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Fed up with the 9-5 grind and want to run your own business? Well, becoming a driving instructor can provide you with the perfect opportunity to do this. Not only does it offer flexible working hours, a potential £30k yearly salary and a chance to be your own boss, there is also the satisfaction of helping your pupils overcome the challenging task of getting a driving licence.
But before you jack it all in and quit your job, first read our top 5 most important things to consider..
Let’s jump in!
1. You will become self employed
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The move from employment to self-employment can be a scary transition. Not only are you responsible for generating your own business, which will involve building a website and become social media savvy, you will also now have to take care of your own administration and tax affairs. Make life easier for yourself by being well organised when it comes to keeping records. Also, ensuring careful financial planning will keep you on track, and improve your chance of success.
Book an appointment with your bank manager to set up a business account and seek advice from a good accountant.
2. Cost of becoming a driving instructor
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Becoming a driving instructor is a sizeable investment. You should expect to pay anywhere in the region of £2500-£4000 to become ADI qualified. Although you have the potential of earning £30,000 a year, achieving this takes time because you will need to build your reputation and customer base.
The first 12 months could be difficult so think about this before you take the plunge.
Saving money at first might be a good idea, to help offset some of your household bills.
Also, try to find a driving instructor training course that allows you to pay in installments, as opposed one that requires the whole amount up front.
This will provide protection if you don’t complete the training course because most of them do not offer a refund.
3. Driving instructor franchise or independent
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When fully qualified, one of the biggest choices you will need to make is whether to be independent or join a franchise scheme. Both have their pros and cons, so you will need to consider carefully which option will be best suited for you.
If you are in a situation where immediate earnings or a full time income are not a priority then being independent maybe the best option. Owning your own business and growing it organically offers longevity, and if successful, the chance for a bigger financial reward.
However, if you need to start earning money straight away, then working for a well-established franchise might be the better option for you. Franchises have the ability to provide a full diary very quickly, which will solve any income issues you may have when you first start out.
If you do choose the go down the franchise route then make sure that you do your research and choose wisely. Read reviews and inspect forums to see what current and past franchisees have to say about any franchises you are considering.
4. The course completion time scale
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If you are a fully competent driver, then the road to becoming fully qualified can be achieved in less than a year. However, a more realistic timescale is 1 year to 18 months and in some cases it can even take 2 years.
In order to complete the course, there are 3 separate tests you will need to pass, and they are tough. The majority of people fail or give up, so take this into consideration when deciding if this is right for you.
But please remember that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency have to make the process difficult. You will be training the UK’s future drivers and you will partly responsible for keeping our roads safe.
5. Good people skills
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In order to become a successful driving instructor it is essential for you to have good people skills. The chances are you will be teaching a wide variety of people from all walks of life, and it is essential you are able to communicate instructions clearly and concisely. This means you will need to adapt your teaching style with each individual. Remember people learn and absorb information in different ways. You will need to have a calm and clear approach, and the ability to give constructive advice when teaching your pupils.
Get your head around this, and you will be a fantastic teacher. If you don’t, then this could be the job from hell.
So there you have it. Our view on the 5 most important things you will need to consider when weighing up a career as a driving instructor. But for this information to be useful you need to take action. Pick up the phone and make those enquiries.
If you require additional reading, there is a plethora of information on the subject that can be found online.
If you do decide to take the plunge, we would love to hear from you to let us know how you got on.
Or leave a comment if you think there is something we have missed out.
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