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  • FIRST POST
    rls1973
    Calling All Driving Instructors!
    • #1
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:45 PM
    Calling All Driving Instructors! 16th Nov 07 at 4:45 PM
    Hello

    not sure if this should be here or in 'up your income'
    anyhow....

    I'm sure you've all seen , there are loads of ads, on tv, local press etc. for 'train to be a driving instructor with us' etc.

    now this is something i've always fancied, right back to when i was taking my own lessons, and now with children it would be ideal to fit round school etc. choose my own hours etc.

    so, anyone out there who is, or knows, a driving instructor:

    1. are these ads a scam, how much roughly should i be expected to spend on training ?

    2. what is it really like as a job, what are people's experiences genuinely?!

    3. is there really a real job at the end of the training? or is it better to set up on your own anyway?

    i'd love to hear anyones' experience etc.


    thanks in advance
    x
Page 1
  • kitchen buff
    • #2
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:48 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:48 PM
    It will cost you to go to one of those schools. You then get a placement when you pass. The hours can be long and bear in mind you need to be there when the client wants you, so picking and choosing might not fit in as well as you think. You will also be self assesed on tax and the insurance is quite high.
  • rls1973
    • #3
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:51 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:51 PM
    any good things about it, kitchen buff? lol

    but when i had lessons, i had to fit in with my instructors diary! e.g., when it was his 3-week holiday just when i was ready for my test, i just had to wait,lol, (have times changed that much, am i that old, was it that long ago)
    • davetrousers
    • By davetrousers 16th Nov 07, 4:53 PM
    • 5,536 Posts
    • 4,753 Thanks
    davetrousers
    • #4
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:53 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:53 PM
    Why not contact a reputable driving school and ask them about becoming a driving instructor?
    .....

  • rls1973
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:56 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 07, 4:56 PM
    Why not contact a reputable driving school and ask them about becoming a driving instructor?
    Originally posted by davetrousers

    well that's just it, i dont know which are reputable and which arent.

    also, i think if i contact them direct , they will simply say what they want to say to 'sell' the course, that's why i thought here would be a better place to get some facts first :confused:

    before contacting them later when i've got more info, mse usually a good place to do that
    • Donedoingdebt
    • By Donedoingdebt 16th Nov 07, 5:08 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    Donedoingdebt
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:08 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:08 PM
    I don't think the ads are a scam, however the stated expected earnings, in my opinion, are over stated. In order to achieve these sorts of figures, you would need to be working around 30/35 lessons (hours) per week, not forgetting the spaces between lessons which of course, you don't get paid for.
    If you end up working for one of the major Driving schools, you're usually taken on on a franchise basis where you will end up paying several hundred £s a week in fees.
    If you start up by yourself, then inevitably you'll have to reduce your fees to try & attract clients from the known schools in your area.
    In my experience, Driving Instructors are their own worse enemies, all cutting their own fees so low to attract potential clients, that it becomes difficult to make a decent living.
    I would estimate that training costs are in the region of £1,500 these days.
    It's not a bad job as long as you're calm & VERY patient & are prepared to work a lot of evenings & weekends as that's when the majority of your clients will be available.
    It's not all bad. My now Wife of 5 years was once my pupil & I've been paying back her fees many times over!
    ADI 1986 to 1994.
    Donedoingdebt Lightbulb moment January 2000. Debt at highest approx £102,000. Debt now (October 2009 - absolutely fork all!!!)
    CSA case closed on 02/09/10
  • Jarvissa
    • #7
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:25 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:25 PM
    My Dad was a driving instructor up until about 8 years ago... his advice would be DON"T DO IT!!

    He now has a bad back and heart problems, and he attributes them both to doing the driving school (bad back from sitting so long in one position in passenger seat, and heart trouble from the stress... which apparently was immense.) He knew many of the other driving instructors on the "circuit" and they seemed to drop like flies (guys as young as 35 having fatal heart attacks)

    Of course, I know none of this can be fully substantiated!

    But don't believe the inflated earnings these courses promise you. Yes, you probably could earn £30,000 IF you sold ALL your hours... which you won't. Simply, there aren't enough pupils to do that. Also, you have to factor in driving to and from pickups (they don't come to you) so for every 4 hours tuition you sell, you're probably looking at another unpaid hour travelling to and fro.

    And of course, there's the overheads: Supremely high insurance premiums, purchase and maintenance of a suitable vehicle (that literally, is put through hell), fuel (ever increasing) and a fee of over £200 (this was 10years ago so probably double/triple now) payable to the DVLA every 4 years just to be allowed to practice as a DI.

    If you work for a Driving school (as opposed to setting up your own and being self-employed) you will have to pay a percentage of your earnings (x number of pounds per lesson sold) TO the driving school.

