Over my years, I have met many great Driver Trainers and Instructors and seen many of them disappear. Not because they were bad instructors or were unable to teach or pass any of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) tests, but because of the lack of business skills and marketing. When I started, I was told four out of five instructors will go bust within four years. Today that is I am led to believe that is within two years. Another business fact is in any business there is an 80/20 rule where 20% of business will be successful and 80% will struggle yet they are all in the same market place with exactly the same opportunities and customers. So why is it some struggle and go bust? Firstly, we need to look at our business skills. Very few instructors or trainers consider this, or even prepare a proper business plan. A proper business plan would look and consider your personal and business strengths and weaknesses. If you looked at this properly many would put down business knowledge and marketing knowledge as a weakness. Identifying a weakness does not preclude you from carrying out that business rather show how you would overcome that weakness. Maybe use a mentor for business or use external marketing. Whatever your weakness and strengths, if you do not do a plan and be honest about them you will fail in your business.


This handbook has been written to cover as many aspects of starting out as a Driving Instructor as possible. Whether you are a Trainee instructor or an ADI of many years, this book will help you. Here at 1st 4 Driving or DTE-ELITE we like to think you are more than a client, working with us to help develop your career to its fullest extent. This handbook is not designed to be read from cover to cover, although if you wish to then please feel free. It is a source of reference.


This book talks in the ‘Driving Instructor’ mode but is intended for schools alike. All the information is valid for school owners and will make reference to schools during the book.
The handbook will guide you through and help you to become a better instructor. Whilst you have this guide now, it is worth bearing in mind that it is continuing to be evolved and sometimes it may be worth checking this website to see if you have the current version. Please feel free to tell us of any errors or omissions, I am sure there are some and feel free to share your wisdom and experiences.


DTE-Elite is a leading provider of education for Driving Instructors. DTE-Elite is the training arm of 1st 4 Driving LTD who provide many Successful Driving Solutions for Driving Schools and one of those solutions is high quality and relevant training. Although primarily this book was designed initially for Driving Instructors first starting out in business, it has become an essential reference for any Driver Trainer or instructor looking for tips on how to make their school successful.

We know that starting out at first can be difficult so we have many courses and avenues open to help you succeed. We take pride in believing Driving Instructors in the UK are some of the best and want you to become one of the best too. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a big thing here at DTE-ELITE and our Director of Training Dave Foster has developed many solutions and is continuing to develop further solutions for your benefit. All of the staff here at DTE-ELITE are dedicated and make every effort to ensure your transition as a Driving Instructor and school goes as smoothly as possible.


As new instructors, you will, like many, have many questions and concerns about what your new career has in store and this book hopes to answer many of them. However, this book is not a definitive guide and if it does not answer your questions then please do not hesitate to make further queries of us as it is unlikely we do not know or cannot find the answer.


Finally, being a Driving Instructor has many rewards. Not just monetary but the joy you will experience when your pupils pass their test, you train instructors and watch your school grow. DTE-ELITE experiences that joy too every time you pass a test or achieve some element of CPD. We wish you every success as a Driving Instructor and together we can enjoy a long and rewarding career.