Thinking About Training to be a Driving Instructor?

(A simple guide that says it how it is…)

This introductory guide to training to be a driving instructor could save you hundreds of pounds! Before you invest your time, money and energy into training for your new career we strongly recommend you read this ‘everything you need to know’ resource to help you decide if this career is for you. With your best interests at heart, we will lay out the facts about the job, the training options and how not to fall into regrettable traps others have found themselves in, as well as the links you need to start the process if you’d just like to get going!

Throughout this guide, we have included quotes from trainees and newly qualified instructors who are happy to share their experiences with you. And, after all, that, if you’re still keen we’ll talk you through the next steps!


“So happy that all the hard work paid off, finally living my dream of coaching safe driving for life…”
Sammie – Newly qualified ADI

Let’s start with some FACTS!

Firstly, there are NO guarantees of success!

Any training company promising 100% qualification rates or guaranteed work for all are not totally honest. This is an industry with a high uptake rate and a low completion rate. The facts are….

Your chance of successfully qualifying depends on many factors, including the research you are doing now and the choices you make.

Let’s start you off on the right foot and look at the things you should be considering before you take the next step.

The videos in this section are under the headings -

So You’re Thinking About Being A Driving Instructor?

What is a Driving Instructor (ADI)?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of being a Driving Instructor

Who can Train to be a Driving Instructor - The Legal Bit

The Qualifying Process in a Nutshell

The Qualifying Process in a Little More Detail

Your Training Options – Important Decisions!

So I’ve Not Been Put Off! Now What?

We strongly recommend you watch all the videos, listen out for the advice and follow the suggested links for further information. The written text is also there to highlight some points we make in the videos.


“I feel for once I am good enough and I absolutely love what I do. I love that I am constantly learning alongside the students I am teaching…every day is a learning opportunity. It’s the best job in the world!”

Stacey, newly qualified ADI

Video One – ‘So You’re Thinking About Being A Driving Instructor?’

  • Watch the videos in this ‘Thinking About’ section
  • Do your research
  • Make an informed decision

Video Two – ‘What is a Driving Instructor (ADI) ?’

A person

  • who is licenced to charge when providing driving tuition
  • has an up to date DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service)
  • has passed 3 DVSA tests to prove theory knowledge, driving ability and teaching ability
  • who agrees to have their teaching standard assessed every 2-4 years
  • who is graded by the DVSA
  • who shows a valid licence (green badge) in their vehicle when giving paid tuition
  • who can further their career by offering driver tuition in a number of specialist fields

It is illegal to charge or accept money for driving lessons unless registered to do so by the DVSA

Many driving instructors also sign up to a Code of Professional Conduct and undertake continuous professional development (CPD) to keep up to date with their teaching techniques.

There are currently in the region of ….. registered driving instructors on the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency) Register*
This figure has fluctuated over recent years and is influenced by recession, redundancy figures and national advertising campaigns and marketing strategies.

Let’s face it, learning to drive doesn’t necessarily mean needing to be taught by a qualified driving instructor. Many provisional licence holders are ‘taught’ successfully by friends or relatives every year. You may even be considering this as a career choice after supervising someone’s learning and quite enjoying it! However, ……. People a year take some sort of official driving lessons with a registered driving instructor.

“Not all trainers are created equally and if you’re not careful it can cost you more than just money”
Gail, Newly qualified instructor

Video Three - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of being a Driving Instructor

  • Great job satisfaction
  • Get to meet and work with people from many different backgrounds and with many different needs
  • Can fit around your current personal situation or commitments
  • No academic qualifications or C.V needed
  • Need to be flexible
  • Need to be good at diary management
  • Need business and self employment skills
  • Be prepared to be sharing the road with many other road users and cope with their decisions and behaviour!
  • Be prepared to seek out your own support networks and make local contacts
  • Be prepared to be challenged!
  • Be cautious about the ‘promises’ made by some training providers

Take this no obligation, free DVSA approved survey to see if you have the makings of a driving instructor!