    After all this expenditure, you're not left with much at all... certainly not the fortunes these TV ads promise.
  • Jarvissa
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:27 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:27 PM
    oops, I've been beaten to it by donedoingdebt... I type too slowly!
    • Donedoingdebt
    • By Donedoingdebt 16th Nov 07, 5:48 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    Donedoingdebt
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:48 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Nov 07, 5:48 PM
    oops, I've been beaten to it by donedoingdebt... I type too slowly!
    Originally posted by Jarvissa
    You must have been too busy checking your mirror, signalling & manoeuvring to type any quicker!
    Donedoingdebt Lightbulb moment January 2000. Debt at highest approx £102,000. Debt now (October 2009 - absolutely fork all!!!)
    CSA case closed on 02/09/10
  • rls1973
    hmmm....well thanks for the honest opinions, it seems like it's good and bad but mostly erring on the side of bad, tbh!

    but then i suppose you would say that about most jobs, it it wasn't they would be hobbies not jobs, if that makes sense (i've never yet had a job i liked, i'm a miserable cow)

    i have heard the £30k figure mentioned, obviously that's massively overstating and if you worked 24/7....mine would be a part-time venture.

    as for the health thing mentioned by jarvissa....crikey! but sitting too long in one position...er, let's all get off the computer shall we

    lots to think about there then <goes away with tail between legs. dammit, i will have to write the next harry potter style blockbuster instead>

    one more question for driving instructors though: when it comes down to it, when all your expenses etc are taken out, roughly what do you think is an hourly rate?


    thanks again mse'rs
    • Donedoingdebt
    • By Donedoingdebt 18th Nov 07, 11:46 AM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    Donedoingdebt
    I would very roughly estimate that if you're charging around the £15 to £20 per hour lesson, then you're unlikely to see much more than half of it & then what's left will be subject to your normal tax & NI. Don't forget, fuel is rocketing up at the moment with no sign of slowing down. As I said earlier, this is a rough educated guess based on my experiences in the 90s.
    Donedoingdebt Lightbulb moment January 2000. Debt at highest approx £102,000. Debt now (October 2009 - absolutely fork all!!!)
    CSA case closed on 02/09/10
  • rls1973
    thanks

    donedoingdebt, why did you stop being a DI, if you dont mind me asking?
    • Donedoingdebt
    • By Donedoingdebt 18th Nov 07, 6:29 PM
    • 1,183 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    Donedoingdebt
    Several reasons really.
    My 2 babies were starting to get bigger & having to work most evenings, they were usually in bed when I arrived home & I felt I was missing important times with them.
    Obviously, as they were getting older, they were getting more expensive & the income from this job can be very inconsistent. When you most need the money, ie Christmas & summer holidays, a large number of pupils would stop for a few weeks because their money was needed elsewhere.
    New ADIs are appearing regularly & are advertising silly prices such as first 3 lessons free etc & it becomes hard to make a living when trying to compete with these.
    With hindsight, I was probably experiencing some form of burn out as my heart wasn't in the job in the last year in the same way that it used to be.
    A full time employed driving job became available & I took that in 1994 & am still there now. Even now, 13 years later, I still really appreciate paid holidays, sick pay & a regular guaranteed wage.
    Donedoingdebt Lightbulb moment January 2000. Debt at highest approx £102,000. Debt now (October 2009 - absolutely fork all!!!)
    CSA case closed on 02/09/10
  • justpaper
    a friend of a friend (i love to get the story right ) was a DI he was whith BSM and has to pay them 300quid a week,. after a year it went down to 200quid a week,

    he went private and really struggled to get learners,.

    i hear he is now finishing off a IT Degree, and doing the DI thing on the side, private,

    my odd DI aways said "driving school ads are so fake, u have to put crazy hours in to get that 30k"

    its worth it if u go private i reckon and really get the word out about ur self,but of course that takes time and effort, if u got the latter then go for it,

    and isnt the course fees £3500 ? ?

    my mates GF is doing the course and thats what shes having to pay,


    Donedoingdebt > has cleared up alot in the above post,.
    I know a new private DI that is charging 52£ for 5 lessons, their u go
    • cazuk11
    • By cazuk11 8th Jan 08, 9:29 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    cazuk11
    Hi,

    My mother is a driving instructor.
    We both joined the Driving Instructor College at the same time.
    You get support and lessons to pass your theory.
    You then get 6 lessons with another student before you take your driving test. If you fail, there are no more lessons as you've had your lot.
    I gave up after that as you can't pass the test without the lessons.
    My mother paid for extra lessons and eventually passed 2nd time.
    You then get another 6 lessons to pass your instructor test.
    All this for £3,000 a couple of years ago.

    You are better off training with a driving school where you don't have to pay, stay with them until you get established and then go it alone.

    You will have to work between 35-40 hours per week ( this does not include driving to and from lessons ) in order to earn £30k per year.

