Not all driving instructors are the same

The vast majority of driving instructors are self employed, whether they are working independently or for a driving school under a franchise arrangement.

To work independently, a driving instructor has to be fully qualified. Driving instructors working for a driving school may be fully qualified or part qualified ie: a trainee.

Fully qualified driving instructors

fully qualified instructor


Fully qualified driving instructors hold a green licence and have passed three tests.

These tests consist of:

1. A theory and hazard perception test.

2. A test of driving ability

3. A test of instructing ability.

Fully qualified driving instructors are normally checked by the DVSA every two to four years, and are graded A or B (A being the top grade).

Trainee driving instructors

part qualified instructor


Trainee driving instructors hold a pink licence and have passed tests one and two only. They have as yet not proved an ability to instruct. They normally have up to six months to pass the third test. However, this period is often extended and some eventually fail to fully qualify and therefore leave the industry.

Don't be afraid to ask your driving instructor for proof that he/she is fully qualified. They will be more than happy to show you evidence if they are.