Becoming an approved driving instructor

Becoming an approved driving instructor

Being an approved driving instructor (ADI) can be a very rewarding career: you’ll help people to learn an important skill for life.

The job involves working with all sorts of people so you’ll need good people skills as well as

  • patience and understanding
  • a thorough knowledge of the theory and practice of driving
  • an ability to teach
  • awareness of changes in the regulations for driving tests, as well as driving instruction
  • business sense.

Learner drivers often want to fit in their lessons around school and work so you may have to work unsociable hours to fit in with their needs.

You’ll also need to check that you’re eligible to apply to become a driving instructor. Take a quick test on GOV.UK to find out whether you can apply. This test will also tell you what to do next to become an ADI.

First you’ll need to apply to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to become an ADI. To do this you’ll need to give details about your current driving licence including any driving offences. You’ll also need a criminal records disclosure number.

You can apply to become an ADI on GOV.UK.

Before you can apply to become an ADI, you’ll need to have a criminal record check. Apply for your check at GOV.UK.

When you’ve been accepted to start the qualifying process, you can start your training towards the three ADI tests.

You’ll have to pass the tests in this order and you must pass them within a two-year period before you can join the ADI register.

Visit for a guide to the approved driving instructor register.

Here is a list of recommended resources for trainee ADIs:

For Part 1:

The Official DVSA Theory Test for Approved Driving Instructors DVD-ROM
The Official Highway Code
Know Your Traffic Signs
The Driving Instructor's Handbook
The Official DVSA Guide to Driving - the essential skills
The Official DVSA Guide to Hazard Perception DVD
The Official DVSA Theory Test for Approved Driving Instructors pack

For Parts 2 and 3:

The Official DVSA Guide to Learning to Drive
Roadcraft: The Police Driver's Handbook

As a PDI (potential driving instructor), you are entitled to a 15 per cent discount when you order these titles directly from TSO, DVSA's official publishing partner - call 0333 200 2401.

You don’t have to have any training before you take the ADI tests but you’re likely to find it very difficult to pass the tests without specialist training. As well as preparing you for the test, the course will teach you about some of the practicalities of being a driving instructor such as managing your diary and retaining your pupils.

You can find driving instructor trainers on GOV.UK. This tool lists trainers on DVSA's Official Register of Driving Instructor Trainers (ORDIT). Training providers on this register are tested to make sure they meet a minimum set of standards.

The cost of your training will depend on the trainer you choose and how long the course is. There are also fees for each of the three tests: see GOV.UK for the ADI test fees.