Always enjoyed driving and wondered about earning a living from teaching the fundamental life skill? Well, read on to find out more about our top driving school franchise picks in the UK.
Becoming a driving instructor allows you to share your knowledge with new drivers and help them learn a skill that is essential in many of our lives. There’s no need to spend hours sat at a desk, working with a team of colleagues you don’t get on well with and tackling the daily commute. Starting a driving school franchise gives you the opportunity to work flexible hours and take control of your routine.
Today, we are going to discuss the top driving school franchise opportunities in the UK. But first, let’s explore the current state of the driving school industry to understand what makes it such an attractive sector to enter.
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How popular are driving lessons in the UK?
It's thought that students need around 47 hours of professional lessons and 20 hours of private tuition to pass their test (The Telegraph). The average hourly rate at an AA driving school is £26 and in the UK as a whole it’s £24 (DVSA). If we use the AA average figure, this means we are happy to part with approximately £1,222 to be licensed to get behind the wheel. According to an AA spokesman,
“The number of hours taken by the average learner will likely now be more than previous generations due to the test requiring the developing of more skills in more detail.”
This will result in students forking out more money on lessons so they are confident with the more challenging test. So, if you like the idea of running your own business with a driving school franchise, check out our top opportunities below.
The top 4 driving school franchise opportunities in the UK
There is a huge variety of driving schools out there, and many of them operate franchising models. So, we’ve compiled a list of four of the top driving instructor franchise opportunities.
You are probably familiar with the automotive services business, AA, which offers home and car insurance, breakdown cover, maps, motoring advice and driving lessons.
- Becoming an AA franchisee: Luckily, there is a franchise model in place for entrepreneurs who want to become a driving instructor with AA. In fact, there are three different options to choose from:
1. The standard franchise option. This is a great choice for people with limited experience as a driving instructor, as it includes a specialised induction programme that gives franchisees an introduction to financial planning, marketing and customer care.
2. The mileage franchise option. This is similar to the standard model but offers franchisees the flexibility of pay-per-use mileage, which should result in a lower, fixed weekly fee. Franchisees still get the same support from the company, including the induction course in business and marketing and insurance for them and their pupils.
3. The vehicle only option. This route will suit independent instructors who already have experience as a driving instructor. Franchisees will get an unliveried, dual control Ford Fiesta 1.0T 100ps Titanium or Ford Focus 1.0T EcoBoost, which gives them the opportunity to adapt it as they see fit for their own business.
- What you get for your investment: When franchisees join the company, they gain access to advice from the franchising team and dedicated apps to facilitate effective and time-efficient business management. You can attend workshops, events and further training to aid your personal development within the business and network with other AA driving instructors to pick up tips and wisdom. Head to the AA’s website to request an info pack.
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2. RED Driving School
This franchise was voted National Driving School of the Year in 2018 and it says that its instructors earn, on average, 25.4 percent – or £176.21 – more each week than independent instructors, so it is a great franchise to be a part of.
- Becoming a RED Driving School franchisee: To join the brand, you should already have the required driving qualifications and be an experienced instructor. You can find out more and apply here.
- How much you need to invest: This will cost £2,120, but the scheme can be paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- What you get for your investment: You will be introduced to the business in a two-day business seminar and will benefit from free marketing materials, including posters, leaflets and business cards. If you are not an experienced instructor, however, you have the option of enrolling onto the separate driver training scheme.
Practice makes perfect It's thought that students need around 47 hours of professional lessons and 20 hours of private tuition to pass their test.
This driving school franchise employs 400 instructors and takes around 4,500 bookings per month. Instructors at driveJohnson’s teach an average of 11.5 pupils per month and 138 pupils per year and can expect between 10 and 15 new pupils in the first two weeks of being an instructor. These positive statistics indicate that prospective franchisees could see immediate success with driveJohnson’s.
- Becoming a driveJohnson’s franchisee: The franchise states that 90 percent of the driving instructors who trial the instructor franchise join it afterwards. It is so confident that investors will be happy with its franchise model that franchisees can give just four weeks of notice if they want to leave. Everything you need to know is on its website.
- What you get for your investment: Once on board, franchisees are each given a customised instructor profile page on the business’ website, to enable learners to review their teaching and get in touch with them directly. Also, an online booking system allows franchisees to organise their lessons on their mobile phone, saving time and effort. It also provides marketing materials and other resources free of charge, including roof signs, receipt books, driving manuals, business cards and compliment slips.
4. British School of Motoring Franchise
You’ve probably noticed at least one BSM-branded car on the road at some point or another. There are three different franchising options for you to consider: Solo Car Lease, BSM Partner Lite and BMS Partner. Let’s explore what’s involved in each of these below:
Solo Car Lease
- You can choose between a Peugeot and a Ford vehicle
- You’ll receive comprehensive insurance, breakdown cover and vehicle replacement
- You can choose a one or two-year lease
- There is a high mileage allowance
- You can get tyres and glass replaced
- What you need to invest: Prices start at £92.94 per week
BSM Partner Lite
- You can get the BSM brand all over the car
- There’s access to an unlimited pupil supply
- You can use the app to run the business
- There’s a contact centre and regional support
- What you need to invest: There isn’t a fixed weekly fee, taking 10 percent from all lessons instead
£1,222 is the average amount we're happy to part with to get behind the wheel
- Unlimited pupils
- You can use a fully maintained vehicle that’s personalised to you
- There isn’t an upper limit on lesson pricing
- There are development opportunities
- There’s a contact centre and regional support
- The agreement can last either 12 or 24 months
- What you need to invest: Prices start at £112 per week
Click here to get started.
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Should I steer my way to success with a top driving school?
By now, you should have a better idea of what to consider before buying a driving school franchise and whether it’s the right business move for you. We’ve explored four of the top driving schools in depth, so be sure to head to their websites to find out more. To browse more car franchise opportunities, click here.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©