Driving instructor

Transport, distribution and logistics

Career outlook for driving instructor

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would teach people how to drive safely and get the skills they need to pass their driving test.

You'll need to be patient and calm with learners. You’d give your instructions clearly and constructively explain when they make a mistake.

You would start by assessing a learner's driving knowledge and ability. Based on your assessment, you’d then plan a series of lessons to get the person to a standard where they can take their driving test.

Most driving lessons follow a similar pattern.

You would teach:

  • How to use vehicle controls with confidence
  • The correct approach to road safety
  • How to manoeuvre, turn, reverse and park safely
  • About driving laws and the Highway Code
  • How to deal with emergency situations
  • Basic vehicle checks

You’d adapt your teaching style to suit each person. Some learners may be very nervous about driving and panic if something unexpected happens.

You would normally use dual controls in the vehicle to make slight adjustments to the learner's driving. You’d observe what they do and react quickly and safely to any problems.

As a learner becomes more competent, you would take them on to busier roads, dual carriageways and more complex junctions like roundabouts.

As well as normal road driving, you might also give lessons in night driving and, for people who have passed their test, motorway driving.

You might also cover driving theory with your clients.

Working conditions


Your working hours will have to fit in around your learners' needs, so be prepared to work evenings and weekends. There may be variations in the amount of lessons booked with you, particularly around Christmas or during the summer because of school holidays.


You would spend most of your time in the car, sitting in the passenger seat during lessons. Lessons typically last between one and two hours.


UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Building relationships
  • Verbal communication
  • Empathising
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


To be a driving instructor your must be listed on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) or you must hold a trainee's 'Licence to give instruction'. 

These processes are managed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), an executive agency of the UK Department of Transport.

You would be trained by a organisation which is listed by the DVSA in the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT).

The qualifying examination for entry to the Register of Approved Driving Instructors is in three parts: 

  • a computer-based theory test
  • a practical test of your driving ability
  • a practical test of your ability to instruct learners.

You will also need

  • To be at least 21 years old to accompany a learner driver but you can apply to start the qualifying process six months before your 21st birthday.
  • A full UK or European Union car driving licence. You must have your licence for at least three years before joining the register. If you have ever been disqualified from driving or have six or more penalty points then your application may be refused. 
  • A Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Disclosure check.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate:

  • Patience and tact
  • Communcations skills
  • Basic knowledge of car mechanics