How to Start Your Own Driving School

Anyone who has taken driving lessons in the hopes of learning how to drive a car will remember their driving instructor. They will help you take your first steps to becoming confident on an open road. If you’re already working as a driving instructor and want to take things to another level, you should consider starting your own driving school.

More than 1.6 million driving tests are taken each year, and thousands are keen to get started every week. The demand is certainly there. If you’re patient, are good at explaining things and have the time; starting your own driving school may provide ample opportunity for you and anyone else involved in the business. If you’re purchasing multiple vehicles or leasing them, you’ll need to consider fleet insurance cover. This is essentially cover for multiple cars through one policy, which can save you time and money when renewing as everything will be combined. Utility Saving Expert, an online comparison site, can help you compare a range of leading insurers to find the best value for money.

How do I become a driving instructor?

Becoming a driving instructor, like most professions, takes a lot of time and effort on your part. You must complete a number of tasks before you can take students on the road. If you want to become an Advanced Driving Instructor (ADI), you’ll need to pass a three-stage examination, read a lot of literature, work hard and invest a good amount of money.

There are two different routes you can take to start earning an income. You can either train and work with an established franchise or start your own driving school business. Both options will mean that you will be self-employed, although they have different levels of support.

Those that have a decent understanding of how to start and manage a business will choose to start their own company. This will require a lot more work, but over a longer period, the rewards will be worth it.

What training and qualifications will I need to operate a driving school business?

To work as an Advanced Driving Instructor, you will need various qualifications, the necessary knowledge and skills and the right documentation to enter the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT), this is a directory of qualified instructors held by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

In the UK, there are about 50 qualified training institutions. These should be at the top of your to do list when selecting a training course to enrol in.

You must adhere to the following criteria to become a qualified ADI and be included in this register:

Have held a full UK or European Union (EU) car driving licence for at least four years.
Be able to read a number plate from a minimum distance of 20 metres.
Pass the Register qualifying examinations and apply within 12 months of doing so.
Pass the three-part ADI examination.
Be a fit and proper person to have your name entered in the Register. All convictions including motoring offences, still in force (not spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) will be taken into account when Register suitability is assessed.

Furthermore, you must be aged 21 or more and are not allowed to accompany a student driver unless you have held a full UK or EU driving licence for a minimum of three years.

Where should I go for training?

Selecting the right training institution will be an important decision. Once you have passed the necessary exams, you will be able to start your own driving school business.

To start with, read the guidance around becoming an ADI. This will provide you with the most up to date requirements. The UK Government website has all the essential information.

After this, you must start training for a three-part examination with an organisation that can help you develop your knowledge and skills.

The driving instructor test
The first part referred to as the ADI theory test is a written test which consists of 100 multiple choice questions. It is divided into four sections. You will need at least 85 out of 100 to pass.

The second part will test your driving ability and can be undertaken at various centres throughout the UK.

The third and final part will test your ability to instruct others. It includes a series of role-plays with varying levels of difficulty.

How much will it cost to start my own driving business?

The main cost will be the car, this will need to have dual controls. If you’re starting a larger business, you’ll need a fleet of vehicles that must be insured, taxed and fuel costs will also need to be accounted for.

When setting up a business, you will also need to register the company, keep track of all company accounts and other paperwork. Marketing costs will also need to be factored into the budget to attract students, and you’ll also have to pay the salaries of your employees. Fortunately, there are a number of online guides to help you with the business side of things.