Find a driving instructor

You can find your nearest driving schools and lessons on GOV.UK, but there are many factors to decide when choosing the driving instructor who will really suit you.

Choosing a qualified and graded instructor, is a crucial value-for-money decision. Your investment in learning to drive will help to give you the grounding for a lifetime of safe driving so it’s important you choose well.

Where to find advice

The main driving instructor professional associations are experts in helping you to choose the right instructor and to learn to drive in general.

What to look out for

It’s important that your instructor is appropriately licensed and regulated, works to industry standards, and is right for you.

Try to choose an instructor who:

  • has up-to-date and appropriate licensing; for example, an approved driving instructor (ADI) certificate and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Only ADIs and licensed trainee instructors can give driving instruction for a fee under the Road Traffic Act 1988. They must display their ADI or trainee badge in the vehicle when they are giving you a lesson.

  • has a good reputation
  • can give you a programme of learning suited to your individual needs
  • is reliable and punctual and has a clean, well-maintained car.

Remember: Only an ADI or licensed trainee (PDI) can charge for driving lessons. It is illegal for anyone to take money for driving instruction unless they display their licence in the window of their vehicle while they're giving driving instruction.

Remember: If you have friends or relatives who have learnt to drive recently, ask them if they would recommend their instructor.

Other things to consider

There are other criteria that you may wish to consider, such as:

  • Will the instructor take into account my learning preferences and adapt their teaching strategies, or am I expected to learn their way?
  • Will the instructor teach me safe driving for life or are they just interested in teaching me to pass the test?

Lots of people want to know their instructor’s pass rate, but remember that a poor pass rate might just indicate an instructor who specialises in helping anxious learners or people with other challenges.

What if I am unhappy with my instructor?

If you start your lessons and are unhappy with the instruction you get, the programme of learning, or find you do not like your driving instructor, look for a new one. It’s important that you’re happy and engaged in your learning.

Approved driving instructors can choose to follow the ADI voluntary code of practice. Read the code yourself, so you know what good and bad practice looks like. ADIs are also graded by DVSA. Find out what the grades mean.

If there’s a problem with your driving instructor’s service or behaviour, or if you think your instructor is acting illegally, report the instructor via GOV.UK.

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