Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Test Part 2: The Ultimate Guide

Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Test Part 2: The Ultimate Guide


There are many great reasons to become a driving instructor, including being free to work for yourself, choosing your own hours, and earning a competitive wage.

Alongside this, approved driving instructors also celebrate the fantastic sense of job satisfaction they feel from helping learners pass their driving tests and seeing them move on to become confident drivers, gaining a valuable life skill they’ll use forever.

All this being so, the process of becoming a driving instructor and passing the required tests can be challenging; there’s no doubt about it.

That shouldn’t dissuade you from pursuing it, though! Here at Bill Plant Driving School, we support all of our trainee driving instructors from day one, making it easier and more enjoyable to kickstart your career. And once you’re up and running, it’s one of the most rewarding, varied and flexible careers around.

If you have what it takes and want to learn more about how to become a driving instructor, keep reading. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the ADI Part 2 test.

What skills do I need to become a driving instructor?

Becoming a driving instructor requires a lot of hard work and determination. Successful driving instructors often have the following skills and qualities:

  • Teaching skills
  • Customer service attributes
  • Great communication skills
  • Patience
  • Leadership qualities
  • Monitoring skills
  • Thorough attention to detail
  • Computer skills
  • Marketing skills

Some of these skills can be learnt, whilst some come more naturally to some people. With proper driving instructor training, if you’ve got the desire and patience to do it, anyone can become a driving instructor!

The road to becoming a driving instructor.

What is the ADI Part 2 test?

The second part of the ADI test is the driving test. You must show expert driving skills and control of the vehicle. This requires candidates to drive in different road and traffic conditions, where they must also display excellent knowledge of the highway code.

To take the ADI Part 2 driving test, you must bring your certificate for the ADI Part 1 test and a full valid driving licence.

What does the ADI Part 2 driving test involve?

The ADI Part 2 practical driving test allows drivers to display their driving ability and prove they are safe and attentive to other road users. The format is very similar to the standard practical driving test you’ll be taking your own pupils through before long!

The test consists of the following:

Eyesight check

The eyesight test requires candidates to read number plates from a distance of 27.5 metres for old-style number plates (monochrome). The distance for new-style number plates (yellow and black) is 26.5 metres.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

The ‘Show me, tell me’ part of the test involves the examiner asking specific questions.

In this section, the candidate will then be required to tell the examiner how they would carry out a specified safety task for the ‘Tell me’ part.

For the ‘Show me’ part of the examination, candidates must show the examiner how to carry out safety tasks.

Driving ability test

The driving ability test allows the examiner to measure your control of the vehicle. You will be asked to drive on different roads and traffic conditions.

You must display a good knowledge of the Highway Code by identifying and reacting to signs and pedestrians.

You must also display your driving ability by being aware of other road users and potential hazards. You will also be expected to display correct road procedure anticipation.


The manoeuvres section of the test will focus on your ability to reverse safely. You will be asked to carry out two exercises. This can include:

  • Parallel parking
  • Reversing into a parking bay and pulling out
  • Driving into a parking bay and reversing out
  • Pulling up to the road’s right-hand side and reversing for about two car lengths. You will then have to rejoin traffic safely.

Independent driving ability

The examiner will ask you to follow traffic signs or sat nav directions to a specified destination. This will be during the independent driving section of the test.

How long is the ADI Part 2 test?

The ADI Part 2 driving test typically lasts for around one hour. This does not include the time you may spend waiting at the test centre. It is always advised to arrive at the test centre with plenty of time to spare. If you miss your appointment, you may forfeit your fee and have to rebook.

How to prepare for the ADI Part 2 test

High-quality driving instructor training courses, such as those from Bill Plant Driving School, will provide training and advice on how best to prepare for the second part of the ADI test.

You should already have good knowledge of the highway code after passing the ADI Part 1 theory test. Rest assured; you can still look over this if there are sections you are unsure about.

The test itself is an extended driving test where you will be expected to drive to a high standard, so you should practise as much as you can.

Familiarising yourself with the roads around the test centre can earn you an advantage, It’ll help you understand road layouts and get used to the levels of traffic at the times you plan to book your test.

Prior to the test, you should also take the time to practise manoeuvres. Learning how to parallel park and reverse in the areas around the test centre can also be beneficial and give you an edge on the day.

Being able to carry out manoeuvres without committing a single serious fault is essential to your test. In your preparation, being able to drive for 60 minutes without committing a serious or dangerous fault is a good sign that candidates are ready to take the Part 2 test.

To summarise, the best way to prepare for the test is to have plenty of driving experience under your belt; this will mean you’ll approach the day with confidence, allowing you to let your ability speak for itself.

