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Do You See Yourself As A Driving Instructor?

Have you ever been interested in teaching others new skills, enjoy driving, prefer a flexible work schedule, or eager to build your own business? Perhaps becoming a qualified approved driving instructor is your answer. Below, we will go through a few key characteristics and eligibility requirements to help you decide if this would work for you.

Are You Eligible?

Eligibility in applying to become a car driving instructor in the United Kingdom is dependent on a few factors. You are not allowed to be a registered car driving instructor in another EU country. You have to be 21 years old or older and have a full car driving license for a minimum of three years. Whether you drive an automatic or manual vehicle, your car license must match accordingly.

If you are licensed for an automatic vehicle, you can only teach in that class of vehicle. The same applies to a manual vehicle. If you intend to transition from an automatic car and license to manual, you must undergo and pass a manual car driving test. You have to wait for a minimum of three years, and then reapply to become an ADI.

Application Process

You are required to read the ADI Register Guide before applying for the ADI course. Additional studying materials to further your understanding of the job and skills you may need are available. You can download the National Standard for Driver and Rider Training guide online.

Before you can begin to apply, you must get a Disclosure and Barring Service check. This is to ensure you have a clear criminal record. Your application will be rejected if you have a driving ban on record or over six accumulated penalty points.

Once this is done, find a reputable and registered ADI trainer who will assist you in preparation for three qualifying tests. The tests consist of a Theory Test, Driving Ability Test, and an Instructional Ability Test.

#1 – Theory Test

If you pass the theory test, you have 24 months to complete and pass the two remaining tests. Failure to do so will result in reapplying.

#2 – Driving Ability Test

Passing this test allows you to acquire a trainee driving instructor license which is valid for 6 months. During this period, you are able to gain experience in teaching students.

#3 – Instructional Ability Test

Once you have passed the last qualifying test, you are required to register online as a qualified ADI within 1 year.

Qualified and Licensed

You can choose to either work for an established driving school or begin your own independent driving instructor business. Every four years, there will be a Standards Check. Additionally, every four years you are required to renew your ADI registration as well as the Disclosure and Barring Service check.

As a new ADI, you have to prepare for big changes. You are reliable and organized. You must accommodate students who learn with certain teaching methods. Teaching patience will help you in more ways than you know.

Left or Right – A Guide to Road Signs

Every person in the United Kingdom who chooses to become a fully licensed vehicle driver has to undergo the competency test. Included in this test is being knowledgeable on all road signs used in all areas. The list of road signs used specifically in the UK ranges between level crossings, warnings, lane control, pedestrians, cyclists, public transport operators, parking, freeway, informational, and directional signs.

Below, we have listed the most common road signs used in the United Kingdom.

Cautionary Signs

The majority of these signs have a red border and there are a few without a red border.

Prohibitive and Mandatory Signs

Signs of prohibition are indicated with a red border. Mandatory signs are blue.

National Speed Limit Signs

All areas excluding the freeway have a speed limit of 30mph. The freeway has a speed limit of 70mph.

Pedestrian Signs

These signs are used in all shopping areas with high volumes of foot traffic.

Loading and Parking Signs

These signs are used in designated areas for permit holders or disabled drivers. This includes parking areas in which only certain types of cars are permitted to park in those bays. Parking bays which are prepaid or free are indicated with the relevant signage.

Freeway Signs

There are a vast array of signs used on the freeway which indicate anything from road statuses, route numbers, entry and exit points, diversion routes, information signs, roadwork signs, and many more road signs.

General UK Road Rules

First and foremost, it is compulsory for all drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts. This includes children of all ages, small children must be fastened in securely with a car seat. In the UK, drivers drive on the left side of the road.

However, many non-UK drivers find this confusing. If you need assistance in adjusting to the new system of driving, you can contact the International Drivers Service on 020-8570-9190. They are specifically trained to help new UK drivers adjust.

It is illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle in the UK. There are various ways in which this is punishable by means of penalty points, impounding of the vehicle, driving bans, and monetary fines. An accumulation of 12 penalty points on your driver’s license will result in a driving ban. The first set of 6 penalty points are given out if you are driving a car with no insurance coverage.

Stop at all pedestrian crossings. It’s safer to obey the law than getting fined for not stopping whatsoever. All types of road signs are differentiated according to shape and color.

Do not drive in reserved lanes for public transport or emergency vehicles unless there is an obstruction in the road. Failure to comply with such a road rule is liable to a monetary fine or penalty. If you are found driving at below the recommended speed on a freeway, you will be prosecuted accordingly. This rule is to ensure swift traffic flow and reduced levels of traffic congestion on busy roads such as the freeway.

