driving instructor training bristol

Why Become A Driving Instructor;

  • Be your own boss


  • Work whenever and wherever you want


  • A professional qualification

driving instructor training bristol

Your route to becoming a driving instructor

You don't need and formal qualifications, but you must:


  • Be able to read a number plate at 27.5m


  • Have held a full licence for at least 4 years


  • Not have more than 5 points on your licence


  • Be a fit and proper person to have your name entered on the register

Theory test - Part 1

The exam consists of two parts; you have to pass both parts at the same time to progress to the next test. The first part is a multiple choice of 100 questions; the second part consists of 14 video clips each lasting 1 minute.


The questions in the theory test are based on:


  • The Highway Code


  • Know your traffic signs


  • Driving - the essential skills


  • The official theory test for approved driving instructors pack


  • The Driving Instructor’s Handbook

Study these to learn the rules and skills you’ll be tested on.

You can buy them online or from most high street bookshops.


Buy the official guide to hazard perception for your PC or Mac to learn hazard perception skills.


You can buy it online or from most high street bookshops.


To find your nearest Theory Test Centre then visit this link


To book an approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1 then visit this link


Once you've passed the theory test, you must pass the other parts of the test within 2 years or you'll have to start the whole process again.

Driving test - Part 2

Your car must:


  • be taxed


  • be insured for a driving test (check with your insurance company)


  • be roadworthy and have a current MOT (if it’s over 3 years old)


  • be a saloon, hatchback or estate car in good working condition - you cannot use a convertible


  • have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light


  • have no tyre damage and the legal tread depth on each tyre - you cannot have a space-saver spare tyre fitted


  • be smoke-free - this means you cannot smoke in it just before or during the test


  • be able to reach at least 62mph and have an mph speedometer


  • have 4 wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

Things that must be fitted

The car must have:


  • an extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner


  • a passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

Dashcams and other cameras

You can use a camera fitted for insurance purposes, as long as it:


  • faces outside of the car and does not film the inside


  • does not record audio from inside the car

Hire cars

You can take your test in a hire car if it’s fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.

Vehicle features

You can use a car with:

  • an electronic parking brake
  • hill-start assist

Manual and automatic cars

If you have a manual licence, you can take the test in either a manual or automatic car. You’ll be able to train people in both types of car when you’ve qualified.


If you have an automatic licence, you must take the test in an automatic car. You’ll only be able to train people in an automatic car when you’ve qualified.

Cars you cannot use

Some cars cannot be used in the test because they do not give the examiner all-round vision.


You cannot use any of the following:


  • BMW Mini convertible
  • Ford KA convertible
  • Toyota iQ
  • VW Beetle convertible


Check with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) before you book your test if you want to use a:


  • convertible car
  • panel van

What happens during the test

There are 5 parts to the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test:


  • an eyesight check


  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions


  • general driving ability


  • manoeuvres


  • independent driving

How long the test lasts

The test takes around one hour.

The eyesight test

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:


  • 26.5 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate


  • 27.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate


New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, such as AB51 ABC.


You’ll fail the test if you do not pass the eyesight test. It will count as one of the 3 attempts you’re allowed at the ADI part 2 test.

‘Show me, tell me’ questions

You’ll be asked 5 vehicle safety questions known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. 


These test that you know how to carry out basic safety tasks.


You’ll be asked:


  • 3 ‘tell me’ questions at the start of your test, before you start driving


  • 2 ‘show me’ questions while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers


You’ll get a driving fault for each incorrect answer you give.


You’ll get a serious fault and fail the test if you answer all 5 questions incorrectly, or if you lose control of the car while answering any of the ‘show me’ questions.

Your general driving ability

You’ll have to show the examiner all of the following:


  • expert handling of the controls


  • use of correct road procedure


  • anticipation of the actions of other road users and then taking appropriate action


  • sound judgement of distance, speed and timing


  • consideration for the convenience and safety of other road users


  • driving in an environmentally-friendly manner


You’ll drive in varying road and traffic conditions, including motorways or dual carriageways where possible.


You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.

Reversing your vehicle

The examiner will ask you to do 2 of the following exercises:


  • parallel park at the side of the road


  • reverse into a parking bay and drive out


  • drive into a parking bay and reverse out


  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for around 2 car lengths, and rejoin the traffic

Independent driving

You’ll have to drive for about 20 minutes by following either:


  • directions from a sat nav


  • traffic signs


The examiner will tell you which you have to do.

Following directions from a sat nav

The examiner will provide the sat nav and set it up for you.


You cannot follow directions from your own sat nav during the test.

Going off the route

Your test result will not be affected if you take a wrong turning, unless you make a fault while doing it.


The examiner will help you get back on the route if you do.

If you cannot see traffic signs

If you cannot see a traffic sign (for example, because it’s covered by trees), the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next one.

If you make mistakes during your test

You can carry on if you make a mistake. It might not affect your test result if it’s not serious.


The examiner will only stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.


Once you’ve passed ADI part 2 you have the option to apply for a 6 month trainee licence to get experience teaching students.

Getting a Trainee Licence

You can apply for a trainee driving instructor licence after you pass the approved driving instructor (ADI) part 2 test.


A trainee licence:


  • helps you get experience instructing pupils to drive so you can prepare for the ADI part 3 test


  • allows you to get paid for giving instruction


  • lasts for 6 months

Who can apply

You can apply for a trainee licence if you:


  • have passed your ADI part 1 test in the last 2 years


  • have passed the ADI part 2 test


  • have had at least 40 hours of training from a qualified ADI in providing driving instruction (at least 10 of which were done in a car), recorded on the ADI 21T declaration form


  • are eligible to take the ADI part 3 test

Instructional ability - Part 3

What happens during the test

A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency examiner will watch you give a client-centred driving lesson lasting about an hour to one of your pupils.

The examiner will look for evidence that you meet the national standard for driver and rider training.

Your pupil

Your pupil can be a learner or a full licence holder.

They can’t be an approved driving instructor (ADI) or someone else who is preparing to take the ADI part 3 test.

You can take your trainer or mentor with you, but they can’t take part in the lesson.

What you’ll be marked on

You’ll be marked on 17 areas of competence that are grouped into 3 categories:

  • lesson planning
  • risk management
  • teaching and learning strategies

The 17 areas of competence are listed in the ADI part 3 test report form, which the examiner will fill in at the end of your test.


You’ll get a score from 0 to 3 for each of the 17 competencies, which are added up to work out if you’ve passed the test, and what your grade will be.

Driving Instructor Training Course Fees

Payment options available (Please ask for more details)

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