How to become a Driving Instructor

If you’re looking to make a career move that better suits your time table, sees you helping people of all ages and has the potential to earn you some decent money, you could look at becoming a driving instructor.

You can either become a self-employed driving instructor, setting up your own independent business, however this involves being heard above the noise and the competition. If you want a relaxed career move then you may want to look at signing up with a driving school, like Bill Plant Driving School, which can help you out no end when you are starting out.

If you’re not sure if there’s room in the market just have a quick search in your hometown, for example, having a quick look at driving lessons in Oldham will show you whether the driving school market is over saturated where you live and may even indicate local areas close by that may not have much of an offering.

But how do you know if you have what it takes to be a driving instructor? Don’t worry, we can talk you through the steps.


First things first, you should make sure you’re eligible. If you live in the UK, the requirements are fairly simple– if you aren’t already an instructor in another country, the requirements are:

  • You must be over 21
  • Have held your driving license for at least 3 years
  • Additionally, if you only hold an automatic driving license you can only teach people to drive in an automatic car

You also need to make sure that you do not have any motoring offences or convictions outstanding as these could disqualify you. For example:

Your application can be refused if you have:

  • Been banned from driving
  • 5 or more penalty points
  • Been convicted of any non-motoring offences

If you are already registered instructor in another EU country you can apply to transfer your driving instructor registration to Great Britain. Simply apply to register your non-GB driving licence if you got yours in another EU country and then apply to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to transfer your instructor registration.

Once you’re sure you meet the requirements, then there’s the tests to consider.


As with the standard driving test when you first learnt to drive, you will also need to demonstrate your experience and ability, again, in order to be certified as a driving instructor. To that end, you will need a trainer to teach you the ropes of being a driving instructor, much like the standard driving test.

Once you feel suitably ready, you then need to pass the ADI (approved driving instructor) theory test. This will make sure your understanding of the highway code is adequate enough to teach another.

The next step is the practical test which, as with the theory, is a more advanced version of the test you initially took to become a driver, to ensure your abilities are at a high enough level to teach.

The last step to become qualified is a different kind of test, an instructional ability test. If you’ve just passed the practical test, you can apply for a 6-month training license in order to get more experience teaching students. This final test is perhaps the most important as it will be testing skills that you will have to have developed.

Setting up your Business

The last step is actually the setting up of your business – you’ll need a car with dual controls fitted and to start making some clients.

One of the simplest and easiest ways to get both is to register with a franchise, they’ll take a cut of your lesson fee but they’ll help you find clients and you can benefit from their good reputation to get you started.

You could always try going alone too to see if it works for you but signing up to a franchise is a good way to get a reliable start. Afterall word of mouth is still a powerful form of marketing and lead generation for driving instructors, so once your reputation is built you will have more options.