What you need to know about starting a driving school

If you’ve got exceptional driving skills, would like to teach and have a patient and understanding demeanour, then running a driving school could be the perfect career route for you. Of course, as with any such undertaking there are many factors and things to consider before you even get started providing your first lesson. Here to help you out, we present a guide to what you need to know about starting a driving school.

Do you have what it takes?

Before you even take those tentative first steps towards establishing and running a driving school, you should of course consider what it will involve, and whether you are suited to the profession. Many people can drive, but it takes something special to be able to sit in the passenger seat and teach a complete beginner the ways of the road.

You’ll need patience, communication skills, quick reactions to cope with any potential incidents that may occur, a professional manner and a calm, friendly attitude towards dealing with those you’re teaching. If you can honestly say that you have all those qualities then you may well have a future as a driving instructor.

It should also be pointed out that in order to apply to become a qualified driving instructor you need to be at least 21 and have had a full car driving license for at least three years.

What kind of driving school will you run?

One of the first things you need to decide is whether you’ll run your driving school business solely by yourself, or if you’ll recruit other driving instructors to teach students as part of your company. If it’s the latter then you will need to take into account the various employment laws that govern all UK companies, including the need to have employee liability insurance.

Of course, there’s always the option of starting out as a sole trader and running your driving school independently, and then expanding to employ others at a later date.

Getting qualified

One of the most important things and the earliest step you will take in opening your driving school is to become a qualified driving instructor.  You will need to apply to become an approved driving instructor (ADI) – a good place to get started is on the official Driving Standards Agency website.

To become an approved driving instructor you will need to take an examination in three parts – a multiple-choice and video based theory/ hazard perception test, a practical test of driving ability, and a practical test on your instructional abilities. You do not have to all three at the same time, but the second and third parts should be passed within two years of passing the initial theory test.

Getting your vehicle

Though it is not a legal requirement that driving instructors have a vehicle with dual-controls, it is highly recommended and generally accepted that this will be the case. Few learner drivers would want to take lessons with a professional driving instructor who does not have dual controls, and if you do not have them you may have difficulty preventing an accident caused by a learner’s mistake.

Getting insured

Once you’re a fully qualified driving instructor you’ll need to also get specialist ADI insurance.  Your normal car insurance will not cover you for a number of reasons. Firstly there’s the fact that you’re using it as a commercial vehicle and driving many more miles than a standard commuter. But more than this, with learners in charge of the wheel on a daily basis, the risks faced by yourself and your vehicle are different than those faced by the general driving public.

You should also strongly consider getting driving instructor insurance which includes public liability insurance cover, in case of someone suffering loss or injury as a result of your actions.

To find out more driving instructor insurance, get in touch with Park Insurance today.