All About Driving Instructors

Choosing a driving instructor that's right for you is an important decision!


A Driving Instructor is the person who will deliver your driving lesson.

There are currently 40,000 ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructors) registered with the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency).

Driving Instructors undergo a rigorous training programme involving taking 3 tests in order to qualify.

These are:

  • Part 1 - Theory Test and Hazard Perception Test
  • Part 2 - Test of their Ability to Drive
  • Part 3 - Test of their Ability to Teach

Once qualified, Driving Instructors must have regular tests called the ‘Standards Check’. They are observed delivering a driving lesson and given feedback and a score of either an ‘A Grade’, ‘B Grade’ or ‘Fail’.

Driving Instructors must display a badge on their windscreen.

  • A Green Badge for Fully Qualified ADI
  • A Pink Badge for a Trainee Instructor

You should not pay for tuition from anyone who is not displaying a badge.

A Trainee Instructor has passed Part 1 and Part 2 Tests, and had at least 40 hours of Part 3 Tuition. They have not yet passed the Part 3 Qualifying Test.


Despite the training received, all Driving Instructors are different and it is important to choose one who is suitable for your needs.

If you don’t know anyone who can actually recommend an instructor, you will need to look around for a good one who is local to you.

Some points you may wish to consider are:

  1. Is the instructor on a Pink or Green Badge?
  2. Can the instructor pick you up from where you need collecting from - home, work, college?
  3. You may want to consider if the instructor is an ‘A Grade’ or a ‘B Grade’. This may not be the most important consideration though. Some instructors do not perform as well in a test situation than others. They may be just 1 point short of an A Grade.
  4. Is the instructor able to offer you weekly lessons at a time suitable for you?
  5. How long has the instructor been teaching? They may be a fairly new instructor who has recently been trained and has all the up to date methods clear in their mind, or an instructor with many years’ experience. Both have their own qualities.

Once you’ve started your driving lessons you should consider:

  • Does the instructor make you feel at ease and comfortable? If your instructor makes you feel at all uneasy you should look for another one.
  • Does the instructor explain things in a way that you understand? Or attempt to find other ways of explaining / demonstrating things to you? Everyone learns differently and you may find that you do not understand the explanation your instructor has given to you. They should endeavour to find a method or an explanation that works for you.
  • Does the instructor make it clear what the aims of each of your lessons are? You should be fully aware of what you are hoping to achieve on every lesson so that you are able to measure whether you have achieved the aims and made any progress in the lesson.
  • Is the instructor friendly and patient?
  • Is your instructor punctual? Be aware that all instructors are occasionally late due to the nature of the job. They should contact you to inform you if they are going to be more than 5 minutes or so late. Of course, this may not always possible as they will be driving.
  • Is your instructor reliable? If your driving lessons are being continually cancelled or rescheduled you may want to consider finding another instructor. Missing lessons regularly will cost you more money overall due to lack of continuity.
  • Does your instructor shout at you or make you feel anxious when you make a mistake? If so, you should find another instructor.
  • Are you happy spending time with your instructor? You will be spending many hours in an enclosed environment so you should feel comfortable and look forward to your lessons
  • Do you feel you are making progress? You should be aware that everyone develops at different rates so it is not helpful to compare your progress with anyone else’s progress. If you don’t feel you are making enough progress it may be worth chatting with your instructor before taking any action. All instructors follow the syllabus in their own way, so for example, one instructor may cover manoeuvres early on in lessons, and other instructors may leave them until much nearer to your practical driving test date. Neither is incorrect, but if you are unhappy then discuss this with your instructor.

driving instructors

Ann-Marie Winterburn is the owner and lead trainer of Spot On Instructor Training.



Rob Atkins

Rob Atkins

"I needed an instructor who was patient, clear and supportive to enable me to develop my confidence as well as my skills. From the Spot On website it was clear that Ann-Marie would fit the bill. Ann-Marie being able to tailor a programme based around my busy work schedule, and her being local to me where other important factors in choosing Spot On Driving. I was a little worried about learning to drive – however it turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I am proud of the standard of driving skill that I have achieved. I found Ann-Marie’s teaching methods to be spot on! She is excellent at identifying areas for improvement and working clearly, and calmly, to improve them, employing a wide range of exercises addressing different styles of learning. I would absolutely recommend Spot On Driving because Ann-Marie is friendly, clear, calm, patient – excellent."