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This is a blog I've covered in the past but having recently seen a driving school claim we are earning £50k I felt I needed to cover this again. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to be earning £50k per year, but the reality is I'm a long way away from those figures. Being self-employed we don't have earnings. I don't pay myself a wage.

I have my turnover and I have my costs. No one week is the same, that's how business works. The owner of a business has turnover and costs. The staff receive the same amount each week that is what they earn no matter how many customers come through the door. My findings are taken from the DVSA report of Driving Instructors dated 2023. The findings are based on London figures not a national picture. The majority of instructors in London are working around 25 hours per week. The prices of lessons vary but on average the main price for a 1 hour lesson is around £35.00. Its interesting to note that almost half instructors work weekends and around 45% work evenings. This does not sound like people earning £50k per year and working the hours they want. Its interesting to note that lesson prices in London are not the most expensive. Looking at the data the average instructor will be working 25 hours a week and charging £35 per hour. I'm going to assume they take at least 4 weeks holiday, have 1 week sick, 1 week continued professional development/other tasks. So around 6 weeks off each year. This means they work a total 46 weeks. 46weeks x 25hours x £35.00 = £ 40,250.00 turnover. Remember this is not earnings as the costs need to come from this.

You now need to deduct costs and this will vary but for the majority unless you are on a franchise the costs are similar.

Costs: I'm going to round up some of the costs and group some together, this is based on an instructor working as an independent.

Vehicle Contract £ 3600.00

Fuel £ 3500.00


Maintenance £ 1000.00 (this is an over estimation) but allows for one service/ 2 tyres punctures (so common as we don't take the driving line)

Advertising £ 2000.00 covers website social media local ads business cards

Stationery £ 300.00

Mobile phone £ 250.00

Home WiFi £ 600.00

Accountant £ 360.00

Adi Licence £ 75.00

Training £ 1000.00

Insurance £ 1000.00 (maybe less)

Total £ 13,685.00 This means your earnings would be around £25,000 pa before tax. There will always be some discrepancies in the costs and whilst some I have over estimated there are others not included. ie. Replacing your mobile phone every 3-4 years. The depreciation on your vehicle. Clothing. The key is consistency with hours. Many instructors work evenings and weekends to make up the shortfall during the daytime. In driver training you cannot make up the hours once they are lost. So if you have a number of students on holiday at the same time those are hours lost. For every hours lessons missed that could be £1500 per year.

The aim would be to keep your costs at around £1000 per month, work enough hours to cover the slow times during the winter. I hope that helps.


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