In this brief blog, I summarise my experience of the pros and cons of becoming a driving instructor.

The Good…


However you go about being a driving instructor, either with a national school or as an independent instructor, you will be in complete control of your own schedule. Nothing beats that feeling of knowing that you are in control of your day (subject to customer demand!).

Do you have trouble at work getting the time off you need? As a driving instructor you can choose the hours that suit you and your circumstances. As a dad myself, this is a major advantage to me and my family and I enjoy the freedom of handling my own diary. 

Driving instructors are in demand

The demand for driving instructors has been widely publicised as being extremely high for some time now. I was already at full capacity with a waiting list before the Covid-19 pandemic and the backlog hasn’t yet been cleared since restrictions began to ease. It is believed that the backlog will last until 2024, which should provide some security, particularly for new instructors entering the market.

So as you can see, if ever there was a time to consider a new career as a driving instructor, this is it.

Job satisfaction

Teaching a new driver to drive safely and achieve their goal of passing the driving test is hugely rewarding. Sure, there will be pupils that see passing the driving test as a, “right of passage.” However, to some, passing the driving test can be life changing. Knowing that you have helped someone to gain new independence which may improve their job prospects or allow them to take their children for days out, for example, will provide tremendous job satisfaction.

Earning potential

With the demand for driving instructors being as it is, making a good income is very achievable. You can make an income as a driving instructor whilst training to complete your qualification and this is a very good way of reducing the overall cost of your start up fees.

In the current climate, a full time driving instructor can be looking to earn around £35,000-£40,000 per year before tax. That’s if you are clocking around 35 hours of driving lessons per week and includes 4 weeks holiday per year.

Meeting new people

Learner drivers are a diverse group, offering a great chance to meet new people from a variety of backgrounds who all have a story to tell. Being a driving instructor requires great people skills. You might even say that being able to handle personalities from all walks of life is just as important as the job itself. Being light hearted where possible will put your students at ease and knowing how to deal with nervous drivers is obviously critical. Combining this trait with a professional attitude will go a long way to cementing a great reputation.

The not as good…

The “buck” stops with you

In the same way that being self employed has its freedoms, there are important considerations to be made. Being a driving instructor is half of your task. The other half is all other aspects of running a business, including marketing, book-keeping and diary management.

A driving instructor’s day doesn’t switch off after the last lesson. You will be busy replying to texts or emails, or working out your new business strategy.Thankfully, the HR aspect is usually limited if you work for yourself!

You might be a great driving instructor, however business acumen is also essential to success in a crowded market. 

Prepare for the unexpected

During your calendar year you will have unexpected events that will affect how much you earn. Examples might be expensive car repairs, very bad weather or illness. It’s best to accept this as all part and parcel of being a driving instructor and perhaps plan that you will have up to two working weeks per year being out of action for an unexpected reason. That way you will feel less frustrated when it inevitably happens.

Treat any forced time off as a chance to catch up with any continuous personal development (cpd) and admin. Turning a negative experience into something that might actually increase your earnings in the long run.

Similarly, there will be weeks when you are quieter than expected, such as when many students are on holiday or they cancel last minute. It’s important to have clear terms and conditions to set the boundaries for these circumstances.

Challenging lessons

Yes, it’s true that some driving lessons can be stressful both for the student and instructor. However, that doesn’t mean that your newly-found occupation has to be stressful per se. Appropriate route planning and a non confrontational teaching style are great ways to keep stress to a minimum and it’s important that you make the most of your down-time. 

Expectations of students

Understandably, students are keen to pass their test as quickly as possible. If you are empathetic to their goals, this will go a long way to building trust between student and instructor. However, managing student’s expectations will also be part of your role as a driving instructor.

Sometimes, your students will want to take the driving test before they are ready. You will need to be open an honest about whether your student is ready to take their driving test. Managing the situation diplomatically will require a calm and professional approach.


These are just some of the pros and cons of being a driving instructor which I have experienced. It’s a rewarding job which, having done it for a long time, I still enjoy a lot. If you’d like to explore the career further, do get in touch.