Driving Instructor Earnings

There is always a lot of talk about how much a driving instructor earns due to the TV adverts for The Instructor College.

Well £30,000 a year is not a bad target to set yourself, but realistically it is highly unlikely for several years.

Teaching learners is not easy, and certainly while an instructor is less experienced, working more than 6 hours a day is not advisable. Once experienced (after at least a year, preferably 3) working up to 8 hours a day is possible, though not enjoyable.

Bear in mind that for every lesson given, there will probably be around 30 minutes of travel time and you start to realise why so many instructors give discounts for longer lessons. 6 x 1 hour lessons = 9 hours in total, whereas 3 x 2 hour lessons = 7.5 hours in total.

It is also very easy at first to agree to every customer who comes along, fitting them in at weekends or late at night. In the long run this is very tiring and demoralising, though it is an understandable tactic when first starting up.

So, how do the figures break down?

Well, we’ll work this out per year – you can break it down however you like from here:

Car – £3,000 – £6,000
Insurance – £300 – £700
Instructor Association – £100
Green Badge – £50
CPD – £200 – £1000
Advertising £350 – £2000

So outgoings could be between £4000 (for a small enterprise, with lots of hard work, lots of recommendations and word of mouth) and around £10,000 (for a larger enterprise that someone wants to grow into a real business).

Income we will base on lesson price – fuel.

Fuel is usually around £1.50 (diesel) and £2/hour’s tuition, though with a rural area this will be higher.

Average lesson prices are currently around £20/hour after discounts and cancellations, though can be pushed up to around £25/hour.

So for an instructor working around 25 hours of tuition (comfortable) each week, they should receive between £500 and £625 each week.

For an instructor who is willing to really knock out the lessons, work up to 7 days in the week, and do this week in, week out for 48 weeks in a year, then working 50 hours a week could earn between £1000 and £1250 a week.

So, you can see that in the end, if you’re willing to knock yourself out, work hard to get the reputation that you can charge for, and after building up your diary you could earn over £40k a year.

But if you get things wrong, you work things through the wrong way, spend too much on everything, and don’t manage to get the income, you could wind up with less than £10k.

And that’s only if you manage to find those 25 hours of tuition a week.

If you would like any advice on how to increase your earning potential, contact me:


Since this article was originally published on another website, there have been many changes in the industry, including a dramatic increase in both qualified and trainee instructors.

Driving schools are struggling and there are more and more of the 5 lessons for £49 style offers around, encouraging customers to chase offers which pay the instructor less than £10/hour.

Many of these schools have decided that as there’s not so many learners around, they should go into instructor training (following the pot of gold), often making the situation even worse.

There are serious concerns that over the upcoming recession, people will be made redundant and with their pay off cheque they will decide to become an instructor (earn £30k a year, have a new car and work whenever you like!).

If this is why you are here – seriously consider your decision.

If you really want some independent advice, do a search for driving instructor and ADI forums and talk to the guys who are doing the job. Some love it, others are leaving it, the majority are hoping they’ll survive the next couple of years. Some may even try to sell you a course, but you will get a broader view than the one on the TV ads.

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