainly possible, with the potential for a comfortable income. Success largely depends on effective business management, controlling costs, and maintaining a steady stream of clients. With the right approach, many driving instructors find it to be a rewarding and profitable career.

How do I find a Driving School to teach me to become a driving instructor?

Finding a reputable driving school to train you as a driving instructor in the UK involves several steps. Here’s a guide to help you through the process: 

Research Driving Schools

Start by researching driving schools that offer instructor training programs. Look for those with good reputations and positive reviews. Some well-known national driving schools that offer ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) training include:

  • RED Driving School
  • AA Driving School
  • BSM (British School of Motoring)
  • Bill Plant Driving School

But there are also independent businesses like Fantoni Driving School that offer great packages and in many cases more bespoke levels of training.

Check DVSA Accreditation

Ensure that the driving school is accredited by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). This accreditation ensures that the training meets the required standards.

Review Training Programs

Different schools may offer various training packages. Review what each program includes:

  • Part 1: Theory Training: Look for comprehensive study materials and practice tests.
  • Part 2: Driving Ability: Ensure there are sufficient practical lessons with experienced instructors.
  • Part 3: Instructional Ability: Confirm there is thorough training on teaching techniques and mock tests.
  1. Compare Costs

Instructor training can be expensive, so compare costs between different driving schools. Consider the overall value of the package rather than just the price. Check for any hidden costs or additional fees.

  1. Read Reviews and Testimonials

Look for reviews and testimonials from past trainees. This can provide insights into the quality of training and the success rate of the program.

  1. Visit or Contact Schools

If possible, visit the schools or contact them directly to ask questions. Inquire about:

  • Success rates for passing ADI tests
  • Support provided during and after training
  • Flexibility of the training schedule
  • Qualifications and experience of the instructors
  1. Consider Local vs. National Schools

Decide whether you want to train with a local school or a national chain. National schools often have more resources and standardised training programs, while local schools may offer more personalised attention.

  1. Additional Resources

DVSA Website: The DVSA website provides a list of accredited instructor training providers.

Professional Associations: Organisations such as the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) and the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC) can offer recommendations and resources.

  1. Ask for Recommendations

If you know any driving instructors, ask for their recommendations on training providers. Personal experiences can provide valuable insights.

Steps to Find a Driving School:

  • Search Online: Use search engines to find driving schools offering ADI training.
  • Visit Websites: Check the websites for detailed information about their programs.
  • Read Reviews: Look for reviews on platforms like Trustpilot, Google Reviews, and social media.
  • Contact Schools: Call or email schools to ask specific questions and get a feel for their customer service.
  • Compare Options: Create a shortlist of schools and compare them based on the factors mentioned above.

Example of Comparison Table:

Driving School Cost Support Provided Instructor Qualifications Reviews
RED Driving School £2799 Ongoing post-training Highly Experienced Positive, High Rating
AA Driving School £2499 Comprehensive resources Experienced Instructors Positive, Good Feedback
BSM £1499 Continuous support Well-qualified Excellent, High Rating
Fantoni Driving School £2499 Bespoke Training Highly Experienced Excellent, Personal Endorsements

Prices are subject to change and should be verified with your preferred Driving School before you make any commitment.

By following these steps, you should be able to find a reputable driving school that will provide the training and support you need to become a successful driving instructor in the UK.

“I make my living as a Driving Instructor and Trainer, which is an incredibly fulfilling job.” If you want to start your career with me, let’s talk (call 07912147090)Dan