The Stresses of Being a Driving Instructor

There are many stressful things about being a driving instructor, they come from various places - including ourselves.

All driving instructors have taught pupils so frustrating that we feel like just reaching out and slamming their face into the steering wheel! But we don’t, we suck it up and maintain our professionalism.

Most people who become driving instructors do so because not only do they want a career in teaching but because they enjoy meeting new people and want to give a good service. This primarily where we put stress on ourselves. Wanting all of your pupils to pass their driving test 1st time without getting stressed and the pupil not causing us any problems is what many driving instructors think it will be like when they start out, oh how I wish it was!

Apart from ourselves, where can stress for a driving instructor come from?

•    The pupil
•    The parents or partner of the pupil
•    The DVSA
•    The driving school
•    Financial
•    The vehicle

The Pupil

Arguably the main stresses for an instructor come from pupils but this can be managed. If you know how to manage the expectations of a leaner driver you will have more chance of the pupil reacting to the inevitable strains of learning to drive.

Many pupils buy into a driving instructor and believe that they will pass 1s time with no driver faults. This is where you should step-in and manage the pupils expectations. You will need to ensure that the pupil has realistic expectations of what is going to happen and when.

The Parents and/or Partner of the Pupil

Parents and partners of pupils tend to set goals and add pressure where it is not necessary. So make sure the parent/partner understands that if they add pressure it only hinders the pupils learning and test chances. If you are going to discuss the pupils progress then make sure they are happy for you to do this, they are your client not the parent or partner, even if they don't pay the bill.


The Driver an Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can cause unexpected stress when cancelling tests as your pupil will often get emotional about this. Pupils build themselves up with test stress and when the opportunity to release this is taken away from them for what seems a trivial reason, they will either get angry or become upset. This situation will be left for you to deal with. The other reason the DVSA cause stress for driving instructors is through their testing process whether that be the initial 3 tests or whether it be the new Standards Check. The Standards Check are causing more than normal issues for driving instructors as it is a new style test and the fear of the unknown is causing ADi's (Approved Driving Instructors) to over think the test and over stress.

The Driving School

If you are one of the thousands of ADi's who has a franchise with a local or national driving school then you may find yourself having to adhere to unnecessary rules and guidelines. However, for most of us, if you do a good job the driving school will leave you alone. If you think the driving school is causing you too much stress then leave and find another driving school that will suit you better. You're the client as much as the pupils, they will not want you to leave as most driving schools make their money from your franchise fees.

The Finances

Finances and especially tax time are a stress for anyone who is self-employed but again this can be easily managed. Do you accounts weekly so you only have 10 minutes work a week rather than having to take a day out to do it at the end of the financial year. This will also let you know what you need to be putting by to pay your tax. So many driving instructors don't put a little cash aside for the taxman and end up panicking when the tax bill comes through. Do not let pupils get away with not paying you on the day as you will lose money from some pupils. To avoid this make sure the fact that they must pay at the beginning of each lesson is in your terms and conditions and point it out when you have your 1st lesson with them.

The Vehicle

The vehicle will always be prone to breaking down and the odd bulb etc going but again you can manage this to a certain extent by having a breakdown recovery membership (RAC, AA & Greenflag) and by carrying a spare set of bulbs, just in case but unfortunately cars do just breakdown but if you are prepared it will cause you less issues and when something does go wrong its less stressful for you.

All in all you can make your career as a driving instructor easier by being prepared and setting expectations at an achievable level. Remember if it’s not working by doing the same thing nothing is going to change so don’t be afraid of change.

I de-stress by keeping fish, they are truly relaxing. Some like to just relax and unwind but whatever you do, don’t let stress get the better of you.

Recognise it, acknowledge it and deal with it.

You can find out about Driving Instructor Training at APass4U.
The Stresses of Being a Driving Instructor The Stresses of Being a Driving Instructor Reviewed by The Driving Guru on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 Rating: 5

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