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Become a driving instructor

How to become a driving instructor

Starting a career as a driving instructor can be a bit daunting when you’re first starting out. Lots of jargon and abbreviations can make it impenetrable for prospective student instructors but never fear. We’re on hand to try to cut though the noise and help make the process as simple as we can with our step by step guide.

If you’ve ever considered becoming a driving instructor, you may not be surprised to learn that we highly recommend it! It’s a really great choice of career for those who love to be independent and revel in a challenge. And most of all, you’ll be teaching a really valuable skill, and helping learners to pass their test is a wonderful feeling.

Here we look at everything you need to know about becoming an approved driving instructor (ADI).

1. Apply to become a driving instructor

Before you can begin training to become a driving instructor, you must first register with the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). To do this you must be over 21 years old and have held a driving licence for over three years, without holding any motoring convictions. You must also get a new Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to start your application, even if you already have one.

Check you are eligible to become a driving instructor on the DVSA website

2. Get a trainer

Officially you aren’t required to have any training before you take the ADI tests to become a driving instructor but, as with all specialist careers, most would find it very difficult to pass the tests without any bespoke training.

Revolutionary, industry leading driving instructor training from our experts at BSM, offers a concentrated programme to help you become a licensed ADI fast and at a low cost. As well as preparing you for the test, the course will teach you about some of the practicalities of being a driving instructor such as managing your diary and retaining your pupils. Of course, other driving instructor training courses are available.

3. Take the theory test ( ADI part 1 )

How much does it cost?

The ADI part 1 test costs £81

What to take to your test

You must take your UK photocard driving licence to your test. If you have a licence from Northern Ireland, bring the photocard and paper counterpart licence.

The test

The test is split into two parts:

    1. Multiple-choice questions

You will be asked 100 questions and will need to score a minimum of 80% in each of the 5 categories:

      • The Highway Code
      • Know you traffic signs
      • Driving – the essential skills
      • The official theory test for approved driving instructors pack
      • The Driving Instructor’s Handbook


    1. Hazard perception test

You will watch 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes and ‘developing hazards’. Click the mouse to get up to 5 points for spotting each the developing hazards as soon as they start to happen. You will need to score a minimum of 76% to complete the test.

4. Take the driving ability test (ADI part 2)

How much does it cost?

The ADI part 2 test costs £111


The car

Your car must comply with the DVSA standards, the test will be cancelled and you’ll have to pay again if your car does not meet the rules.

What happens during the test

The test takes around one hour and there are 5 parts to the (ADI) part 2 test:

      • An eyesight check
      • ‘Show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
      • General driving ability
      • Manoeuvres
      • Independent driving


The result

To pass your ADI part 2 test you must record:

      • No more than 6 driving faults
      • No serious or dangerous faults

The examiner will tell you what faults you made. You can take the test again if you fail at either your first or second attempt. If you fail at the third attempt you will have to wait 2 years from when you first passed the ADI part 1 test before you can take it again.


The Cardington Special Test

You can take the voluntary Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) special test if you’re an approved driving instructor (ADI) or a fully qualified motorcycle instructor. The DVSA special test will test your skills to the highest standard.

5. Choose your pathway

    Once your training for BSM is completed you will have the option to:

Become a Fully Qualified Driving Instructor

Complete all your DVSA qualification tests including Part 3

  1. Part 1 – Theory and hazard perception
  2. Part 2 – Driving ability
  3. Part 3 – Instructional ability

Become a Trainee Driving Instructor

Increase your teaching experience further, delivering real learner lessons in a BSM car under the official DVSA Trainee Instructor Licence Scheme before attempting your Part 3

We hope so! If you think you have what it takes, check out our driving instructor training courses today. We’d love to help you along your way to a new, fulfilling career.



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