Conquering The Driving Test

To become a fully licensed vehicle driver in the United Kingdom, individuals have to undergo a competency test. The tests vary according to the type of car driven. Tests are conducted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency. Anyone aged 17 and older is eligible to go for a driving test.

There are two parts to the driving test; theory and practical.

Theory Test Part 1 and 2

This section consists of a multiple-choice and hazard perception test. Both of these sections of the theory test are required to be passed in order to qualify for a practical driving test. If the theory test is passed, the applicant has within two years to book and pass a practical test.

Multiple-Choice Test – Part 1

The test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions which are answered by the applicant on a computer. 43 correct answers or more are considered a pass. Time allocated for this part of the theory section is just under an hour. 15 minutes at the beginning of the test allows applicants to familiarize themselves with using the computer.

Hazard Perception Test – Part 2

Out of fourteen video clips an applicant has to watch, this test is marked out of 75 marks. Applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 44 marks to pass. The clips depict hazardous driving situations of which the applicant, by clicking on the mouse button, have to indicate accordingly with each given hazard. This tests the applicant’s observational and awareness skills.

Practical Driving Test

Whether an applicant is driving an automatic or manual vehicle, tests and licenses are conducted and issued respectively. If a driver is licensed for an automatic vehicle, the individual is only allowed to drive an automatic vehicle and vice versa. This test is conducted on a road with a qualified DVSA inspector.

Eye Test

At the beginning of the test, the applicant is required to read a number plate from a set distance. If unsuccessful at first, a second number plate is read. A third attempt is allowed. However, if the applicant is still unable to read the number plate, the driving test is failed and the temporary license is withdrawn.

Driving Test

This road test is approximately 40 minutes conducted on a planned route. The inspector marks the applicant’s driving according to driving faults, serious faults, and dangerous faults. More than one serious or dangerous fault is an automatic fail. However, over 15 driving faults is also an immediate failure.

Safety Questions

Questions are asked before and during the test to ascertain the applicant’s knowledge of vehicle safety hazards and measures.

Emergency Stop

Testing the applicant’s ability to safely stop the vehicle in an emergency situation without compromising other motorists. If there are adverse weather conditions, this part of the test is not required for safety reasons.

Independent Driving

The applicant either has to drive to a location following traffic signs or verbal instructions.

Observe and listen. Safety always first!

Improve Road Safety Skills With A Pass Plus Course

The importance of road safety is a subject regularly being debated upon as legislature is continuously being improved to ensure full road safety for motorists, passengers, and pedestrians. There is an influx of unlicensed drivers, drivers under the influence, or drivers who are using uninsured vehicles.

In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to drive a car without a valid drivers license, furthermore, it is illegal to drive an uninsured car. In order to ensure road safety measures are met accordingly, penalties, monetary fines, and driving bans have been implemented to lower the risk of dangerous drivers.

The focus on ensuring newly licensed drivers have the opportunity to further their driving skills has been effective. If new drivers are taught advanced skills to boost their confidence in driving, increase their observational and awareness levels, and aid in developing safer driving techniques, allows for the driver to lower the risk of becoming a dangerous driver.

What Can New Drivers Do?

There is an optional course a new driver can take within the first year of becoming a licensed driver. It is the Pass Plus course which was implemented by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency in the UK.

Pass Plus Course

This course was developed to provide newly licensed drivers with the opportunity to gain valuable experience and knowledge in a safe way alongside an approved licensed driving instructor.

An added benefit of participating in this course are car insurance companies who offer discounted car insurance cover for drivers who have certified with the Pass Plus course. This is only applicable for drivers who provide the company with an accredited Pass Plus Certificate of Achievement. This also enables new drivers to save money on insurance premiums.

Pass Plus Cost and Syllabus

The course content is spread over six one hour modules. Modules cover freeway driving, divided highway driving, night driving, countryside driving, adverse weather condition driving skills, and driving through town.

Costs of a Pass Plus course varies between driving instructors. However, an estimate of the cost is between 120 and 200 pounds.


Upon completion of this course, drivers are not required to take an exam. However, all modules have to be passed adequately as determined by an approved driving instructor. If passed, drivers will receive a Certificate of Achievement issued by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

Throughout the course, the driving instructor conducts a Progress Record and a Training Assessment Report. These documents are submitted to the DVSA for approval and a certificate is then issued to the driver.

Insurance Options

By UK law, the minimum car insurance requirement is third-party liability cover. This type of insurance covers third party car damages and physical injuries caused by your car. Extra coverage can be a full cover insurance package. Pass Plus certified drivers are able to acquire discounted car insurance premiums by select companies.

If found driving an uninsured vehicle, you could be fined a minimum of 300 pounds up to 5000 pounds and issued a Fixed Penalty Notice.