Finding a driving instructor

Finding a driving instructor

If you’re paying someone to teach you to drive, they must be an approved driving instructor (ADI) or a trainee driving instructor.

You can also practise your driving with friends or relatives, but they must

  • be over 21
  • have had a driving licence for at least three years
  • be qualified to drive the vehicle you’re learning in.

See GOV.UK for more details about who can teach you.

It’s really important to learn how to drive safely right from the beginning – bad habits are hard to break! Driving instructors are specially trained to teach you what you need to know to be safe on the road and pass your test. They have lots of experience and knowledge about driving, which they’ll use to help you become a confident, safe driver.

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

You could also try searching online or using a local business directory.
The GOV.UK site has a link to an online tool for finding your nearest driving instructors.

It’s important to make sure your instructor is right for you. Try to choose an instructor who

  • has a good reputation
  • is reliable and punctual
  • has a car that suits you.

If you start your lessons and find you don’t like your driving instructor, look for a new one: it’s important that you get on well with whoever is teaching you to drive.

Approved driving instructors can choose to follow the ADI voluntary code of practice.

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

Learning to drive can be quite expensive. The average cost of an hour’s driving lesson is £24; if you need 47 hours of instruction before passing your test, it’ll cost over £1000 to get your licence – plus the cost of your licence and your tests. Lesson prices can vary widely between instructors, and depending on where you live. Doing some research locally will help make sure you're happy with the lesson price of your chosen instructor.

Check out our infographic (pdf file opens in a new window) which demonstrates the cost of learning to drive.

Some driving schools offer special deals for block-booking lessons or reduced rates for two-hour lessons, so it’s worth asking what deals are available when you book.

Finding a cheap instructor or trying to pass your test with too few lessons isn’t likely to save you money in the end. Without proper instruction, it could take lots of tries before you pass your test – which will cost you more money.

To help you get the most out of your lessons, it’s a good idea to plan your lessons with your instructor and record what you’ve covered. This will also help you see how close you are to being ready for your test.

Download the Driver’s Record here.

Like learning any new skill, it's important to practise your driving. The more you practise, the better you’ll get. Talk to your instructor and anyone helping you to practise about what you need to work on.

Remember that anyone who is helping you practise needs to meet certain criteria – see Who can teach you to drive? above.

If the person who is helping you to practise passed their driving test a while ago, it might be a good idea for them to refresh their driving knowledge. They could try taking the practice theory test to see if there’s anything they need to brush up on.