Driving instructors training - AVOID rip-off
To become a driving instructor, you could be spending between £2,000 – £5,000. Many driving instructor training companies will advertise driving instructor training for £995 or less; Some company offer money back guarantee, or full training fee refund when you take out a franchise with the company.
But there is a catch….?
There are some great, hard working driving instructor trainers and companies who do all they can to train you to be a successful driving instructor. Unfortunately, there are also lots of companies who just want your money and don’t care about what happens to you during or after your training.
Many people who sign up for cheap driving instructor training get ripped off. Initially, I signed up for driving instructor training 15 years ago for £1,500 but the reality was, I spent over £4,000 because the training was inadequate and rushed. They didn’t provide enough training hours, and I needed extra training which I had to pay for to a local driving instructor.
Big companies make their profit by getting people to sign up with cheap offers and unrealistic promises backed with strict terms and conditions, making it very difficult to get your money back.
This is how they do it:
Company A: advertising instructor training £995
Company A puts out a national advertising campaign to recruit many potential driving instructors at £995. If they can recruit 100 people to sign up, then their revenue will be £99,500.
Out of those 100 people, 50 people will not make it beyond the first part of the approved driving instructors (ADI Part 1) exam because of the lack of support. The trainees are left on their own to revise from online training resources.
Another 30 people will not make beyond ADI Part 2 exam because the company will only provide 10 hours in car training. For many, this is not enough to be at an advance level to pass the ADI Part 2 exam.
Out of the remaining 20 people, 14 people will not pass the ADI Part 3 exam to become a fully qualified driving instructor because the training is limited to only 40 hours which again, is not enough for many potential driving instructors (PDI) .
Out of 100 people that signed up for £995, only 7 people will successfully pass all the 3 ADI exam to become a DVSA approved driving instructor.
Click here for statistics from DVSA of the Part 2 and Part 3 exams taken between 2016/17:
Company B: 100% Money back guarantee
This company will offer 100% money back guarantee if you don’t succeed on becoming a fully qualified driving instructor.
However, I have met very few people who have signed up to their training which cost them £1499 with full money back guarantee.
Many mentioned they didn’t become qualified driving instructors nor get their money back as promised by the company.
The catch however, was this company had strict terms and conditions in place and if you don’t meet the criteria then the guarantee becomes invalid.
The company created modules for ADI Part 1 exam and put a time limit in place. If the modules aren’t completed within that timeframe or the whole training in 12 months, then you’ll invalidate your terms and conditions thus losing your money back guarantee clause.
Many trainees expressed that it was difficult due to employment commitments consequently failing to meet the deadline.
Another issue that was raised by trainees was that some had failed their first attempt and couldn’t get another test date in time to re-sit it.
The trainees who did manage to get
through their ADI exam Part 1 and 2, moved onto Part 3 where they had to share the car with another trainee.
This meant both learners in this situation had a lack of one-on-one practice with the trainer.
Company C: Training fee refunded when you franchise
There are companies that offer instructor training and promise that when you qualify and join them on franchise business, they we will refund all of your training fee.
A contract is drawn up which states that after you qualify as a driving instructor, you will take up franchise driving school business from them costing you anything from £220 plus per week franchise fee.
You pay a franchise fee of £220 per week x 52 weeks = £11,440 x 2 years contract £22,880.
If you pay £22,880 over 2 years, they are happy to refund your training fee of £2500 back.
Many new driving instructors who successfully qualify as a driving instructor and take the franchise offer have suffered financial hardship as a result.
Some have taken up a second job to further support the family and others were taken to court for not honouring their contract.
Our impartial advice
When training to become a driving instructor, it could take anything from 6 months to 2 years depending on your personal circumstances.
Before signing up, ask yourself how much time and commitment you can spare. Don’t rush a decision and consider the pros and cons.
Cheaper offers aren’t necessarily the best either; you get what you pay for.
As for ‘money back guarantee’ offers, always read the small print of the contract or get legal advice before signing a contract.