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What is the Average Driving Instructor Salary in the UK?

Becoming an Approved Driving Instructor is a great way to kick off a new career and help train the next generation of drivers. Our driving instructor training courses can be completed in a way that suits you, whether that’s intensively or taking your time and learning alongside your current job.

However you choose to complete your driving instructor training, you can look forward to earning a significant wage from providing driving lessons in your local area.

Below we have outlined how much, on average, driving instructors can expect to make in the United Kingdom, alongside other essential information like working hours, overheads and how to boost your income.

Young woman on a driving test with her instructor

How much does a driving instructor earn per hour?

On average, our current driving instructors across the country earn £33 per hour.

A UK Government survey from October 2022 found that almost half of Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) now charge between £31 and £35 for a one-hour driving lesson. Almost one-quarter of ADIs charge below £25 per hour, and 21.4% charge between £36 and £40.

Based on a 35-hour work week, working 48 weeks per year, charging £33 per hour means you can earn an average salary of around £31,000 after tax, national insurance and expenses.

Why is there so much variation between driving instructor salaries?

The rate you charge your students can depend on a lot of factors: whether you live, your experience and reputation as an instructor, and whether you teach in a manual or automatic vehicle. If you teach in London, where the cost of living is higher, you’re likely to charge more per hour for driving lessons.

Automatic lessons are often more expensive than manual lessons, as driving instructors with automatic vehicles are typically harder to find. This means that you’ll often be able to charge more as an automatic instructor than a manual instructor.

How many hours per week does a driving instructor work?

With Bill Plant Driving School, you’ll be your own boss, working as much or as little as you want. Most of our instructors work close to 35-hour weeks for 48 weeks a year, which equals approximately £55,440 in driving lesson revenue per year (before taxes and business costs). 

If you’re looking to fit being a driving instructor around your current job or other commitments, this is entirely possible! Your earning potential is completely down to you; the more you work, the more you make.

What overheads do driving instructors need to consider?

Driving instructors have to consider a few overheads. These include:

  • Franchise fees. This usually includes the tuition vehicle, dual controls, roof-top box, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, pupil marketing and training support.
  • Fuel
  • Franchise fees don’t cover all repairs, so you will need to pay for them yourself, for example, a punctured tyre
  • Basic vehicle maintenance such as washer fluid, wipers and professional car washes

Although this might look like quite a few overheads, it’s worth remembering that you can claim tax expenses for driving instructor training, along with the majority of other costs associated with being a driving instructor. Being part of a franchise, such as Bill Plant Driving School, also allows you to keep control of costs.

What is the difference between independent and franchisee driving instructors?

Once you’ve trained to become an ADI, you’ll have the choice of becoming an independent driving instructor or working as part of a franchise like Bill Plant Driving School.

Independent driving instructors

If you choose to go independent after completing your training, you’ll face the tasks of finding a suitable car, dual controls, roof top box, car stickers, maintenance and insurance, as well as all the marketing and branding to find your own pupils. You’ll also need to find diary management software, access courses to continue your development once you’ve qualified, and learn a lot about the way a driving instructor should run their business, in terms of both soft and hard skills, on your own.

Franchise driving instructors

The most natural thing to do once qualifying as a driving instructor is to stick with the franchise that trained you.

Not only will sticking with a franchise mean all the vehicle costs, including maintenance and insurance, will be included in the franchise fees, but the training and development, and support from colleagues and experienced staff members, won’t be there for those going starting off self-employed for the first time. You also won’t have to search for your own students, or worry about receiving payments, as the students you receive will have already prepaid.

With Bill Plant Driving School, you are guaranteed a driving school franchise once you have completed your training. Voted the 2019/20 National Driving School of the Year, when you join Bill Plant Driving School as a franchisee, you will have access to a market-leading Volkswagen tuition vehicle, nationwide driving instructor recognition and complete control of your diary.

