The quick answer is yes, which makes now the best time to start your driving instructor training and pursue your new career.

This blog talks about why the industry is facing shortages and how this has created a reliable and exciting career for those now joining.

The current demand and reasons for the driving instructor shortage

Between May and July 2020 the UK, following Government guidance, went into lockdown and driving lessons were stopped. This had a huge impact on the industry with nearly 8,000 instructors not returning and only about 1,200 thousand ADI badges being renewed, compared to over 7,000 in 2019/2020. Although there are many reasons for the decline, COVID-19 and poor communication from the DVSA during the pandemic did not reassure instructors that their jobs would be safe, leading many to find alternative work.

Due to a combination of driving instructors leaving the industry, students delaying their lessons due to COVID-19 and new students turning 17, there has never been a bigger demand for driving instructors.

The high demand for driving instructors following the covid pandemic

The effect that COVID had on the industry

For nearly half of 2020, driving lessons were stopped in-line with the UK Government’s COVID-19 response. This meant that:

  • All driving lessons stopped immediately
  • There was a backlog of driving tests
  • Waiting lists increased for new learners (up to 17 weeks)
  • The DVSA couldn’t conduct ADI exams for trainee instructors
  • Instructors had to source alternative work.

Although it was a time of uncertainty for many, 2 years on, it has created a great opportunity for those looking to become a driving instructor.

Learners vs instructors

In 2019, there were around 38,000 registered driving instructors in the UK (source:, with many leaving the industry during COVID-19, many instructors teaching other licence categories and many more working part time, this means the industry cannot meet demand for driving lessons.
As we mentioned before, there is a backlog of learners looking to pass their driving test and a wave of new learners coming through as they turn 17. Resulting in driving instructors being guaranteed regular, well-priced lessons.

A reliable career

There is always a reason for people of all ages to learn how to drive, so there’ll always be a demand for driving instructors. It also allows you to be your own boss, work your hours around your commitments and help others pursue a dream along the way. On average, a full time driving instructor can earn around £40,000 per annum, but this has the potential to increase depending on your location, commitments and hours worked per week.

There are many other benefits of becoming a driving instructor which you can read in our blog.


It’s clear that the 2020 lockdown had a huge impact on our industry for trainers, instructors and learners. But it has created a new route for trainee driving instructors, with the reassurance of a great job, regular clients and steady income.

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