Driving Lessons No Show

Driving Instructor life - The bad side

One of the things any driving instructor never likes happening is turning up for booked driving lessons and finding out that the pupil is not there to take the booked hours of driving tuition.

Any driving instructor appreciates that emergencies occur, but surely courtesy demands you at least phone the driving school to let them know you will not be taking the driving lesson, and thus save a wasted journey, time and fuel costs for the instructor!

I've just returned from a pupils house who had a driving lesson that was booked straight after last week's driving tuition, only to be told the pupil is not at home. What makes this worse, is that I had sent a reminder text this morning about the driving lesson, had not gotten any cancellation and turning up, I get a no show! Most of my London driving lessons are within 10 minutes driving distance from my Mill Hill driving school base, so it wasn't that bad for me, even though I might have been able to book another person instead if I had been given early notice, still this happens to driving instructors all over the UK, and sometimes the distance travelled in rural areas can be quite far.

In these days of rising UK petrol prices, high living costs, a driving instructor needs to minimise costs just as much as pupils would like cheaper driving lessons.

Personally if pupils persistently cancel lessons late or do not show up for driving lessons, I put them on a low priority list when it comes to booking my diary, if they can't make the effort of turning up for driving lessons, they I'd rather book in someone else in their place.

Are you a No show pupil when it comes to driving lessons?


  1. My wife and I own a small driving school in Southern California and I could not agree more. No show students are one the most frustrating parts of the job.

    In the California driving school industry it is very common for driving schools to charge no show students a cancellation fee.
    This fee can range from $20-$90 per occurrence. Is this not something that UK driving schools do?

    Another method for reducing no show students that we commonly employ is requiring students to pay in advance. If one of our students has previously no showed we expect a payment for the next appointment to be made 24 hours in advance. It seems that students are more likely to be on time for their lessons if they've already paid.

    My wife and both enjoy reading your blog and watching your videos. It is fascinating to observe the similarities and the differences between driving instructors on opposite sides of the globe. Keep up the good work!

  2. Anonymous5:31 pm

    Josh, thanks for the comments, you do have a hefty cancellation fee, the most we charge is the lesson fee.

    While a few pupils do pay for their driving lessons in advance (especially if they get a discount), those doing individual lessons, don't always, and to be fair, most of my pupils do keep their lessons, or cancel within the required time, so not generally a problem, and this post was merely an eye opener to those thinking of becoming a driving instructor as there is a driving school current running a TV advert which is prompting people to think of changing careers.

    Thanks to your wife and you for your continual support.




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