Driving instructors are always in demand as they help learners prepare for their driving license exam. If you’re considering a career as a driving instructor, you may be wondering: are driving instructors self-employed? 

This guide will look at the driving instructor career, including:

  • When are driving instructors self-employed?
  • What’s involved in being a self-employed driving instructor 
  • How to succeed as a self-employed driving instructor

When are driving instructors self-employed?

Most driving instructors are self-employed workers or sole traders. This means that the more time instructors put in, and the more clients they have, the more they can earn. But when are driving instructors self-employed?

Driving instructors are self-employed when they do not earn a set salary. They accept all the risks and responsibilities of their business. This allows them to keep more of the money they earn. 

But are all driving instructors self-employed? No, some driving instructors may work under driving instruction agencies. If they earn a salary for their work, they are not self-employed. They’re likely assigned hours by their driving school agency, and some of their earnings go towards that company.

What’s involved in being a self-employed driving instructor 

If you’re wondering how to become a self-employed driving instructor, here are a few things you’ll need to do before you can start charging for your instructions. 

How to set yourself up 

To work as a driving instructor, you’ll need to first have a working drivers license for over three years and be over the age of 21. You’ll then need to receive training and become an approved driving instructor. You will need to pass two exams to provide and charge for lessons. To be part of the approved driving instructor register, you’ll need to pass a third exam. 

Once you’ve done this, you may need to register as a sole trader. As a self-employed worker, you will need to pay taxes based on your income. Learn more about how your taxes will work here

What you’ll need

Once you’ve earned all of the certifications and set yourself up as a self-employed driving instructor, you’ll need a few things to get started. Aside from skill for driving, you’ll also need strong teaching, communication, and people skills. You’ll also need patience and the ability to handle and manage stressful situations. 

Aside from these skills, you’ll need to be able to design lesson plans for driving students. You will also need to be able to plan and schedule lessons with driving students. You’ll need a strong grasp on the skills of driving and the rules of the road, as well as what it takes to pass the drivers test. 

You will also need a car with L plates to offer. It may be also preferable to have a car with dual control fitted to support learners. This will allow you to take over control of the car when you need to. 

You will also need supplemental drivers instructor insurance for your car. This will cover any accidents or issues that occur when driving. As a self-employed instructor, you will be responsible for these charges and any expenses that occur during your job.

How to succeed as a self-employed driving instructor

Once you’ve set yourself up as a self-employed driving instructor, you’ll need to find a steady stream of clients and succeed in your job. 

How to market yourself 

Once driving school customers have passed their driving test, they’ll no longer need your services. So you’ll need to find a continuous stream of clients to support your business. 

A great way to market yourself is first to determine your target customer. For driving school, you will likely be seeking teenagers or young adults who want to learn how to drive. You may be working with some adult learners as well, but a majority of your business will target young adults. 

Once you know who you’re looking for, you can target your business marketing towards them. A good way to do this is through social media accounts. You can use platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. On these platforms, try to interact with audiences that may be thinking about driving lessons. You can also connect with driving school communities to grow your network. 

You can also design a website with your contact information and services. You can link the website to your social media accounts to show potential customers what you offer. 

How to find clients

When finding customers for your driving instruction business, consider where potential customers may seek out driving lessons. Aside from advertising your services on social media, you may want to interact with organisations in your community. For example, if you partner with a local school, you can offer your driving instructor services to students.

You can also look into partnering or working with driving schools as a self-employed worker. This will help you find customers, but it may mean offering a share of your earnings to the company.  

Save time managing your finances with a simple app

Once your driving instructor career takes off, you’ll have to manage your growing finances. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.