Joining a franchise to practise for your ADI exams

You don’t need to wait until you’re an approved driving instructor to join a driving school. It’s a great idea to complete your driving instructor training with a reputable driving school, such as Bill Plant Driving School. This gives you access to all the support you need throughout each stage of your training, as well as access to revision materials and a network of other trainee instructors.

In between parts 2 and 3 of your ADI test, having completed at least 40 hours of training with a qualified ADI, you can also earn money as a trainee driving instructor by working under a PDI licence. This gives you that all-important time to practise teaching real pupils before completing the third and final part of your ADI training. 

This is becoming an increasingly popular route for trainee instructors who are looking to refine their skills as much as possible in advance of their Part 3 tests. By getting a PDI licence sponsored and supported by Bill Plant Driving School, you’ll receive an additional 20 hours of training along with expert guidance from our team of ADIs.

Many trainees choose to join a driving school such as ours because of the benefits that come with working under a household name that has an established reputation for providing high-quality tuition.

You’ll be able to access greater numbers of students through the franchise’s own marketing network, leaving you with more time to focus on delivering lessons out on the roads.

The average pass rate of the ADI Part 2 test

According to government statistics, the average pass rate for the ADI Part 2 driving test for the year ending in March 2022 was 59.6%.

This gives it the highest pass rate for any of the ADI tests, with Part 1 having a 45.2% pass rate and Part 3 having a 35.3% pass rate. This means that with enough practice time, you  should be able to pass.

What happens if you fail the ADI Part 2 test?

You will have three attempts to pass the Part 2 test. Failing the eyesight test will cause you to fail the test on the spot, so it is essential that you wear your glasses or contacts if you have impaired eyesight.

If you fail the test three times, you must resist the ADI Part 1 theory test. This can only be re-sat 2 years from when it was initially passed. You can then resit the Part 2 test when you pass the Part 1 test again.

Final thoughts and next steps

The ADI Part 2 driving test is designed to test both your driving skills and your awareness of other road users. You must pass Part 2 of this test to become an approved driving instructor.

The main purpose of the ADI Part 2 driving test is to determine your driving ability. This is an essential skill if you plan to teach learners.

Bill Plant Driving School is an award-winning option. We have an incredible selection of ORDIT (Official Register of Driving Instructor Training) trained driving instructors, with a whole team of trainers who pride themselves on Bill Plant’s high standards of tuition.

Alongside this, we have also won multiple national awards. These include the Intelligent Instructor Awards, National Driving School of the Year 2023 and Training Provider of the Year 2023. We take a huge amount of pride in delivering a fantastic experience, which makes us a top choice for many potential driving instructors in the UK.

Ready to begin a rewarding career as a driving instructor? Explore our training packages to get off to the best possible start today.

FAQs about the ADI Test Part 2

How much does the ADI Part 2 Test cost?

The ADI Part 2 test costs £111.

What happens if I go off route during the independent driving section of the ADI Part 2 test?

Don’t worry; you will not be penalised for going off-route when following road signs or sat nav instructions.

The examiner will then direct you back on route. You will only be penalised if you make a driving fault while going off-route. To ensure a fair test, the driving examiner is allowed to assist with directions if signs are covered.

Do I have to take the ADI Part 1 theory test before Part 2?

Due to the nature of the testing process, you must sit and pass your ADI Part 1 theory test before you are able to sit the Part 2 driving test.

What is the pass mark for the Part 2 practical test?

Being a driving instructor is an important role that can potentially affect the safety of local roads and other drivers. With this in mind, the pass mark is challenging in order to move on to the next stages. To pass the Part 2 driving test, you must not make:

  • Over six driving faults. Also known as a minor fault: this is anything that causes an inconvenience to other road users but is unlikely to cause an accident.
    An example of this would be stalling whilst going from a standstill at a red light.
  • A serious fault. A serious fault is an action taken in the car that could lead to something potentially dangerous.
    An example of this is something that is potentially dangerous, even if it did not pose any real danger in the scenario: like if you emerged very quickly into a junction without carrying out proper observations. Even if there were no other cars around, your actions would have posed a danger to others had they been present.
  • A dangerous fault. This is an instance where someone is at risk at the scene due to the nature of your driving.
    An example of this is not checking blind spots before changing lanes and causing a vehicle to slow, swerve or stop.

You must also pass the ‘Show me, Tell me’ and eyesight test, which we mentioned above.

Do I set the sat nav for the independent driving section of the test?

The examiner will provide and set the sat nav for the independent driving section of the test, so you don’t need to worry about setting it yourself prior to beginning the examination.