Top tips on becoming a self-employed driving instructor


When becoming a driving instructor, you can either choose to operate under a franchise, whereby you’ll have to pay a franchise fee and abide by afranchise agreement, or be self-employed. As a self-employed instructor you’ll have the power to decide when you work and how many clients you take on, and therefore you have full control over how much you earn.

Of course, this also means that you’ll be required to manage your accounts, pay tax and organise your schedule, to cater to all of your clients. There’s plenty to consider when thinking about becoming a freelance driving instructor, but if you want to become your own boss then it can prove to be an exciting and rewarding venture. To help you on your journey, here are some top tips for becoming a self-employed driving instructor.

Decide on fair pricing

As a self-employed driving instructor, it’s up to you to decide upon what fee is fair to charge your clients. This will be based upon a range of factors, including your experience, the area in which you are teaching in and what your competition are charging their pupils. You’ll have to consider the maintenance and fuel costs of your vehicle, and as you gain more experience and create a larger client base, you could then consider increasing your prices. Some instructors offer their clients discounts on block bookings, which will provide you with assured business whilst helping out your pupils.

Building your client base

One of the biggest challenges when starting a career as a self-employed driving instructor is building your client base. If you’re transitioning from a franchise to being an independent instructor, then you may be able to transfer some of your loyal cliental over to your new business. If not, the best practice is to get your business out there, by promoting your services online, via a website or social media platforms.

It goes without saying that as a driving instructor, you’ll probably gain most of your new clients from word-of-mouth recommendations. Once you’ve found a few pupils, it’s important that you provide them with the best service possible, to create great drivers and increase the chances of them recommending you to others. The beauty of being self-employed is that once you’ve established a good reputation, you’ll be afforded the ability to pick and choose which clients you take on, depending on the hours that you want to work.

Legal requirements

When operating as a self-employed driving instructor, you will have to take care of some legal requirements, to make sure that your business is operating lawfully. Firstly, you’ll have to register on the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website as self-employed, and this can be done any time before the 5th October of your business’ second tax year. This includes taking care of tax, if applicable.

Whether you’re employed or self-employed, the same tax bands apply, meaning that if you’re earning more than £12,500, you’ll have to pay tax. The basic rate of income tax that you will have to pay is 20% of your earnings, on incomes that do not exceed £50,000.