Would you rather work away from your desk? Have you ever dreamt of becoming your own boss? If these ideas appeal to you, then a career as a driving instructor could be beckoning.

And if you’ve ever considered becoming an approved driving instructor (ADI), it’s a great time to do it, as instructors are very much in demand. Here we’ll look at some of the reasons why becoming an instructor could be a very smart move indeed.

What does a driving instructor do?

Being a driving instructor isn’t just about getting pupils to pass their driving test. Of course that’s part of it, but it’s also about helping people to lay foundations for a life of safe, competent driving.

A good driving instructor will help to shape learner drivers into truly responsible motorists – ones who respect other road users, drive in an eco-safe fashion, and help keep the roads safe.

Becoming a driving instructor: pros and cons

We believe that teaching a valuable skill for life is the main benefit of becoming a driving instructor. But also, we’re not going to lie – there are some challenges, and it’s not a career that suits everyone. Here we’ll look at the pros and cons.

What are the benefits of becoming a driving instructor?

Being a driving instructor can be a lucrative business. If you’d like to know more details, read our guide on how much a driving instructor could earn in the UK.

But there are some benefits to being an instructor that money can’t buy:

Being your own boss. You make all the key decisions that affect you. Of course, running your own business is a challenge – but it can also be incredibly satisfying. Being self-employed is a great way to work at your own pace, and have full control of your finances and schedule.

Work-life balance. You get to dictate your hours and availability. This also helps you to shape your time out of work, and concentrate on what’s important to you. For example, if you want to make time for your family – or go on holiday outside of the busiest times of year – you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to do so.

Meeting people. You’ll have an opportunity to make a positive impact on all your students. There may be some frustration and even tears along the way, but when they’re thrilled to pass their test, it will all have been worth it.

Driving a new car. If you join a franchise and/or lease your vehicle, it’ll be a shiny new machine in tip-top condition. And you’ll be able to upgrade to a new one every year or so.

Job satisfaction. Teaching a skill for life is in many ways its own reward. When you do your job well, everybody benefits – especially you. It’s your key to a happier working life.

What are the challenges to becoming a driving instructor?

Is it hard to become a driving instructor? It certainly can be. Instructors need to have expert-level driving ability, plus a comprehensive knowledge of the laws of the road and The Highway Code. And this is put to the test in the ADI Parts 1 & 2.

In addition, as an ADI, you need to be a people person. You’re going to be working with a range of inexperienced, nervous, potentially stressed individuals, and trying to get the best out of them. And this is put to the test in the ADI Part 3 – the test of your instructional ability.

This is possibly the most difficult aspect of the job. But when you make true progress, it can also be the most rewarding. And it’s difficult to beat the feeling when your pupil finally passes their test.

The AA is here to help

While it can be challenging to qualify, we offer two different training courses to help you along the way.

The first involves being assigned your own dedicated trainer, who will provide 50 hours of 1-2-1 in-car tuition.

The second option involves being trained via virtual reality (VR) headsets, immersive classroom sessions, and supplementary in-car training. The VR simulations involve you being placed in the passenger side of the car, and dealing with certain situations as they arise.

Whichever course you choose, you’ll also benefit from a wealth of online resources, such as videos, podcasts, exercise and online events. With The AA’s help, your career as an instructor should get off to a flying start.

Is it the right time to become a driving instructor?

At the time of writing, there aren’t enough driving instructors to meet the demand. This has several benefits for those intending to join the profession. For starters, it means that you should have no problem in finding new students, and filling up your diary. It also means you may be able to charge a decent price for lessons.

And in the longer term, you will still have job security. As long as people need to drive, there will always be a demand for driving instructors.

How do I apply to become a driving instructor?

Before you can apply, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be over 21.
  • You should have held a clean driving licence for over three years, with no motoring convictions.

If you can check these boxes, and you’re raring to go, then head over to The AA Driving School and request an info pack. We’d love to hear from you!