5 Tips for Running a Driving School Franchise

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Want to run your own driving school business but not sure how to get started? Read on for our top five tips!


If you’ve learnt to drive, there’s a good chance you have a clear memory of your driving instructor and your experience with them. It’s because of them that you have the convenience, flexibility and independence that driving a car offers you. If you think you’ve got what it takes to own your own driving instructor business, remember to keep these five tips in mind when staring up. By the end of this article you should have a clearer idea of what your journey to driving school franchise ownership will look like.

The Annual Driving Instructor Review 2018 has some exciting findings for the UK driving school industry; including extremely high levels of job satisfaction and most driving instructors’ earnings increasing. We spend an average of £1,222 to get our driving licenses, and with tests getting more challenging this figure looks set to increase. While this might not be the best news for learners, it proves that owning a driving school business is a lucrative business opportunity.

1. Consider if you definitely want to take the franchise route

There’s a lot more to owning a driving school business than meets the eye. Becoming an Advanced Driving Instructor (ADI ) involves a three-stage exam, a lot of reading, making big decisions and parting with a hefty sum of cash. You can choose to start your own driving school business or invest into an existing franchise.

The franchising industry is at an all time high- with the largest generated turnover (£17.2 billion), largest people employed in franchising (710,000) and highest number of franchised units (48,600) in history. As well as it being a lucrative and successful industry, if you choose the franchising route, you’ll have access to training programmes and ongoing support. You’ll also able to operate under an established brand with an existing customer base.

However, you don’t get complete control over your business like you do with the independent start up route. To help you decide which is the best option for you, see another one of our articles here.


2. Ask yourself (if you’re not already an instructor) if you’re prepared to spend a long time getting trained

Getting qualified can take time. Despite anyone who’s had a full driving license for at least three years being able to teach a learner to drive, to receive payment you must be a qualified ADI. You can’t join one of the UK’s top driving schools until you get this qualification.

Therefore, it tends to be entrepreneurs who have already completed their driving instructor training that start their own driving instructor franchise. However, there’s no reason why you can’t have this as an end goal and turn to it once becoming an ADI.

And, some franchises, like Red Driving School, offer training as well as franchise opportunities.

3. Make sure you’re well suited to the role

As well as having completed the required training and having the necessary qualifications, you need to think about your personal qualities. Ultimately, these are just as important as the technical skills.

You have to work hard during training and apply what you’ve learnt in an approachable yet informative way. It’s also important to have a sense of humour, be patient and know what you’re talking about. You have to easily adapt to each student who will have different needs and be at different stages in learning.

These are some more traits that learners might look for in a driving instructor:

  • Friendly
  • Highly experienced
  • Reliable
  • Great at communicating
  • A teaching style that suits their needs
  • Excellent recommendations

According to Nick Zapettis, a director at Driving Instructor Services Limited:

“Because of the requirement to have held a full driving licence for at least four years before you can register as an instructor, this is not a job that is suitable to school leavers. It is more appropriate for those people who fancy a change of direction. For example, ex members of the armed forces, retired police force personnel, people who have been made redundant or perhaps bus or lorry drivers who are tired of going away from home and want a more permanent business.”

4. Check you have all the necessary qualifications

In order to run your own driving school business and enter the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT), you need to have completed certain qualifications. To become a qualified Approved Driving Instructor(ADI), you need to have held a full UK or EU driving license for four years, read a number plate from at least 20 metres and pass the qualifying exams.

5. Find the right franchise for you

Each franchise opportunity will offer something slightly different, so you need to find the one that is most well suited to you. In another one of our articles, we’ve discussed our top four driving school franchise opportunities. A good few of them also offer a number of different options to appeal to a wide range of potential candidates.

Take for example the AA, which offers a ‘standard franchise option’ aimed at individuals with limited experience as a driving instructor as well as a ‘vehicle only option’ that is targeted at qualified instructors who have been in the business for a while.


Start your own driving school franchise

Driving school franchises are a great business opportunity for both trained driving instructors and ambitious entrepreneurs that are keen to run their own business in the sector. If you’re interested, you can have a browse of our top four driving instructor franchises. Or, if you’ve been deterred by the amount of training you have to complete but still fancy something car related, we have loads of automotive franchises on our books. If you’re not convinced that franchising is a legitimate business opportunity, let’s see if we can convince you otherwise.

>> Read more articles on the Car sector

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