Teaching people to drive is hugely rewarding, offering countless benefits and opportunities for professional progression. But, as with most lines of work, there are many different routes you can take on your journey to becoming an approved driving instructor (ADI).
One of the main decisions prospective and existing instructors must make is whether to teach with a national driving school. While the chance to be your own boss is a big draw for many, an increasing number of instructors are realising the advantages of working within a recognised driving school franchise.
In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of joining a driving school against going solo to help you decide which avenue is right for you. Whether you’re considering a big life change and embarking on driving instructor training, or want greater job security in your current line of work – this guide has the insights you need to get back into the driver’s seat of your own career.
The benefits of national driving schools for driving instructors
Joining a national driving school as a driving instructor comes with a range of benefits, both personally and professionally. Here are some of the advantages to consider.
Well-established driving schools have constant flows of students seeking driving lessons, providing instructors with steady, reliable incomes throughout the year.
By comparison, freelance driving instructors can find acquiring new clients a challenge. Working as an independent provider means you don’t have direct access to as wide a pool of prospective customers, which can cause peaks and troughs in your annual earnings.
For more information about the typical earnings of driving instructors working under national schools, take a look at our blog post on the average driving instructor salary in the UK.
Training and certification
Reputable driving schools, such as Bill Plant Driving School, recognise the value of investing in their instructors from day one. Working within the framework of a driving school means you’ll have access to comprehensive training programmes, professional development opportunities and full certification schemes.
By working to refine your own driving and teaching skills, you’ll be best placed to deliver high-quality tuition to learners of all ages and abilities. Ultimately, this will help you to feel more confident in your role as an instructor.
Reputation and trust
Working at an established driving school means you’ll benefit from a trusted, respected industry reputation. This instant boost in professional credibility makes it far easier to attract new students.
Instead of needing to spend time and money building your own reputation, you’ll be able to jump straight into teaching and begin earning from day one.
Marketing and advertisement
Driving schools committed to supporting their instructors to enjoy full work schedules will invest in marketing and advertising to attract students.
The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly, you can elevate your professional profile using the school’s existing network of contacts. Secondly, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of time, money and effort on marketing yourself. This is something that self-employed driving instructors find challenging, especially if they’ve never had any formal marketing training in the past.
Access to resources
As part of their team, national driving schools may provide you with teaching technology and materials, such as a driver education course, to aid your progression as an instructor.
Some national driving schools will cover your driving instructor insurance as part of their package. This provides you with the legally-required protection, both personally and professionally, in case of accidents during driving lessons.
Being part of a national driving school network can provide opportunities for networking with other certified driving instructors and professionals within the industry. This can benefit an instructor’s career in the long run, leading to collaboration, support and sharing of best practices.
National driving schools can sometimes offer opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming a senior instructor, mentor, or manager. For the right person, this can lead to higher earning potential and increased job satisfaction.
Established driving schools have a solid understanding of all applicable driving regulations and standards. As an instructor, you can utilise this knowledge and seek advice from industry experts to avoid legal issues, remain up to date with any regulatory changes, and spend less time worrying about the fine print associated with compliance.
Join Bill Plant Driving School as a driving instructor
Whether you’re exploring a career change or looking for a new driving school to teach at, Bill Plant Driving School is one of the most celebrated and well-established in the industry.
Our national franchise of instructors delivers award-winning driving tuition to learner drivers across the country and provides a tight-knit support network to help further professional development and job satisfaction.
Explore the driving instructor training course options we offer to begin your journey with Bill Plant Driving School and enjoy the benefits that come with working as a driving instructor at the UK’s Driving Instructor Training Provider of the Year.
How many hours a week do driving instructors work?
Because driving instructors have the freedom to set their own hours and choose their own schedules, there is no universal answer to the question of how many hours per week you’ll work. Typically, driving instructors work between 25 and 40 hours per week, depending on how busy they choose to keep their diaries and the existing commitments they have elsewhere in their lives (i.e. childcare, studying part-time, and volunteering). When working for a national driving school, instructors find it far easier to attract students thanks to the established reputation of their school’s brand. So, if you want a reliable schedule with fantastic earning potential, teaching at a driving school is the best way to go.
What is defensive driving?
Defensive driving describes the practice of drivers who consciously reduce the dangers associated with driving. Defensive driving techniques reduce the likelihood of a collision or incident and can even save costs related to vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption by driving smoothly and steadily.
Are there benefits to being a self-employed driving instructor?
If you choose to pursue a career as a driving instructor outside of an established school, you’ll likely find pros and cons. Generally, the main benefits and drawbacks cited by independent instructors are as follows.
- The freedom to set your own hourly rates.
- Complete holiday flexibility.
- A sense of independence.
- Far less financial security, with no reliable stream of students seeking lessons on the back of a national school’s established reputation.
- You need to organise and file your own tax returns as a self-employed individual.
- Less access to training, mentorship and legal advice.
- You need to market yourself, which requires time, skills and resources.