Become a driving instructor today: the preliminaries

For the right person, driving instructing is a dream job but first taking time to understand whether that person is you is paramount. It is certainly not a piece of cake but if you are willing to acknowledge its limitations, you are sure to appreciate its inherent perks.

First and foremost, it is unique in that you choose when you work and for how long so it is adaptable to a range of personal circumstances. Do you have extra-curricular commitments; another job or children to care for? As a driving instructor you can work exactly the number of hours you have spare and even designate how far away from home you travel. All taken into consideration, this amounts to a great deal of control over your schedule which is quite comparable to being your own boss: The person only person who will be doing the instructing is you!

Owning a driving license is increasingly becoming a prerequisite to even applying for a job and as the population inevitably increases, the demand for driving lessons is also steadily increasing. This means that there should be a particularly steady work flow which should give peace of mind that you will not struggle to make a living. On the off chance that you should find yourself unemployed, the qualification and skill remain for life so you should always be able to pick yourself up.

In terms of job satisfaction, driving instructing ranks highly thanks to the intimacy of the work; you are in direct contact with your clients which is something that cannot be said for most jobs in the 21st century in which workers are becoming increasingly detached from the products of their labour. As an instructor you will witness the effects of your input directly from start to finish on pupils’ journey of development. This can be extremely rewarding since your pupils will show their appreciation of your craft which grants them substantial freedom to travel and opens numerous doors in the way of job opportunities.

And there is little chance of becoming bored given the unpredictability of who will step foot in your vehicle. Each pupil will have their own quirks and traits which you must be able to adapt to and find the most efficient way of teaching them given their learning preferences. Understand that meeting all kinds of people can be taxing but the result is wide cultural exposure which makes for fantastic character building material.

Does this sound appealing to you? Perhaps due for a career change? If you have the enthusiasm for driving, teaching or both then driving instructing could be an ideal job for you. All that’s required is that you; have held a full UK or European driving licence for a minimum of 4 years, have no criminal convictions (although having them doesn’t prevent you from applying), can read a number plate from 27.5 meters away and have no more than 6 points on your licence.



In order to qualify as an ADI you must undergo a series of tests that are designed to assess various facets of your driving and teaching capability.

Part 1 (£83)

This is a theory based test, not dissimilar to the learner one but in greater depth. It lasts approximately 1 hour 45 minutes and takes place on a computer. You will be faced with 100 multiple choice questions covering a range of topics from commonplace road procedures to more specific questions about your understanding of vehicle mechanics, the law, its provisions and disabilities; to name a few. You must attain a minimum score of 85/100 to pass the theory and 57/75 to pass the other hazard perception part which consists of 14 video clips at around a minute each. You must successfully identify 15 developing hazards. Both must be passed in order for you to progress onto part 2.

Part 2 (£111)

Lasting approximately 1 hour, this is an advanced test of driving ability which should distinguish the amateur from the expert driver. It involves traversing a variety of road environments in both rural and urban areas, on dual carriageways and the motorway. Other aspects of the test include:

  • Starting off on a hill and at an angle
  • Manoeuvres such as the turn in the road and reverse/parallel parking
  • Reversing to the left and right
  • Emergency stop
  • Eyesight test
  • Vehicle safety checks


If you fail part 2 three times you are required to wait for 2 years from when you passed part 1 before you can make another attempt.

Part 3 (£111)

In the final hurdle before becoming an ADI, you must demonstrate your skill in instructing over around an hour’s duration. The examiner will act as a learner driver with very little experience and you must identify their mistakes and make suggestions for remedial action. The examiner will judge the appropriateness of them and assign your marks based on how well communicated your suggestions are.  They will cover a range of instructional techniques and also assess you for instructor characteristics.

As with the former, if part 3 is failed three times then you must wait 2 years from the part 1 pass date to take the test again and must be passed within 2 years of passing part 1.



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