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#1 16-08-12 16:57:26

SteveJDabbs
Member
Registered: 16-08-12
Posts: 2

Advice to a complete beginner?

Hi guys,

Great forum you've got here from what I've seen.

I am really interested in becoming a driving instructor and have looked at a few trainers however I thought it best to garner advice from real people who've been there and done it  rather than the sales patter of RED, BSM, AA etc.

I've been looking at www.smartdriving.org which is obviously considerably cheaper than the others and looks pretty good. Is this a legit way to start? As I say i'm blind as to where to start to be honest so any advice you've got (including opinions on franchising v going alone) would be extremely appreciated.

Many thanks,

Steve

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16-08-12 16:57:26

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Re: Advice to a complete beginner?



#2 16-08-12 18:00:28

SteveJDabbs
Member
Registered: 16-08-12
Posts: 2

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Hi  smile

Salary wise I guess 20,00+ and I would be working full time (hopefully) so around 40 hours per week?

Steve

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#3 16-08-12 18:40:08

Lewinpeter1
Verified Member
From: Morpeth,Northumberland
Registered: 17-01-09
Posts: 803
Website

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Hi Steve
Tough old business out there at the moment,so think carefully.I work in the northeast and price is almost everything.
Most pupils are interested in how cheap and how few lessons they will need.
40 hours working is probably really 60.But most indies are doing half that around here[and struggling to get that].
Sorry to be a bit negative but i have been doing this for 11 years now and its never been tougher.
I still love it though smile[consider part time as it may fit nicely around something else].Peter


Dont press that,oh @@##!

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#4 16-08-12 19:05:49

Evan
Administrator
Registered: 27-12-09
Posts: 2,058

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Lewinpeter1 wrote:

Hi Steve
Tough old business out there at the moment,so think carefully.I work in the northeast and price is almost everything.
Most pupils are interested in how cheap and how few lessons they will need.
40 hours working is probably really 60.But most indies are doing half that around here[and struggling to get that].
Sorry to be a bit negative but i have been doing this for 11 years now and its never been tougher.
I still love it though smile[consider part time as it may fit nicely around something else].Peter



Good post and advice, don't risk anything on this job, a local instructor actually lost his home recently he has a wife and 6 children, it can be a risky game.

That said its also a good job if you work hard and are prepared for some of the disappointments. With regards to training, do your homework, and I mean really do your homework look for a really good, well recommended trainer. Go for one to one training, don't be drawn in by special offers of work after you qualify.

You are moving into the Self Employed Market, once your cheque has been cashed you are at their mercy, so as I have said do lots and lots of research before you part with anything.


Good luck.

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#5 16-08-12 19:42:32

martin Williams
Verified Member
Registered: 26-06-09
Posts: 1,144

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Lewinpeter1 wrote:

Hi Steve
Tough old business out there at the moment,so think carefully.I work in the northeast and price is almost everything.
Most pupils are interested in how cheap and how few lessons they will need.
40 hours working is probably really 60.But most indies are doing half that around here[and struggling to get that].
Sorry to be a bit negative but i have been doing this for 11 years now and its never been tougher.
I still love it though smile[consider part time as it may fit nicely around something else].Peter

This is such negative advice.

With a lot of hard work and comitment you should be able to do 40 hours at a decent rate no problem but as Lewinpeter says its more like 55-60 hours with the traveling and paperwork. So if you don't want to kill yourself 32 hours is more like it if you want some time for your self. It took me less than 12 months to get a full diary 28-35 hours  but it does not just happen you have to work hard for it. As for the training i have no idea what area your in so can't reccommend anyone but whatever you do go pay as you go dont pay a lump sum at the start. Then if your not happy you can change trainer. Some instructors may try to put you off being an ADI as it's more competition for them but if things are that bad ask them why they still do it?

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#6 16-08-12 20:51:17

Roadmaster
Verified Member
Registered: 04-03-04
Posts: 5,670

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

It isn't negative, it's realism.  There are hundreds of ADIs leaving the register every month, many of which has been in the business for years, because the work is simply not there, or the lesson rates have dropped  so much due to competition that it is no longer posible to make a living.  Or both.

You need to do some research  before you start spending any money on training.  For every hour you get paid you need to add on unpaid travelling time.  40 hours paid = 50 hours work.  That's if you could get 40 hours, which in some areas would be impossible at the moment.

Do the sums.  Whatever income you get you have to deduct all your expenses (and there are some huge expenses), and then put money aside for tax and national insurance before you can take whats left.

Do all that BEFORE you pay a penny in training.

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#7 17-08-12 06:02:57

RobC
Verified Member
From: Nr Ormskirk Lancs
Registered: 28-01-09
Posts: 765
Website

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

I dont want to sound negative but the two basic requirements of being an ADI are qualifying and getting pupils/work.

Most ADI trainers do not tell you that most people who start down the road as ADIs give up/fail to qualify because the qualifying process is more difficult and takes longer than most expect.

If you are committed and qualify you then have to find pupils. Remenber you are starting a business in a recession and you will have expenses but no reputation and probably no income/pupils when you first qualify which is why BS suggests a franchise.

20K a year will not come overnight, most of my pupils come via recommendation and this will take time to build up so be prepared to make a loss at least in your first year.

Last edited by RobC (17-08-12 06:58:33)


www.midasbustraining.webs.com
Midas Minibus Driver Assessor Trainer & Passenger Assistant Trainer
DVSA Fleet Registered Trainer

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#8 17-08-12 09:41:12

robcooling
Verified Member
From: Nottingham
Registered: 02-04-09
Posts: 1,451
Website

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

I made a loss in my 1st year, took another 3 years to start hitting a regular 22k per annum. The first years can be rough.


Rob

http://www.appledriving.co.uk - Driving Lessons in Nottingham

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#9 17-08-12 11:25:01

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

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

I wrote the following webpage a few years ago...the advice in it remains the same.

Nothing about the industry has changed and in a lot of ways, things have got a lot worse:

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Driving Instructor...And The Real Truth Behind The TV Adverts For Driving Instructor Training


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

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#10 17-08-12 12:36:49

guess who1
Member
Registered: 19-01-12
Posts: 127

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Passing the exams is the easy part.
Staying in business is the hard part.

I was at Skipton test centre yesterday. Talking to one of the examiners, he was asking how busy i am. I told him that the last two weeks have been good. Just taken on 12 new pupils and i was quite before that.

He said that loads of instructors in Skipton are very, very quite. He told me some were very worried about there future.

I have been in the job for 9 years now.
Times are hard. There isnt as much work out there as there was. Some instructors are happy to work for next to nothing.

Think very, very hard before jumping in.

Last edited by guess who1 (17-08-12 12:39:12)

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#11 17-08-12 13:26:25

Promanade
Guest

Re: Advice to a complete beginner?

Hi SteveJDabbs. Triker has given some excellent advise as have others and the link provided by Loopy Lou is well worth reading.

Unfortunately you are going to get lots of negative advice, this is because people at the moment cannot afford to finance the running of a car and as a result learning to drive is not now as important as it once was. Most ADIs would tell you its a great job but not just at the moment.

My advice: rethink in 12 months it may improve sad if you do decide to continue then find a trainer who will train you on a pay as you go scheme, that way you can just get out when you want to. Whatever you decide good luck smile

Last edited by Promanade (17-08-12 13:27:25)

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