You’ve turned 17; your family have given you money for driving lessons, and you’ve even convinced one of your parents to take you out in the family car to get more driving experience! The next step is booking your driving lessons, but you’re not sure how to choose a driving instructor!

With over 40,000 instructors in the UK, picking one can seem daunting. Trying a local search like ‘Driving Instructor in Nottingham‘ in Google brings back hundreds of companies. To help you whittle down the results, we’ve compiled a list of the key points you should be looking for when selecting your driving instructor.

How to Choose a Driving Instructor

How to Choose a Driving Instructor – Top Tips


In the UK, you’ll find two types of driving instructor. An Approved Driving Instructor or ADI is a fully qualified instructor and has completed and passed the instructional course set by the DVSA. An ADI should display a light blue badge in their car with an expiration date printed across the middle.

A PDI or Potential Driving Instructor is still in the process of taking their instructional course. They are allowed to teach learner drivers to help them build experience before taking the final test to qualify them as an ADI. A PDI will display a pink, triangular badge in their car.

Fraudulent and illegal driving instructors exist, so it’s essential to check any potential instructors on the official government website shown below.


Every learner driver is different, and an instructor that one person thought was fantastic may not be right for someone else. However, recommendations from friends can be beneficial when you are exploring your options. Checking an instructor’s reviews on sites such as Google will also give you an insight into other learners’ experiences with them.

Trial Lessons

If you’ve done lots of research, and you’re still not sure how to choose a driving instructor, then a trial lesson may help. Many driving schools offer one-off lessons so you can get to know an instructor and experience a real lesson.

Learner drivers will spend a significant amount of time with their driving instructors, and it’s therefore important you choose someone you feel comfortable with. You can ask your potential instructor any questions you may have and get a sense of their teaching way.

Important Questions to Ask Potential Driving Instructors

  • Are they qualified, and, if so, what level of qualification do they hold?
  • What are the costs, do they offer block booking discounts?
  • How long is each lesson?
  • If you block book lessons upfront, do they offer a refund if you don’t wish to continue?
  • Will you have the same instructor and car for each lesson?
  • Do you offer flexible time slots for lessons? Can you, for example, build experience driving during the rush hour or in the dark?
  • Can the instructor pick you up and drop you off at different locations? (e.g. Collect after school/college and drop off at home)
  • Do they offer theory test support?
  • Can they offer intensive driving courses if you want to pass your test quickly?

How to Choose a Driving Instructor Summary

Learning to drive is a challenge, and it’s vital to find an instructor who is not only qualified and experienced but is also someone you can get along with. Customer reviews and recommendations are a great way of finding some options, and you can then use trial lessons to find an instructor that’s right for you.