Ready to enhance your teaching skills and improve your chances of passing your instructional ability test, all whilst potentially earning £1,000+ each week in the process?
With Bill Plant Driving School’s PDI scheme, trainee instructors can enjoy all these benefits and more. Our Approved Driving Instructors will sponsor and support you as you undertake practical in-car training with real paying customers. Apply for a trainee driving instructor licence once you have passed your theory (ADI part 1) and driving ability tests (ADI part 2) to access additional training and move closer to starting your career as a driving instructor.
What is a trainee driving instructor (PDI) licence?
We’ve all heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect”, but what does this mean in the context of training to become a fully-qualified driving instructor?
Well, after passing their part 2 test, trainee driving instructors have two options: moving straight onto the part 3 test or applying for a potential driving instructor licence and completing a further 20 hours of training.
A PDI licence, sometimes called a ‘pink badge’ or ‘pink triangle’, is a trainee’s ticket to jumping into the passenger seat and practising the teaching methods and skills they’re learning by providing driving lessons for real-life pupils. Think of it a bit like a learner driver’s provisional licence; it allows the holder to clock up all-important hours of in-car practice – before sitting their final test.
Ready to begin a rewarding career as a driving instructor? Explore our driving instructor training packages to find the one that’s right for you.
What are the benefits of getting a trainee driving instructor licence?
Following a 2017 revision, the ADI part 3 test changed from involving examiner role plays to requiring the trainee to showcase their abilities in an actual lesson with a pupil. This has meant that the need for hands-on, practical teaching experience, and the value of a trainee licence, have increased significantly.
- You can practise the teaching skills and theories you’re learning with real pupils.
- You can develop your in-car manner to ensure you deliver tuition calmly and effectively.
- You can earn a full or supplementary wage whilst your licence is valid to help fund the cost of training.
- You can get a well-rounded impression of what the life of an approved driving instructor is like to help you to decide if it’s the career for you.
- You will gain a further 20 hours of training, all supervised by an ADI trainer who can share their own experience and expertise with you.
- You can consolidate your teaching skills so that, when you pass your instructional ability test (ADI part 3), you can work independently with confidence.
How to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence
All applications for PDI licences must be made directly through the DVSA, not through your sponsoring training centre. Before applying, you’ll need to have passed the ADI part 2 test on driving ability and have completed at least 40 hours of training with a qualified ADI.
You will need to complete the Instructor Training Declaration form (ADI 21T) and the Application for a Trainee Licence form (ADI 3L). Both of these forms should be completed with your ADI trainer.
A trainee licence costs £140; this can be paid directly to the DVSA online by debit or credit card. To complete the application, you’ll need your online user ID (this can be found in any correspondence from the DVSA) and the password associated with your account.
PDI licence eligibility criteria and restrictions
If you want to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence, the DVSA requires that you be a “fit and proper” person at the time of application. The law can’t be definitive about what this means, but typically, ADI Registrars understand that it refers to certain personal and professional standards – the same standards as when you apply to become a driving instructor. These include:
- Not having any motoring convictions or court proceedings.
- Never having been disqualified from driving.
- Never having been banned from working with persons under 18 years of age.
- Never having any substantiated claims of inappropriate behaviour or financial misconduct.
In practice, satisfying these criteria will mean that you are fit to provide high-quality tuition for learner drivers that will enable them to pass their driving test with flying colours and enjoy the process of learning itself!
Now, in terms of the restrictions, the DVSA states that holders of PDI licences must not:
- Advertise themselves or their services independently of their training establishment. This means that trainee driving instructors cannot set up their own schools or promote themselves as sole traders. All tuition must be provided through the training centre listed on the PDI licence.
- Imply that they are a fully qualified instructor when advertising their services to students. It must be made clear that they are an instructor in training.
- Continue using an existing PDI licence if they move to another training establishment. PDIs must apply for a new trainee driving instructor licence under the sponsoring ADI.
You can read about the rules and regulations of holding a PDI licence on the official government web page.
PDI licences with Bill Plant Driving School
Here at Bill Plant Driving School, we work to make the process of training to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
This is why we offer each trainee instructor a whole range of perks when they choose to join our PDI franchise, above and beyond seeing significantly increased chances of passing their part 3 test and receiving their ADI licence.