Video Four - Who can Train to be a Driving Instructor - The Legal Bit

  • To be accepted onto the DVSA register before you train you need to meet the criteria
  • Be 21 years old before completing the training process
  • Hold a full licence in the category you will be teaching in for a minimum of 3 years
  • Be a ‘fit and proper person’
  • Have no more than 5 standing points on your driving licence

“There are good lessons, bad lessons and no formulae. Never before have I understood individuality as I do now, and I’ve so so much more to learn.”

Octavia, newly qualified instructor

Video Five - The Qualifying Process in a Nutshell

  • Have a valid DVSA DBS check and be accepted onto the register before training
  • Take and pass the part 1 test – theory and hazard perception
  • Take and pass the part 2 test – driving ability
  • Take and pass the part 3 test – teaching ability

There are conditions to each test and we strongly suggest that you become familiar with each part of the qualifying process (explained in the video)
The links below give you the information in detail -


“I underestimated the work involved in getting the qualification, but I’m so pleased and relieved to finally be doing the job I’ve wanted for nearly 20 years”

Philippa, newly qualified instructor

Video Six - Your Training Options – Important Decisions!

  • Do your research!
  • Don’t sign anything until you are 100% certain
  • Pay only as much as you can afford to lose
  • Speak to the trainer in person
  • Ask to speak to previous trainees
  • Look at online reviews
  • Consider trainers on the ORDIT register but don’t dismiss non ORDIT training
  • Read the contract looking for tie ins and conditions
  • Do your sums and know if financially the training and possible franchise fees are affordable
  • Consider all options when considering taking a trainee licence
  • Don’t give up your current job and put all your eggs in one basket
  • Be realistic with your timeframe and the possibility of not qualifying
  • Have a back up plan

Here is the link to trainers on the ORDIT register

‘…the isolation is a problem to me. It’s knowing who you can ask for advice without feeling stupid or belittled and who to trust too’
Barry, New qualified instructor

‘So I’m not put off! What next?’

  • Come and join the no obligation pdi facebook page –
  • Continue to do your research and use the following helpful check list of questions to ask potential training providers and ADI trainers

Questions To Ask A Potential Training Provider or ADI Trainer

  • How will my training work/run?
  • How much do I pay up front or can I pay as I go?
  • Can you talk me through how the part 1, part 2 and part training is delivered?
  • How much in car training do you offer for both part 2 and part 3 and how much is classroom/workshop based?
  • What experience do you have as an instructor/trainer?
  • How long have you been an instructor/instructor Trainer
  • How many trainees do you currently support?
  • Can I meet some of your current trainees?
  • Can I meet my trainer before I commit?
  • What is your refund policy?
  • Where will my training take place?
  • How flexible will the days, times of my training sessions be?
  • How much flexibility/availability does my trainer have?
  • What happens if I start my training and then realise it isn’t for me?
  • Am I guaranteed practical training if it takes me a long time to complete the theory?
  • What happens if I fail a test?
  • Will I have the opportunity to observe other instructors teach?
  • How many hours will my trainer observe me teaching real learners rather than role playing?
  • What is included in my franchise?
  • What length of contract am I signing up for?
  • I understand that if I choose to take a trainee licence I will need to complete 40 hours of part 3 training before applying and 20 hours of further training within 3 months – how many of these hours will be in-car, role play, classroom or in a coffee shop?
  • Can I be sponsored on a trainee licence without signing up to a franchise?
  • How much support do I get becoming a driving instructor?
  • What other options will you support other than a pink licence?
  • How many franchises do you operate In my postcode area? How many pupils did you supply to each of them over the last 12 months?
  • How many more franchises are you targeting to add?
  • How much will I ACTUALLY earn after paying the franchise?
  • How long is the notice period and does this include time spent as a pdi or just when you qualify?


'Mine wasn't ORDIT I went based in reputation and the strategy they outlined to me which sounded sensible plus the level of support the company could offer'.

Rob, newly qualified instructor