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How to Become a Freelance Driving Instructor

Useful resources for driving instructors:

Some people underestimate what it takes to become a driving instructor. It can be an easy job, but it can also be difficult depending on who it is you are teaching to drive. Driving instructors need to have a huge amount of patience and professionalism.

Here are a few skills that are needed to become a driving instructor:

  • Good quality driving
  • High standard of instructional ability
  • Good knowledge of what is included in teaching others to drive
  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to adapt to different types of people
  • Good sense of humour
  • Good geographical knowledge

Qualifications and Training

Becoming a driving instructor is not an easy process as it is a very important job with a great amount of responsibility. There are many guidelines and precautions that need to be considered for this.

First of all you need to ensure you are over the age of 21 years old and have held a full UK driving license for over three years. This is just to make sure you have had a fair bit of experience on the roads before you start teaching others. You also need to decide whether you will want to teach in a manual or automatic vehicle.

The next thing that is vital for this field of work is that you have not been disqualified from driving within the last four years, or have six points on your licence. You also need to ensure that you have not been convicted of any other non motoring offences. Once you have cleared these stages, you must get a criminal check for driving instructors carried out. 

If you have cleared the criminal check for driving instructors, you can then go on to apply to the Driving Standards Association (DSA) to start the process. To qualify for this, you need to take and pass three qualifying tests. One theory, one practical- which tests your driving ability including vehicle safety questions, and then another practical that tests your instructional ability.

Once you have passed this test you can then apply for your ADI badge. 

Going Freelance

There are numerous benefits of freelancing as a driving instructor, for example:

  • Flexible schedule
  • Greater wages than being employed by a company
  • Being your own boss

In fact our freelancer take home pay calculator shows you how much you can expect to take home as a freelancer.

It is difficult to come up with a fixed price to charge your customers per driving lesson. It depends on where abouts you are instructing. Bear in mind you need to ensure the prices cover your time, petrol and the insurance for the car. Prices for driving lessons can vary between £12- £20. It is also beneficial to offer discounts when your customers book in blocks. For example if you charge £10 per lesson, you can offer 10 lessons for £85 when booked as a block. You could even start off with offering the first lesson for free to build up the clientele.

Finding Work as a Freelance Driving Instructor

The best advertising for you will be word of mouth and recommendations by others. When you start off it would be beneficial for you to offer discounts when your customers recommend you. For example offer them a half price driving lesson for every recommended customer that makes a booking. As you are starting off on your own it is best to use the cheapest forms of advertising for your trade so you are not losing money.

You can also get yourself listed in specialist directories, these directories can be found in newspapers, magazines and on the internet. You could also place an ad in your local shop window, supermarket and newspapers.

Having made the decision to give it a go, whether full or part time and whether to set up as a sole trader or limited company, you’re going to need a wide range of tax and accountancy advice and support in the early days when setting up as a freelancer.

The most daunting thing about going freelancing for most people is the thought of having to engage with an accountant. At first glance it’s easy, you go down to your local high street accountant who quotes you anything from £250 to £600 plus VAT to do your end of year accounts for you.

This sounds great, however what happens if you want to speak to your accountant for advice throughout the year on things like:

  • Expenses
  • Tax allowances
  • Take home pay
  • How much you should put aside for your tax bill
  • Should you register for the Flat Rate VAT scheme
  • Would going limited be beneficial
  • If you have a life plan and wish to go travelling, what’s the most tax efficient way to run your business

Each time you pick up the phone it is likely you will get charged, in fact every time your accountant sends you a letter you may charged and so you may even get charged if you call to query your invoice! So by the end of the year you could easily be looking at a bill of over £1,000. Easy Accountancy offers you a fixed fee package starting at £60 a month. For more information on our services, please click here.

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For more advice on setting up as a freelance driving instructior or to speak to a friendly accountant either call us on 0500 23411 / 01442 275767, email heather@easyaccountancy.co.uk or fill out the below form.
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