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Choosing a driving instructor

To become a driving instructor, individuals have to go through rigorous testing to make sure that they are suitable for the job. Driving instructors firstly have to sit a theory and hazard perception test, much the same as learner drivers only the score required to pass is much higher. Secondly instructors have to sit a practical test, encompassing all elements of driving and all the manoeuvres. Finally instructors have to sit a test, which assesses their ability to teach pupils to the desired level.

It is during this final stage of the process that many instructors choose to start teaching, to give them experience and to allow them to start earning money. They apply for a trainee licence, which is pink in colour, and this is valid for 6 months. If they have not passed their final exam in this period then they may be able to extend their trainee licence but this is not always granted.

Unfortunately it is down to you, the learner driver, to make sure that the driving instructor, sitting next to you in the car, is qualified to teach you. When you meet your driving instructor for the first time, it is important that you check that the instructor has a licence to teach badge clearly displayed in his car window. If it is pink then you know that your instructor is training to be an instructor (PDI), if it is green then your instructor is a fully qualified instructor (ADI).

Without a badge clearly displayed, it is an offence to take money from a learner driver, and so it is important that you do your homework first. If you are unsure about your driving instructor or need some advice then you can speak to the DSA who will be able to guide you. More information can be found on their website at www.direct.gov.uk.