Importantly though, joining our driving school franchise is not compulsory – we would rather you complete your training with us and then make that decision once you are ready.

a Bill Plant Volkswagen car driving on the road with someone on a driving lesson

How can driving instructors boost their earnings?

Earning more as a driving instructor doesn’t have to mean charging your students more money or working more hours. There are plenty of ways to earn a higher salary as a driving instructor, simply by working smarter and using your time efficiently.

Manage your diary well

Group lessons by location

Organise your diary to localise your student base. This means grouping your days by location when possible to spend less time travelling between lesson locations. This saved time could equate to an extra lesson or two.

A noteworthy benefit of becoming a driving instructor with Bill Plant Driving School is that you can choose your own hours and manage your own diary. This way, you control when, where and how often you work.

Opt for longer lessons

Booking your students in for 2-hour driving lessons is another way of boosting your earnings. Not only will 2-hour lessons speed up students’ progress, but longer lessons mean a cut in travel time and fuel costs between students.

Be professional

It’s important to maintain a professional, reliable and trustworthy reputation as a driving instructor. Sometimes it can’t be helped, but frequently cancelling lessons will make your students want to look for lessons elsewhere.

If you’re known for being a reputable driving instructor, past and present students will recommend your teaching services and post top reviews online, meaning you’ll never struggle to fill your diary with students willing to pay high lesson prices. Like anything, higher quality commands higher prices.

Have a reliable vehicle

It’s also important to have a reliable vehicle. If your car is often in for repair, your earnings will suffer too. Driving instructor cars play a big part in the journey of learning to drive, so selecting a trusty car will give you optimal time out on the road teaching and a more enjoyable experience for your students.

At Bill Plant Driving School, we use a range of Volkswagen vehicles to provide students with a comfortable ride from their first driving lesson right until the day they pass their driving test.

The Bill Plant Driving School tuition vehicles include:

  • Volkswagen Golf SE Match, 5-door, 1.6 TDI – Diesel
  • Volkswagen Golf 8 Life, 5-door, 2.0 TDI – Diesel
  • Volkswagen T-Cross Active SUV, 5-door, 1.0 TSI – Petrol
  • Volkswagen T-Roc 1.6 SE – Diesel

Become a Bill Plant Driving School Driving Instructor

We have everything you need to begin your driving instructor journey. Our UK-leading training courses on how to become a driving instructor are guaranteed to help fast-track you into your new career. 

Are you looking for more information on different aspects of becoming a driving instructor? Check out our guides below for all the details.

FAQs about driving instructor salaries in the United Kingdom

How much do driving instructors earn in the UK?

Driving instructor salaries depend on a number of factors, including location, whether you’re an independent or franchisee instructor, how often you work, whether you teach an automatic or manual vehicle and how well you manage your diary.

Based on a 35-hour week, working 48 weeks per year and charging £33 per hour, a driving instructor can expect to take home around £31,000 per year, after tax, national insurance and other fees.

Is becoming a driving instructor worth it in the UK?

Teaching others a valuable life skill in learning to drive makes a rewarding career. There aren’t many careers where you can be your own boss and manage your own diary whilst meeting new people and watching them progress and succeed.

For a deeper insight, discover our blog – Is becoming a driving instructor worth it?

Are driving instructors in demand?

According to UK Government research, 68% of ADIs do not have the availability to take on new pupils, and 65.1% have a waiting list for new pupils. There will always be a demand for individuals wanting to learn how to drive, making being a driving instructor a reliable career.

Our blog on the national driving instructor shortage explains everything you need to know.

Do driving instructors pay for fuel?

Franchise fees do not include fuel, so this cost will have to form part of your overheads. Although you should note that driving instructors can claim back VAT for fuel expenses.

Is being a driving instructor a full-time job?

As a driving instructor, you can work as little or as often as you like. Some instructors teach students how to drive as a full-time job, whereas others choose to instruct during evenings and weekends as a way of boosting their income.