Can a Trainee Driving Instructor Charge for Driving Lessons?

Can a Trainee Driving Instructor Charge for Driving Lessons?


Driving instruction is a popular career choice for individuals who want to own their own business or who just have a passion for driving, teaching and helping others. While you may think that becoming a driving instructor is a lengthy process, working as a trainee driving instructor on a PDI licence can kick-start your career and set you up for success.

The process of driving instructor training involves multiple stages, to ensure that your future pupils get the best level of tuition possible. To become an approved driving instructor (ADI), you must complete three stages of ADI training:

  1. ADI Test Part 1: Driving Theory
  2. ADI Test Part 2: Driving Ability
  3. ADI Test Part 3: Instructional Ability

Trainee driving instructors can start earning money even before they pass the third part of the ADI test by working under a trainee instructor (PDI) licence. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience in practical instruction and make money in the process.

How do I become an ADI (approved driving instructor)?

If you’re looking to become an approved driving instructor, then there are multiple options of driving instructor training courses available to you from Bill Plant Driving School. These courses are designed to fit around your existing lifestyle and how much time you have available to dedicate to driving instructor training.

  • Intensive ADI training – £1495
    • Fast-track your training
    • Train in the shortest possible time
    • Perfect for those in a hurry
    • Accommodation options available
  • Flexible ADI Training – £2395
    • Learn at your own pace
    • Perfect for those in full-time employment
    • Work around family commitments

Flexible ADI training courses are available nationwide and intensive courses are available across 21 locations, including: 

London, Croydon, Reading, Swindon, Milton Keynes, Bodmin, Ebbw Vale (South Wales), Huntingdon, Birmingham (and surrounding areas), Manchester, Bury, Leeds, Wakefield, Liverpool, Cheshire, Stoke-On-Trent, Nottingham, Sheffield, North Yorkshire (Ripon-based Driving Instructor Training Academy), Newcastle and Scotland.

Young woman on a driving test with her instructor

Can you earn money while being a trainee driving instructor?

One of the best-kept secrets about driving instructors is that they can start advancing their careers and earning money while they’re still in training. This is a real pro of becoming a driving instructor. So how does that work?

You can earn money as a trainee driving instructor by applying for your PDI licence. This is an optional stage between ADI part 2 (the practical test) and ADI part 3 (the instructional ability test), which allows you to start earning while also gaining valuable practical experience with real students.

Potential driving instructors with Bill Plant Driving School will have the option to apply for their PDI licence, allowing them to deliver driving lessons for up to six months, or until they pass ADI part 3 and become an approved driving instructor, whichever is sooner.

How does earning money as a trainee driving instructor work?

As soon as you have your trainee licence, you’re able to start earning money. Also, by offering paid driving lessons to students, you’ll develop invaluable practical skills and knowledge at the same time. These skills can help you pass your DVSA Approved Driving Instructor exams. PDIs with Bill Plant Driving School generally see higher pass rates for ADI part 3 if they’ve completed this additional stage.

If you’ve got a trainee driving instructor licence, you won’t be able to advertise your services independently. Instead, you’ll need to be affiliated with an approved driving instructor (ADI) or a driving school. This makes training with Bill Plant Driving School a great option since you will be working under a nationally-recognised driving school – which gives a great kick-start to your driving instructor career before you’ve even started.

How much money can a trainee driving instructor earn?

A trainee driving instructor can earn a fantastic wage, but the amount of money you’ll earn depends on a few variables. Your earning potential is generally based on where you live, the number of hours you work, and the driving school or ADI you are affiliated with.

When you start a PDI training franchise, you may earn as much as a qualified driving instructor. However, most driving schools advise individuals with a trainee licence to offer a lower fee per lesson to account for the fact that they have less experience.

As an example, trainee driving instructors with Bill Plant Driving School are able to earn over £1000 a week in lesson revenue, depending on the number of hours you work. You can offer tuition to learner drivers at £30-£40 an hour – this equates to approximately £560+ in lesson revenue per week if you work 20 hours, or £1,120+ if you work 40 hours per week.

It’s important to remember that trainee driving instructors may be liable for a training fee or franchise fee. This fee is deducted from their earnings and paid to the school they’re affiliated with.

For how long can you work as a trainee driving instructor?

A trainee driving instructor licence, or PDI licence, lasts for 6 months. This gives you 6 months to gain valuable practical experience ahead of part 3 of the ADI test, which focuses on instructional ability.

Of course, you don’t need to work as a trainee driving instructor for the full six months. If you feel ready to take part 3 of your ADI test after a couple of months of working as a trainee driving instructor, feel free to get your test booked.

Once you’ve passed the ADI test part 3, you’re free to work as an approved driving instructor without any restrictions. 

A female driving instructor shaking hands with a student in front of a car.

Becoming a trainee driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School

At Bill Plant Driving School, we want to help you excel as a trainee driving instructor. Our PDI training franchise option has helped thousands of trainee driving instructors become successful, qualified ADIs. Now it’s your turn.

With our PDI franchise opportunity, you’ll be able to start earning money as soon as you have your trainee licence. We also offer twenty free hours of additional training to all of our PDIs, so you can focus on honing your skills and abilities. Our driving instructor courses include flexible and intensive options so you can learn at your own pace.

We give our PDIs nothing but the best. That’s why we provide them with a high-quality tuition vehicle for their PDI training, exams, and even for their lessons. You won’t need to worry about filling up your diary, as our bookings team will pass you a steady stream of prepaid students, depending on your area’s demand. 

Of course, you’ll also be offered a position as a franchisee for our driving school once you receive your ADI qualification. So you’re given everything you need for a thriving business from the very beginning. You’ll also be part of an active community of hundreds of Bill Plant driving instructors. This means that if you need advice on anything from how to structure driving lessons to claiming tax expenses for driving instructor training, you’ll have friendly faces around to help.

Need any more information about training as a driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School? Our driving instructor training blog covers all the key questions you may have, alongside case studies from people who have been in the position you’re in now.


What is the difference between ADI and PDI?

A potential driving instructor (PDI) is a trainee driving instructor who has yet to receive a full qualification. These individuals cannot work independently and must be affiliated with an approved driving instructor (ADI) or national driving school. PDIs will have a trainee licence (or pink badge) issued to them by the DVSA, which they must display while giving lessons.

An approved driving instructor (ADI) is an individual who has passed the necessary qualifying examinations and received a licence as an instructor. They can work with driving schools or as an independent instructor. ADIs will have a full licence (or green badge) from the DVSA that allows them to work as an instructor.

When can a trainee driving instructor charge for lessons?

You can apply for a trainee driving instructor licence (PDI licence) and start delivering chargeable lessons once you have passed part 2 of the ADI test and had at least 40 hours of ADI part 3 training from an approved ADI. The trainee driving instructor licence lasts for six months, or until you pass part three of the ADI test.

Is it safe for a PDI to give driving lessons?

Learning to drive with a trainee driving instructor is incredibly safe. Trainee instructors have similar knowledge and skills to an ADI – they just haven’t had the opportunity to practise their teaching skills as much.

If you have any concerns about learning to drive with a trainee driving instructor, it’s a good idea to choose one affiliated with a trusted driving school. By learning with a PDI from Bill Plant Driving School, for example, you can be confident that you’re learning from highly-trained instructors from the UK’s driving instructor training provider of the year.