Starting your own driving school in the UK involves several steps and considerations. We contacted driveJohnson’s
for some general advice and they came back to us outlining the following process:
1. Qualifications and Licensing:
Before you can start a driving school, you need to meet specific qualifications and obtain the necessary licenses:
ADI Qualification: To become a driving instructor in the UK, you need to pass the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) qualification. This involves several exams and assessments to prove your driving skills, teaching ability, and knowledge of road safety.
ADI License: Once you’ve passed the ADI qualification, you’ll receive an ADI license, which allows you to legally provide driving instruction.
2. Business Planning:
Create a detailed business plan that outlines your goals, target market, services, pricing, and marketing strategies. Consider factors like the local competition, potential student demographics, and unique selling points that will set your driving school apart.
3. Business Setup:
Decide on the legal structure for your business, such as sole trader, partnership, or limited company. Register your business with the appropriate authorities and obtain any necessary permits or licenses. Most instructors start as a sole trader and then look at becoming a limited company later.
4. Location and Facilities:
If you are starting out on your own to begin with, then you don’t really need a physical premise as most of your customers will come to you via google, social media and word of mouth. It’s always good to show your address on google but just change the settings so customers can see you serve the area but don’t necessarily accept walk in customers.
As you progress and possibly take on more instructors in the future you will need to think about where your office staff will work and a good location so your not too far away from attracting people to work for you.
You’ll need to provide vehicles for practical driving lessons. Ensure that the vehicles are properly insured and meet the safety requirements set by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). All teaching vehicles should be fitted with dual controls.
6. Curriculum and Teaching Materials:
Develop a comprehensive curriculum that covers both theory and practical lessons. Create teaching materials such as handbooks, study guides, and visual aids to support your instruction.
7. Marketing and Promotion:
Promote your driving school through various channels, such as online advertising, social media, local newspapers, and flyers. Consider offering special promotions or discounts for new students to attract business.
8. Online Presence:
Create a professional website that provides information about your driving school, including services offered, pricing, instructor profiles, and contact details. An online booking system could make it convenient for students to schedule lessons.
9. Compliance with Regulations:
Ensure that your driving school complies with all regulations set by the DVSA. This includes adhering to standards for instructors, vehicles, and teaching practices.
10. Hire Instructors (Optional):
As your business grows, you may consider hiring additional driving instructors. Make sure they also hold valid ADI licenses and meet the required qualifications. You may decide to train the first few instructors yourself.
11. Continuous Improvement:
Regularly assess and improve your teaching methods, curriculum, and customer service to ensure the best learning experience for your students.
Remember that starting a driving school requires careful planning, dedication, and a commitment to maintaining high standards of instruction and safety. It’s advisable to consult with legal and business professionals to navigate through the process smoothly.