How to Be a Good Driving Instructor

How to Be a Good Driving Instructor


Being a driving instructor is an excellent career choice – you get the privilege of picking your own hours, being your own boss and earning a good wage whilst you’re at it. With that said, it takes people skills, determination and patience, amongst other things.

The truth is, there’s a knack to being a good driving instructor, but there are also some things you can learn to make you a great candidate, too. In this blog, we’ll talk about some great qualities approved driving instructors have, so that you can look into becoming a driving instructor and embark on your driving instructor training with confidence.

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

Tips for being a great driving instructor

Be friendly but professional

Being an approved driving instructor can be split into two main parts, being a good teacher and being a good driver. Because it doesn’t matter how much you know about driving if your people skills aren’t up to scratch. Although the patience and people skills can come with time, it’s great if you’re a naturally open and friendly person – it gives you a great head start.

Being friendly will make learners much more likely to come back to you for lessons, increasing your demand and also simply making the job feel more like fun than hard work.

Honour commitments to lesson bookings

A good instructor is an organised one, and when you’re your own boss, you’re going to have to keep a close eye on your own time. Honouring your commitments is one of the most effective ways to ensure a good relationship with your students. In turn, this will ensure you maintain consistent business. Being a good driving instructor isn’t just about your conduct inside the car!

Be sympathetic to nervous drivers

Learning to drive can be frustrating, daunting and difficult. Towards the later stages of a student’s journey, it’ll take confidence to pass their final test. A surefire way to ensure a nervous driver has confidence is to approach teaching with sympathy and patience.

You’ll notice, by adopting this approach, your students are more likely to feel at ease and make them feel more comfortable when making unavoidable mistakes on their journey to developing their driving skills. Learner drivers, especially more anxious learners, will look to find an instructor that is sympathetic and warm. 

This makes it a valuable skill to bring to your lessons if you want longevity. Whether they succeed or fail, it is important to keep a level head when supporting your student throughout their learning experience.

Remember how you felt when you were learning to drive

Do you remember how it first felt to sit in the driver’s seat? There are a lot of emotions, apprehension and even excitement in the run-up to passing your test. 

Putting yourself into the learner’s shoes will help for a number of reasons, it’ll help you to structure lesson plans, and give you an idea of what techniques need more focus. Most importantly, doing this will help you understand the most effective ways to go about teaching your student.

Follow a clear lesson plan in each session

a man on his driving test with the instructor sat next to him

Another one of the important qualities that make a difference is the ability to teach driving lessons and the sessions after in a way that makes sense. Spending a good amount of time preparing a formula that works will help a student learn and alleviate some stress as they make their journey towards their final test. 

Alongside this, clear lesson planning gives a professional feel to your teaching, giving learner drivers extra confidence and making them feel comfortable in the car.

Hint: the Bill Plant Driving School Blog has some great advice on how to structure your driving lessons, if you’re feeling stuck!

Offer lessons whilst you are a trainee driving instructor

Once you’ve passed your ADI part 1 test and ADI part 2 test of driving instructor training, you’re eligible to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence. Once you obtain your trainee driving instructor licence, you can start taking lessons as a trainee, giving you that all-important experience before your final ADI part 3 test

Offering lessons whilst you’re still learning gives you valuable driving experience, meaning that you’re able to hit the ground running once you’re a fully qualified ADI. And as an added bonus, trainee driving instructors can charge for lessons, meaning you can get started on this rewarding career even sooner than you might think.

Be part of a respected driving school franchise

A good way to get started when you’re trying to gather a list of clients alongside valuable experience is to be part of a respected driving school franchise. When you’re part of an established driving school, potential students will see you as a safe choice when choosing a driving instructor, and a lot of the marketing legwork will be done for you. 

You’ll also be part of a network of other instructors and may have access to extra courses and professional development – both of which will teach you more about how to become a better instructor.

Be patient

When a student is in the car, they’re going to make mistakes, especially in the early stages of their learning. A good driving instructor is understanding and offers encouragement if their students make any errors, and ensures that if they fail at any time, they are not disheartened the next time they get in the car. 

If a learner feels like they can make errors and learn from them, they’re likely to see a higher pass rate across the board.

Provide additional theory training

Whilst it isn’t mandatory to provide training to your learners regarding their theory tests, it is great practice to keep up to date with theory training in your own time and offers you a great USP to potential students. If a student feels like their instructor has their best interests at heart, they’re likely to not have their head turned by other teaching options.

Stay up to date with the latest rules from the Vehicle Standards Agency

A fully qualified driving instructor is a title best kept if it is maintained, this means staying up to date with the DVSA. You can keep up to date with this on the government website.

Focus on making your lessons enjoyable

The best way for people to learn is in an environment that is enjoyable and stimulating. When a student learns in a positive environment, you are more likely to find that your first-time pass rate increases.

The best way to learn how to make lessons enjoyable is by speaking to fellow driving instructors, practising with plenty of lessons under your belt and understanding that every student will find different lesson structures enjoyable.

What are the qualities of good driving instructors?

In summary, to be a good driving instructor, it’s important that you are:

  1. Reliable
  2. Organised
  3. Patient
  4. Confident
  5. Engaging
  6. Relaxed

Being a largely social occupation, driving instructors need to approach driving lessons with all of these qualities to give their students the best possible learning experience. Of course, there are many pros and cons to being a driving instructor, but for the right person, it’s a perfectly suited career path with many benefits.

Become a great driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School

If you’re ready to go ahead and jumpstart your career as a qualified driving instructor, Bill Plant Driving School has got you covered. We offer trainee instructors a range of driving instructor training course options that will guarantee you future success as a professional instructor.

On your journey towards becoming an approved driving instructor, it’s crucial that you learn in the best environments possible, and that’s where we come in.

Bill Plant Driving School is an award-winning driving school and a well-respected company with years of training experience. Our training school offers comprehensive courses, whilst giving trainees all the support and training they need to pass their tests.

Over the years, we have recruited a great team of driving instructors, offering support to each other to ensure we as a school are at the very top of national driving standards.


How much is a driving instructor course in the UK?

Once a learner has gotten their driving licence, training courses across the UK can range from £1000 up to as high as £4000 with some national driving schools. The factors that affect it are who you train with and where you train.

What is the difference between an ADI and PDI driving instructor?

The difference between an ADI and a PDI is simple: an ADI is an approved driving instructor and a PDI is a potential driving instructor that is still completing their training. Check out our driving instructor training blog to find out more about this, including how to apply for a PDI licence.

Is a driving instructor a good job?

Much like other professions where you can help and teach others, a career as a driving instructor has excellent job satisfaction across the board. You get the privilege of watching your learner flourish. Just imagine your students’ faces when they get their licences – it’s a feeling that can’t be recreated in many other jobs. On top of this, the average driving instructor salary is a lot higher than you might think.

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