Life as a Driving Instructor - It's Hard Work!

If you are thinking of becoming a driving instructor, you might be wondering what the daily life of an (ADI) is like. In this driving school article, I will aim to give you an idea of what a day in the life of a driving instructor looks like. Note this is from a busy day, there are times when you hardly have any lessons, so do not think that work is guaranteed, and that you will be raking in the money!

May I just say that Life as a driving instructor is not just all about sitting in the car, and allowing the learner driver control the car with you the ADI just giving instructions. There is much more to it than that, and even when you are not in the car, you are still doing some work to keep your driving school business in front of the competition.

6.30AM: Leave home as need to pickup a driving test candidate at 7am for a 8.07 dsa practical car assessment appointment.

7am: Arrive and have to wait 10 minutes for my learner to come out of house. Having checked documents, we drive for 30 minutes to test centre area, practice 2 of the test manuevers before heading into the centre. My candidate performs the bay parking exercise perfectly, I give her some last minute tips and we head into the waiting room.

8:07: The Driving examiners come out, but they are one person short, soon it becomes aparent that someone has called in sick, and we are the unlucky ones. We are told that the appoitment will be automatically re-booked to the nearest date available, and we can download a driving test compensation form on the DSA website. My learner decides to drive home to gain some extra practice despite the disappointment.

9:00: Having dropped off my test candidate, I take a short break and use the time to go through my pupil list, sending text messages to those who haven't taken driving lessons for sometime. I also reply to the voicemail received in the last hour as I don't answer the phone during driving lessons which means sometimes I lose potential customers who require immediate attention.

9.30: I start the first part of an intensive driving course, I'll be giving this driver 3 hours of tuition as part of preparation for a short notice test next week.



12.30: Take a 15 minute break, go to the toilet and have my lunch.

1.00 pm: Pickup another client for a 1.5hr driving lesson. We are going to be working hard on roundabouts and dual carriageways.

3pm: Time for the second part of the intensive driving lesson, this is 2 more hours of hard work for both of us as we continue to cover the DSA Syllabus, including covering weaknesses in driving test manuevers.

5.30pm: Last lesson of the day, an hour session for a fairly trained learner, our emphasis is on mini-roundabouts, covering making progress and proper indicating.

6.45pm: Arrive at home exhausted, but work is not done yet, as need to respond to some phone calls and text messages and complete some tax administrative record keeping. What a busy day.

Tomorrow is another day, but I only have 2 one hour lessons in my diary! What a diffrence.

Now if you wondering how much money a driving instructor makes, then here is some advice on potential earnings.

First of all, you should never think about being a driving instructor because of money, there are more financially rewarding careers out there, some requiring less hours and effort!

Anyone who has been self-employed, knows that your income is never guaranteed, and it takes time to build up a business, so the 1st year is going to be tough, and will most likely not make a profit!

An example potential instructor wages

Lets say the current lesson rate in your town is £25 for every hour, and that as a newly qualified instructor, you are paying a driving school £150 as a franchise fee every week which includes the cost of the tuition car and up to 5 pupil referrals (not guaranteed, just the minimum without additional charges). No driving school franchise will guarantee the number of pupils you will supplied, but let us for arguments sake say you get 5 pupils a week.

After your first week you've already made a loss of £25, and I haven't included the cost of petrol! After your 2nd week you have made £100 (again petrol costs not included), and that is assuming you got the additional 5 pupils who all took lessons and the 5 from last week also had driving lessons with none of them wanting tution at the same time. In reality things will not work that smoothly, and pupils will not all have lessons immediately they join an instructor, nor will they pay the maximum price in an area for an unpopular driving school! Premium rates can only be charged by the likes of BSM, AA Driving School or an established independent with a very good reputation.

By the time you factor in petrol costs, occasional tyre replacements, marketing, short notice cancellations by learners, you can see how hard it is to make a living, not to talk of those 10 lessons for £99 offers that you have to compete with!

More about being a driving instructor

How I became a driving instructor
Driving instructor training costs.
Driving instructors need to have regular check tests.

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