As a PDI trainee, you’ll be able to:
Maximise your chances of becoming a qualified ADI
Trainee driving instructors find that the additional in-car practice they obtain under their PDI licence is hugely beneficial when it comes to taking their part 3 test. Alongside being able to go over key skills and teaching methods, having the chance to deliver real lessons can help you to feel more confident in your abilities when your test day arrives.
Advertise under our franchise’s trusted name
Potential driving instructors can’t advertise their services unless it’s through their sponsoring school. As a Bill Plant Driving School trainee, you’ll be able to benefit from our industry-leading reputation for delivering exceptional tuition, meaning you’re sure to attract significantly more interest from learners than trainees working under less well-known brands.
Don’t believe us? Students voted Bill Plant Driving School the National Driving School of the Year in 2023 and gave us an “Excellent” rating on TrustPilot, proving that we’re the provider of choice among learner drivers!
Receive FREE driving instructor training
The DVSA mandates that anyone who elects to train using a PDI licence must complete an additional 20 hours of training. Whereas some driving schools would require the trainee to pay for this themselves, Bill Plant Driving School offers all of this extra training completely free of charge. We also provide all of our trainee Instructors the opportunity to attend a half-day workshop a few weeks before sitting their final Part 3 exam to help ensure they are fully prepared; once again, we offer this completely free of charge.
Start earning money straight away
Trainee licences allow potential driving instructors to deliver driving lessons to real students before qualifying as approved instructors. Trainees who charge money for the tuition they provide can earn between £550 and £1,100 each week, depending on how many hours of training they undertake.
Learn all about earning money as a trainee driving instructor.
Drive best-in-class tuition vehicles
Regardless of whether our instructors are teaching with an ADI or PDI licence, we provide the highest quality tuition vehicles as standard. Our fleet of Volkswagen cars is modern and comfortable, allowing you to focus your energy on giving instruction and refining your abilities.
Manage your own diary
With Bill Plant Driving School’s PDI franchise scheme, you’ll have complete freedom to plan your own diary around existing commitments. This means you can fit your training around another job or choose to work only on certain days of the week – whatever suits you best.
Access huge numbers of paying students
PDIs training with Bill Plant Driving School will only receive pupil bookings who have prepaid for their lessons. This reduces the amount of admin, chasing enquiries, and dealing with cancellations, meaning you can concentrate on learning and starting to make money.
Secure a rewarding career
All our potential driving instructors are guaranteed a position within the Bill Plant Driving School franchise upon becoming a qualified ADI. What’s more, you’ll receive all of your training fees back as franchise credit once you qualify and have access to industry-leading marketing resources.
Are there any drawbacks to getting a PDI licence?
Some people have mixed opinions about trainee driving instructor licences, citing some instances where potential driving instructors have misunderstood the purpose of their trainee licence. The DVSA is clear about the fact that PDI licences are for “learning, not earning”, meaning any instructors applying for a trainee licence should intend to use it as a means to gain practical in-car training with genuine pupils in advance of their part 3 test. This isn’t to say that the vehicle standards agency discourages trainees from earning money, just that the financial rewards on offer should be seen as an added benefit rather than the main motivation behind applying for a trainee licence.
How long is a PDI licence valid for?
Once you receive your trainee driving instructor licence, it will be valid for six months. If you don’t complete the required amount of driving instruction practice within this period, or you don’t manage to sit your part 3 exam successfully, you will need to apply for a second trainee licence. This new licence will then be valid for 6 months.
How much can I charge for lessons as a trainee instructor?
With Bill Plant Driving School, trainee driving instructors can charge between £30 and £40 per hour. This equates to a weekly revenue of approximately £560 if you work 20 hours right up to over £1,120 if you work 40 hours.
Do I have to wait 6 months before taking my ADI part 3 exam if I apply for a PDI licence?
No, even though your trainee licence will be valid for 6 months, you don’t need to work as a trainee for its duration. If you feel ready to take your part 3 test after a couple of months, you’re free to book your test on a date that works for you!