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#1 27-10-09 00:31:09

andy.allen39
Member
Registered: 25-10-09
Posts: 2

Training to be a driving instructor

hi I'm Andy, 39 years young and a separated Dad of 3 kiddies.

I want to train to be a driving instructor and intend to give my answer this week to the training school in question this week.  My one concern at the end of this course when I go to work for same school is...............will I have problems getting the appropriate number of clients per week to make a decent wage?  The guy doing the presentation has guaranteed full advertising and back up by the school and said we as qualified ADIs will have no difficulty whatsoever getting 40 hours of lessons a week.  It is costing big big money for the course and I can't help feeling wary that things may go wrong when I go out on my own as a self employed person.  I would be very grateful for any feedback or advice from ADIs already out there on this.  Has the recession affected business or are people still taking driving lessons more than ever? Thanks

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27-10-09 00:31:09

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Re: Training to be a driving instructor




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#2 27-10-09 09:09:14

Loopy Lou
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 554

Re: Training to be a driving instructor

Hi Andy,

I'm afraid I can't give you the reassurances you seek - but I think you're very sensible joining this forum and asking questions before you sign on the dotted line  big_smile

NO driving school can guarantee enough work (and I say that as a driving school owner myself who has franchised instructors working for me).

All any school can do is to TRY to get work for their instructors and whether they are successful or not depends on how much effort they make, how effective those efforts are and most importantly -  what the COMPETITION is like in your local area.

There are LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of driving instructors out there now. The training companies churn them out like sausages...

It is simply NOT true to say you will have "no difficulty whatsoever in getting 40 hours of lessons a week" - I run a very successful school and I cannot and would not make a statement like that!

None of my instructors work a consistent 40 hour week  and more to the point they wouldn't want to as they'd be exhausted! Don't forget that 40 hours of lessons equates to 60+ hours out on the road, with well over 20 of them spent working but not being paid for that time.

The recession HAS affected the driver training industry - if nothing else, with the constantly rising number of instructors, there's far more competition and thus a smaller share of the available pupils for each instructor.

There is not an increasing number of potential learners - I believe the DVLA have recently stated that the number of applications for provisional driving licences has fallen in the last couple of years.

Be aware that training companies will put ONLY a positive rosy slant on things because they're in business to sell their courses....they're hardly going to tell you you might struggle are they because then you wouldn't sign up and give them the big, big money you mention!

The adverts paint a picture of a career that's easy to get into, suitable for everyone and where you spend all day, every day in the company of smiling, happy, grateful people - but for the most part that's not true! The qualification process can be tough, the pass rates are very low and real pupils aren't like the ones on TV with permanent grins stuck to their faces! You may find it hard to get enough work - especially when you start out. The training companies also never mention that not everyone is cut out to be a driving instructor in terms of the necessary personality and skills - and that part often doesn't come to light until the trainee has parted with a fair bit of their money...

The truth of the matter is that some instructors seem to be weathering the storm and doing OK...but others struggle due to various factors including lots of competition, inexperience, poor business skills and so on. Instructors who are well supported by a franchisor who works hard for them, or who are established with a pupil base and recommendations behind them, good business acumen, and maybe a Unique Selling Point (e.g. teaching the disabled, speaking another language, offering different types of driving tuition etc) can still do OK...but the harsh reality is that driving instructors are 100 a penny these days and they're far from being the "rare breed" that training companies would have you believe neutral

Location plays a BIG part. How many instructors in your local area will you be competition with? Have a look around when you go out - how many driving school cars do you see, how many instructors are in the phone book or come up on internet searches for your town?

Many driving schools make a significant proportion of their money out of franchise fees and the more instructors they take on, the more money they make...some have a tendency to take on more instructors than they are able to supply a reasonable amount of work for.

Ask if you can speak to other instructors who are already working with the school you are thinking of in the area you will be covering - ask them how much work they have and are they content with the service they receive and their pupil supply - that's the best way of telling whether you're being told the truth...

The pass rates for ADI training are low - many people seem to find the training process nowhere near as straightforward as they were led to believe in training company presentations.

There was a TV programme shown on ITV earlier this year that looked at the reality of claims made by one large instructor training company - if you haven't seen it, there's a video available which you can view online at; ITV Tonight Programme - How To Blow Your Redundancy - it's well worth watching (it's about 8 minutes in duration) as it discusses all of the concerns you have.

I also believe that figures show that a worrying proportion of newly qualified ADI's leave the industry within 2 years of qualifying, presumably because they are disllusioned with the job/can't make it pay etc (can't find the figures right now, but will dig out the source and amend this post when I find them).

I've written a webpage that goes into some detail about everything the training companies don't tell you and it might be in your interests to have a read before you make your final decision;

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Driving Instructor


It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...

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#3 27-10-09 14:21:44

andy.allen39
Member
Registered: 25-10-09
Posts: 2

Re: Training to be a driving instructor

Hi Loopy Lou

I really appreciate your quick reply and valuable advice.  I do feel these Training centres are glossing over the harsh realities of the business.  I think I will hold out for a while until as you advised I speak to some ADIs in my area.

Thanks again

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#4 27-10-09 17:15:23

Dave G
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 15-10-09
Posts: 45

Re: Training to be a driving instructor

Hi Andy

Welcome to the site.

I was in the same position as you a month or so ago "Shall I sign or?" I signed with a Franchise company to get me started. I also got the "Guaranteed 40 hours of work a week", after my driving assessment I was told "Great driving and you will have no problem", Ive also seen the video!. I knew I would get this spiel but have always remained very open minded. I grilled the guy at my final interview for 2 hours, 4 cups of coffee and all his biscuits!!!

I want the company I am with to assist me through the qualifying process. The training support I have had has been excellent, especially the e learning package and tutor support. I am getting through the first part of the process quite quickly compared to some. I have just had my part 1 date booked and that is after 4 weeks 3 days. But this I feel is because I keep phoning up people, e mailing, checking with the CRB, DSA etc. Once I have qualified  I can think again about my options and as was suggested in the previous post I am talking to other ADI's

Im open minded about the earnings potential but its something I have always wanted to do. I know its going to be down to hard work and a good business mind. Im already self employed so that helps.

I used to be a Driving Instructor in the Army so have a good idea about the nature of the beast ahead. Im also a qualified trainer in other subjects which obviously helps with Instructional technique. The other aspect I have found most helpfull is this site. I have read so many of the posts and learnt a lot from them. One thing I have learnt is that everyone is different and some things that are right for one person will not suit another.

If I can be of any help to you please dont be afraid to ask.

Regards
Dave


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#5 31-10-09 14:32:48

icantdrivesom
Member
Registered: 23-10-09
Posts: 5

Re: Training to be a driving instructor

A lot of good information given by Loopy Lou. I am an indie working out of Northern Ireland and a lot of Newbies  on the road now have started a price war  like Supermarket  chains. Which is totally futile there will always be a smarter  person who will undercut the cheapest on the road eventually giving Free driving lessons. In the recent  MSA's Newslink magazine one of the contributers noted that, your friendly doctor,dentist and solicitor had made no downward movement in their prices. Therefore was wondering if it was because they were "Trained Professionals". When i came into this profession 15 years ago i heard whispers that we were supposed to be along the same lines as these "Professionals", Not while we carry on working with "market stall prices".When will this industry wake up?   roll :x

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