Driving Instructor & School Insurance Explained
Driving instructors provide a means for new drivers to gain the practice and experience they need to be able to drive safely on the road.
Lessons take place in vehicles which have been modified to have a dual-control system, allowing them to take control in potentially dangerous situations.
Driving instructors are considered to have an increased risk factor when it comes to being on the road, largely down to the inexperienced drivers who are at the wheel of their vehicles during lessons.
As a result, driving instructor insurance has a different set of schemes and policies in comparison with a regular car insurance policy.
There are special requirements – such as specialist cover for test days and even cover for your student’s own vehicle if they have special requirements.
Starting Out As A Driving Instructor
Becoming a driving instructor can be a difficult enough process – with a number of further tests and qualifications to attain before you start teaching.
There are a number of driving schools up and down the country that can provide the means to allow you to train as a driving instructor.
Finding driving instructor insurance can be just as taxing, especially if you’re freshly qualified. Experience as an instructor can work in your favour going forward, so expect the price to be high when you first start out.
What Does Driving Instructor Insurance Entail?
Firstly, driving instructor insurance will look at just how qualified you are, and there are three levels of instructor as a result, all of which are set by the DVLA:
Potential Driving Instructor (PDI)
Potential Driving Instructors are those instructors who are currently in training, either through a driving school or other professional body.
Like a regular driving test, there are three parts you must pass in order to then train to become a qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI):
PDI drivers usually have a six-month probationary period while they are training, as a result you’ll find your driving instructor insurance premium higher than usual.
Make sure to check with brokers when searching for a quote, as not all may offer cover specifically for PDIs because of the risk factor involved.
Once you’ve passed your PDI test, you can then train to become…
Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
After passing your PDI exams you must then apply for an ADI licence before branching out into business. Your first certificate alone costs around £300 (different fees apply in Northern Ireland)
The ADI training course comes in three parts, will cost you different amounts to take each part, and will test you in the following areas:
- Part 1 – Hazard perception and multiple-choice theory questions (usually based around the Highway Code)
- Part 2 – Driving ability test, eye test and vehicle safety questions
- Part 3 – Characteristics as an instructor, your techniques as an instructor, core competencies
After a few years of experience as a driving instructor, you can also branch out and apply to be a Pass Plus Instructor.
Pass Plus instructors are able to teach a course on certain advanced driving techniques – including motorway driving and driving at night – which if passed can save your new student some money on their own young driver car insurance policy, and may help reduce yours as a result of being qualified.
Be aware that when it comes to insurance, there may be certain groups – such as convicted drivers – who some brokers will choose not to cover, always double check these details before committing to a policy.
When you’ve gained a few years of experience as a driving instructor, you may want to look to challenge yourself and teach more advanced driving techniques or by driving other vehicles.
As a driving instructor you also have the opportunity to train in other aspects of driving in order to further your skills to pass on to your students, these can include:
- Driving a 4×4 vehicle
- Performance car driving
- Advanced Driving Techniques
- Towing techniques – usually with a trailer
If you’re interested in a career change and are looking to start training, check out our guide to becoming a driver instructor if you are interested in making a career out of your driving experience.
Whether you’re looking to become a driving instructor or are looking for a cheaper deal on your driving instructor insurance, we can help. Fill in a few details here at Finance.co.uk and we’ll search our broker network to help find driving instructor insurance quotes to suit you.
Who Taught The Instructors To Drive?
When it comes to learning to drive, driving instructors often have their own businesses, or are part of a small fleet. But who taught the instructors how to become instructors?
Driving schools can help to both teach new drivers and also to further the education of existing drivers, with courses such as Pass Plus for young drivers who want to help reduce their premiums shortly after passing their driving tests.
Driving schools are also used to train those who wish to become driving instructors, and further enhance their skill set with courses in advanced driving, driving in difficult conditions and even driving in reaction to certain situations.
How Does The Insurance Differ?
Driving school insurance cover is designed for those who own a fleet of vehicles for the sole purpose of teaching people to drive. Independent driving instructors will need a different type of driving instructor insurance to a driving school, but the features of which are similar to both.
Policies vary depending on the number of vehicles in your fleet, by insuring multiple vehicles on the same policy you can save your business money in the long run.
I have instructors of varying levels working for me, does this affect my policy?
The level of experience of your instructors can also affect your premium price. There are various levels of qualifications for those who want to become driving instructors, including:
- Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) Parts 1 & 2
A PDI qualification is usually held by a trainee driving instructor, when they’ve passed their theory and practical tests they can then train to become:
- Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
Approved Driving Instructors are those who have passed all the relevant tests and show the ability to confidently teach students while out on the road. In order to become a driving instructor you have to pass three levels of qualification:
- Part 1 – tests instructors’ hazard perception as well as their knowledge of the Highway Code
- Part 2 – asks questions on vehicle safety, tests driving abilities and also includes an eyesight test
- Part 3 – the final test on the path to being a driving instructor, which tests their ability to teach students as well as their teaching style and core competencies
These instructors can help reduce your premiums by accumulating No Claims Bonus during their time as an instructor, so by ensuring that they drive carefully whilst teaching their students they can potentially earn your driving school a cheaper insurance premium.
If you’re interested in becoming a driving instructor as part of a career change, check out our handy guide.
Does the type of vehicle I use to teach affect my insurance premium?
The type of vehicle you teach in will also come into play when it comes to your premiums.
Vehicles used by driving schools are fitted with dual controls in order to ensure that the instructor can safety bring the car to a stop when needed, helping to keep their students and the public safe.
Because of the nature of said vehicles they are going to be more expensive to insure as they are seen as a higher risk because of their purpose, but driving schools may benefit from putting their all of their vehicles on a single policy.
Can I Get Any Additional Extras On My Policy?
Some brokers may offer some additional extras, including breakdown cover and courtesy vehicles to ensure you can get your vehicles back on the road following breakdowns or accidents.
Here at Finance.co.uk we can search our network of top UK brokers to find you the best deal on your driving school insurance. Just fill in a few details about yourself and your driving school and we’ll get to work.