Deciding to become a driving instructor is one of those decisions that a lot of people make because they’re not entirely happy in their current job, enjoy driving and helping others and go by the belief that as people are always going to want to drive, it’s in effect going to be a job for life.
While there’s no doubt that being a driving instructor can be a fantastic occupation and one that keeps you busy for years, there are certain aspects that you need to consider and understand first and foremost, before deciding to setup on your own or join an established driving school.
The very first thing that you have to understand is that it’s almost becoming a saturated market, meaning that although there might be hundreds of people in your local area wanting driving lessons, chances are there’ll be plenty of driving instructors to share the demand – you might be able to fill up a full week’s worth of lessons occasionally or after you’ve gained a substantial reputation, but at first, you might find it difficult to even get a lesson or two booked in every day.
Next, it’s massively important to be aware of the various costs that driving instructors have to pay out for, meaning that although they might be able to earn 15 or 20 pounds a lesson with ease, their actual profit is only going to be a fraction of this.
Starting with the amount of fuel that the car’s going to use when in use on a lesson, as well as how much you’re going to use when driving between pupils, you’ve then got the car’s on going maintenance and driving school insurance (driving school insurance isn’t just required for driving schools and covers individual instructors, too).
You’ve also got all of your advertising fees, any materials you need for teaching the theory side of driving and if you’re part of a driving school, there’ll also be a certain level of commission that needs to be paid out to them, which can vary between schools.
Another point that’s always worthwhile considering is that you’re almost always going to be self-employed (even, on occasion, if you’re effectively working for a driving school), meaning you’ll have all of your own taxes to do each year and will have to keep records of everything that you buy and pay out for.
This might only seem like a small point to some, especially if they’ve worked on a self-employed basis in the past, but for someone who is used to simply picking up a wage at the end of the month from an employer, it can be a huge change in the way that they work.
Being a driving instructor is one of those occupations that can be really fantastic and give you a substantial amount of freedom.
However, it can also be an occupation that’s high risk and offers low returns and so it’s always recommended that you fully understand both the ups and downs of the career before you decide whether or not it’s going to be a good choice of career for you.