    My mother does really enjoy it though and she has now set up her own driving school and is doing really well... I wish I'd stuck with it and done it with a different company that gives you more support.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by cazuk11; 08-01-2008 at 9:30 PM. Reason: Edit when it was £3,000.
    • lamb7994
    • By lamb7994 9th Jan 08, 7:55 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    lamb7994
    try the forum on:

    www.2pass.co.uk

    There's a section about becoming a driving instructor where you can talk to other instructors.


    James
    • daveyjp
    • By daveyjp 9th Jan 08, 8:07 PM
    • 6,885 Posts
    • 5,217 Thanks
    daveyjp
    My dad will retire next year after over 20 years in the job. He still does about 40 lessons a week, despite the fact he is supposed to be slowing down!

    It is not flexible - how long would a shop last which opened when the owner decided? My dad has every Saturday afternoon and Sunday off and gives himself about 4 weeks holiday.

    Out of your income you need to pay tax, NI etc (30%), buying your car, a new one every three years if you are busy and it's running costs - up to a gallon of fuel a lesson, insurance, servicing (3+ times a year) etc etc. At £20 an hour there's not much left.
  • crossiemancity
    Im a 29 year old ddriving instructor, i started with a little help from my old driving instructor and went self employed straight away.

    I was very young when i started this career (25)

    The instructor college cost me 1900 but that was an offer. I passed the first 2 tests first time but failed my part 3 3 times, and had to wait a year to try again, i passed it all first time round and became one of the 22% of people who start out to become fully qualified.

    It doesnt take long to loose your initial enthusiasm, you have to remember 80% of your business is teenagers, who have part time jobs, hangovers, college, nights out, girlfriend problems, emotions, general student smell problems etc etc!!

    I enjoy actually teaching my pupils things, but i never thought id have to motivate them to get out of bed and come for the lesson i arranged with them only a few days before.

    Sometimes they dont have the money, and cancel on you last minute, sometimes they forget completely that you had a lesson with them.

    Dont get me wrong, the money is good if you can work the hours needed and stand the stress and hassle associated with running your own business.

    The costs arent too bad, i estimate an average of £4 petrol per hour lesson, insurance costs for me are about £450 a year, touch wood ive not crashed yet, had the odd near miss, but nothing serious.

    Its very taxing on your health and life style, its true what someone else said that you have to make yourself available to your pupils all the time, if you want to make it worth it financially.

    Personally i feel my time is up with this job because i just hate driving to my first lesson, and it becomes alll to easy to fake a sickie, or say your car is in the garage being fixed!!

    I see it now as a stepping stone to being an examiner, or even a instructor for the police, as its the next logical step. The thought of a regular constant income is a dream for me at the moment.

    it can be a very lonely job, you dont have colleagues, most other instructors are 40/50 years old + There can be abit of banter with your pupils but you have to remember your teaching them, not becoming there mate etc.

    Another thing is, not everyone is as bright as you or i, and whereas we might need 1 or 2 explanations on how to achieve MSM or doing a turn in the road, some people need it repeating 10 times, sometimes 15 times in different ways, with examples, demonstrations, its SOOOO frustrating when you know your not getting through and you want to headbutt the steering wheel because of it.

    You wont make £30,000 a year, unless you dedicate your whole life to it, and thats not possible because you can make yourself ill by putting yourself through all the stress.

    BSM charge 1st year instructors £326 a week! just to use there name and car, they give you pupils but it basically means you need to work 15 hours before you make a profit, 30 hours to make £326 a week (approx) but its not just 30 hours, its the 20/30 mins inbetween your lessons meaning for your £326 your working 45 hours. its just not worth it!!

    Beign self employed i could work half the hours and get the same money, but with the added hassle of digging pupils out of the ground to teach. The worry is that your pupil base will dry up one day and your left with no one to teach!! Its not happened to me, but ive come close once or twice.

    Basically, not many people stay in this job for more than 5 years.
  • Luvly.cuppa.T
    Just an idea- if anyone were to go self-employed, why not advertise in all the local colleges?
    The students there are mainly 16-20, and are the main people that you want to catch. Anyone tried this approach?
    Or maybe the parents are the ones to attract, as it is possibly their money that pays for the lessons, thus they have the say?
  • crossiemancity
    yes obviously the colleges and student hang outs are the places to advertise, basically as i have learnt over time, pupils dont really give 2 s*its about how good you are at teaching them, money talks, the cheaper your lessons , the busier youll be.

    However what pupils dont realise is that someone who charges £20 an hour, is probably a better instructor who will get them driving much better, have them pass first time and be a safer driver in a smaller number of lessons than an instructor who charges £16

    Bill Plant has unfortunately taken the whole industry and turned it upsidedown with its price plans. Forcing many local well established schools out of business. However what you might not know is Bill Plant uses ALOT of trainee instructors, who have to work VERY hard and as a result probably give poor quality lessons because they will be stressed and tired!!!

    I stick by what i said, its fun for 5 years, but its not a career anymore.
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