Monthly Archives: February 2021

Becoming a Driving Instructor

If you fancy a change of career or are just looking to do something a little different then you may have considered driving instructor training. Read on to see if you have what it takes to get the next generation of drivers on the road safely.

Legal Requirements for a Driving Instructor

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) requires each applicant to satisfy the following. You must:

  • Be a holder of a full UK unrestricted driving license. If you hold an EU driving license, following Brexit, you will be required to apply to register your non-GB driving licence in the UK
  • Have held your driving licence for a minimum of four years out of the last six
  • Not have received a disqualification from driving at any point in the four years prior to making your application. Any convictions that you hold (both motoring and non-motoring) will be considered by the DSA when you apply to go on the register. It will also be necessary to have an enhanced level criminal activity check, to assess your suitability to be an instructor
  • Be fit and healthy – this may seem a little bit vague so if you are unsure you could check when registering
  • Be over 21 years of age

What qualifications do I need?

In order to qualify as a driving instructor there are three exams that you will need to take. They need to be taken in the right order. You will need to pass the second and third exams within two years of passing the first one, otherwise you will need to start the qualification process again. The theory test can be taken as many times as you like; however, you must pass the practical tests by your third attempt.

The exams are:

·       Part 1 – theory and hazard perception test – this part is like the theory test for a learner driver but more in depth

·       Part 2 – a practical test of your ability to drive – like the learner driver practical but again you will be expected to show greater knowledge

·       Part 3 – a practical test of your ability to instruct – the examiner will observe you teaching a pupil how to drive

How long does the process take?

It is entirely possible to pass all three exams in a short space of time, as little as three months, however it is more usual for the qualification process to take between six to twelve months, especially if the person is still doing another job. However long it takes, it could be a wise move to start your driving instructor training with a well-established company, in order for you to be confident in your ability to provide a great learning experience for new drivers.

What to Expect on Your First Driving Lesson

If you have just booked your first driving lesson, you are probably a little bit nervous. But don’t worry; you will not be the first beginner your driving instructor will have seen who is nervous. In fact, being nervous is perfectly normal when it comes to driving lessons for beginners.

A good driving instructor will take a little bit of time to get to know you so that they can help you get the most from your lessons.

Before you start

Don’t be late for your lesson. After all, you are paying for the time, so it’s important to make the most of it. Remember that your driving instructor will need to check you can drive so they will need to see your provisional driving licence at your first lesson.

The vehicle

It is usual for your driving instructor to pick you up from your place of work, or your home in the car that will be being used for your lessons. These cars have dual controls so that the instructor can keep you both safe when you are behind the wheel.

Do not expect too much driving to take place during your first lesson, and you are unlikely to be doing anything fancy such as reversing round corners. Learning to drive a car requires concentration and a good knowledge of your vehicle so your first lesson is likely to focus on familiarising yourself with the controls in the car and what they all do.

Getting behind the wheel

Once you have been taken through the basics, your driving instructor will take you to some quieter roads and you are likely to get a chance behind the wheel. Whilst you may not spend a long time driving during your first lesson, it is important that having learnt about the different controls in the car you get a chance to put the theory side into practice.

Your instructor will go at a pace that suits you so what you do will depend entirely on how comfortable you are. You are, however, likely to have a chance to try moving off and getting ready to use your gear, clutch control and seeing if you can find the biting point (this can take a while for some people), checking your mirrors, signalling, practising gear changes, and of course stopping the car.

Don’t worry if you don’t take everything in

Don’t be disheartened if you struggle with your first lesson; it can take a few lessons before some drivers feel comfortable behind the wheel. Your instructor will not move to the next step until you are ready to move forward and really get into the swing of things.