There are numerous benefits to becoming a driving instructor. You get to be your own boss, you can work to your own schedule and you have the opportunity to work with new people every day. And that’s before you take into account the fact that it is a potentially lucrative vocation too; the average lesson costs around £25 and a new instructor can expect to earn upwards of £25,000 a year.

So how does one become a driving instructor? Well, to operate as a driving instructor in the UK you’ll need to be deemed an approved driving instructor ADI by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Here we take a look at the process of getting approved.

A Guide To Becoming A Driving Instructor

Are you Right for the Job?

Firstly, you need to ask yourself whether you have the credentials to become a driving instructor. As well as an aptitude for teaching and a certain level of patience, you’ll need to have a held a full clean driving license for at least 3 years. You’ll also need to be at least 21 years of age to begin an application.

Get a Criminal Record Check

If you pass the initial qualifying criteria, the first stage of the application is to get and pass a criminal record check. The checks are provided by a firm called Online Disclosures. If you’re applying to become an ADI for the first time you must get a new check, regardless of whether you have passed one in the past. There is a slightly different process if you are already an ADI and are renewing your registration.

Apply to the DVSA

Once you’ve passed the criminal record test you can apply to become a driving instructor online. You’ll need your driving license number and details of your criminal record check. The service is available between 6am and 11.30pm.

You’ll fill out a number of forms in order for the DVSA to process your application. The process should take under 20 minutes to complete.

Pass the 3 ADI Qualifying Tests

Next, to qualify as an approved driving instructor you need to take and pass 3 tests set by the DVSA.

The first is a theory test and costs £81. It includes a multiple choice section and a section on hazard perception, both of which must be passed to advance to stage 2. The total test takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.

Once you have passed the first test you are able to book the second. It involves a test of your driving ability, questions about vehicle safety and an eyesight examination. The test costs £111.

Finally, once you’ve passed stage 2 you can book part 3 of your ADI test. This final stage is focused on assessing your ability to instruct pupils and includes an examination of your teaching technique and core competencies. This takes the form of a role play scenario, where the examiner will play the part of the pupil. Again, the cost of the test is £111.

The tests are challenging and it’s usually advisable for budding instructors to find training before entering themselves for the tests. A great driving instructor site can be found at driving-instructor-dvds.co.uk/.

Apply for your ADI Badge

The final stage of becoming an approved driving instructor is to apply for your ADI badge. Once you’ve passed the 3 stages you’ll be qualified to do so, and well on your way to becoming a bona fide driving instructor.


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Find a Company or go it Alone

Once you’re qualified, the world is pretty much your oyster. You have the option of working through a driving school or going it alone as an independent. Both have their advantages; working through a larger driving school means you’ll benefit from an established brand and be able to pick up clients more quickly, although going it alone often gives you more freedom and the ability to pick and choose who you teach.

Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy a lucrative and rewarding career that gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. So don’t delay – take the first steps towards becoming a driving instructor today.