Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale



How to Run a Driving School in the UK

Running a business can be a challenge without the necessary push and support. Here are some key strategies you can implement to grow and run your driving school.

As the owner of a driving school - and probably a driving school instructor - you would understand how stressful this experience can be. In that regard, be sure that your driving school addresses every aspect of a student’s learning experience. With the demand for driving schools in the UK increasing, now is the time to boost your brand awareness and push your business to its full potential.

Improving Your Operations

To improve your business and meet up with the driving school business industry trends, building an effective strategy should be a priority.

Be intentional about building your brand – build a mindset for your business. You need to stop seeing it as just a small business and focus on the big picture. Solidify your brand by specifying the benefits your driving school has to offer.

In the driving school business, having good cars could move you up the ladder. No one wants to learn in a car that looks worn-down. Using clean and functioning vehicles would bring in more customers.

Be sure to shine a light on the percentage of pass rates recorded in your driving school. Every individual wants to be associated with success; passing the test is up to the students but ensure you create a relatively stress-free environment for them.

Another way to improve your business is by defining your profit. Defining can be done by accounting for every penny put into operating the business. This tip will help in increasing accountability and stabilise your income in the long run.

As a business owner, setting a sales goal should be paramount if you’re looking to improve your business. Take note of the periods when driving school is in high demand and establish your targets. Keeping a scoreboard will help you track your performance on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Qualities to Uphold

Taking driving lessons with an expert or professional would help in making the process easier. Here are the key traits that students look for in a driving instructor:

  • Patience: this is a virtue that every teacher or instructor should possess. Driving instructors need to have a little more patience because these students will require more attention during their lessons. People management skills would be needed as traffic and other road conditions might stir up frustration.
  • Good communication skills: knowing how to communicate will help in forming a connection with your student, thereby making the lesson less rigid. Make room for the students to come to you for questions and clarity.
  • Confidence and reliability: a student might have the zeal to learn but not the confidence needed. The instructor has to instil confidence in the student. Confidence should start from you as the teacher. This way you can help any student that crosses your path. Praise and encourage your students when they do well.
  • Build a healthy relationship: it might be awkward for a student to get into a car with someone they barely know. Now and then, try to lighten the mood and create a pleasant experience for the student. You don’t often hear of people enjoying a driving lesson, so make an effort to change this.

Qualifications Needed

Qualifications, documents, and skills are necessary when talking about the driving school business. To enter the Official Register of Driving Instructor Training (ORDIT) - a directory held by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) - get those necessary documents. Here are the qualifications needed to become a qualified ADI:

  • Hold the full UK or European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) car driving licence for at least four years.
  • Have the ability to read and understand number plates from at least 20 metres.
  • Apply to be an ADI within 12 months of passing the qualifying Register examinations.
  • Pass the 3-part ADI exam.
  • Do not accompany a driver unless you’re 21 years or more and you have a full UK or EU or EEA driving licence held for 3 years.

Market Research

Your research should be based on the state of your industry, including the size, products and service trends. Assess your competitors and the major players in your line of business.

Outline the threats you could encounter, as well as your possible opportunities from students, companies, and individuals as well. For a concrete understanding of your business, get reports based on driving schools in the UK industry, the statistics of driving instructors, schools, and the biggest companies in the driving school industry.

The Department of Transport reports that the number of UK driving instructors has decreased by 12% in the past seven years. This shows the need for driving schools and instructors.

Use this research to analyse your business. Find out your advantages, disadvantages, limitations, and potential. All of these would guide you in making intentional plans and decisions toward the future growth and objectives of your business.

Growth Potential

A driving instructor can earn approximately £31,200 annually. While this is an average annual income, driving schools can become franchises, which is an effective way to expand your business, increase profits and focus on other aspects of the business.

Some Interesting Insights

  • According to the annual driving instructor review in 2018, the UK driving instructors earn an average gross income of £740.25 per week.
  • The same report states that there is a high level of job satisfaction in the driving school business, and the earnings of most driving instructors are likely to increase.

Innovative Ideas for Marketing

Putting your business and brand out there is important, especially if you’re looking toward expansion and improvement.

If you haven’t already, set up a website for your school. This would help in building an online presence and offer potential students easy access to you. Your website site should include a booking section and a portfolio of your successes.

Claim your business listings by using search engine optimisation (SEO). Be sure to ask for reviews as your potential students will want to see how well your school performs. A referral system always does the trick, so ask for referrals and be ready for a trade. Giving something in return will help boost your business and referral rate. Do not forget the power of social media and email marketing.

Financing Your Business

Expansion and reinventing would cost a good sum, but there are several ways to raise the means necessary.

Taking out loans would help in giving you the push you need. Contact a reliable bank whose credit facilities don’t tie up your banking arrangements. This way you can get all the materials and equipment needed to improve your business. Equipment leasing is another option to save costs. Cars can be rented out on a daily basis to make provisions for other expenses.

Exit Plans

The first step to crafting an exit plan is figuring out when you might want to sell your business. When you have a date in mind, you can work towards running your business to its full potential so its value increases. An exit plan will make you more intentional about improving and reinventing the business. It would create a smooth path for the new owner in the future.

Megan Kelly

About the author

Megan is the Content Manager for Dynamis and researches and writes for She is an expert writer and aspiring digital marketer.


Subscribe to our email updates

Sign up to receive the latest advice, most popular businesses, special offers and much more.

I'm interested in is committed to protecting your privacy. We will use the information you provide on this form to send you marketing emails . Find out more about what we do with your information in our Privacy Policy.
Marketing Emails: You will receive newsletters, advice and offers about buying and selling businesses and franchises. We will also send you information about events relating to buying, selling or running a business.