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I wrote a blog some 3 years ago about Driving Instructor earnings. A lot has changed since then so I wanted to explore whether instructors are earning more money and is it closer to what Driving Examiners earn. How much do Driving Examiners earn? We are currently riding a storm of strike action by the PCS union about pay and conditions for driving examiners. As of 2022 a Driving Examiners starting salary is £26,126 with additional income for those working within London. This allowance is at least £4,000. 25 Days holiday. Training and flexible working hours. Along with overtime. The hours are very fixed as tests are not conducted during the evening, most examiners day would start at 8am and finish by 4pm. They currently complete 7 driving tests a day.

My research is theoretical. My findings come from talking to other instructors and online discussions along with my own experiences of the day to day workings of being a driving instructor.

What I'm witnessing is that instructors are working differently. Post pandemic they are needing to think differently. Also the way people learn is changing. Anxiety and stress, peer pressure are all factors that need to be understood before someone can truly learn. The back log of driving tests still causes many of us problems with a 6 month wait for driving tests its difficult to plan our diaries. This means we are faced with gaps we cannot fill. You cannot start a new student if you don't know when another is going to return. A student who is ready to take a test but needs to wait 4 months for an appointment cannot take lessons which could cost over £500.00.

These are the new challenges a driving instructor are now facing. Along with the demands of our customers it makes the job much more stressful than it was 2-3 years ago. Are we earning more money? Everyone wants to earn a reasonable living for what they do. The cost of living does not just effect our personal costs it also effects our business costs. Instructors are charging more than they did pre-pandemic. I also feel instructors have learnt a lot during this time, and had the time to reflect on where their businesses have been heading, what they want to achieve. A study by the DVSA in November 2022 showed that the majority of driving instructors were charging between £31-£35 per hour.

Average lesson price

£20 or less 0.2%
£21 to £25 1.8%
£26 to £30 22.5%
£31 to £35 49.8%
£36 to £40 21.4%
£41 to £45 3.4%
More than £45 0.9%

This means that over 8000 instructors are charging between £36-£40 per hour.

In this survey over 90% of instructors had increased their prices in the last 2 years. The survey produces some interesting stats. It appears that instructors who were partially working post pandemic have increased their hours but those who would have been full operational have decreased their hours. The trend overall suggests that instructors are teaching less learner drivers. The biggest problem faced by instructors is people waiting for driving tests. With nearly 90% giving this as a reason students have stopped or reduced lessons. I think its fair to say that instructors potential to earn more money is there. Lesson prices are much higher but hour costs have increased. We continue to need regular training to stay up to date with changes in teaching practices and modelling ourselves around what is required of the profession.

An instructor today trying to find a work life balance could potentially be earning between £25,000-£30,000, which puts them closer to the earnings of a driving examiner in the London area.

Of course if you don't live in London your personal costs would be lower.


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