working out driving instructor earnings

How much do driving instructors earn?

2 minutes, 12 seconds Read

People who are thinking of becoming a driving instructor naturally want to know how much do driving instructors earn.

The difficulty with coming up with a precise figure for driving instructor earnings is that there are so many variables. The main variables are:

  • the hourly rate charged
  •  whether the instructor works independently or part of a franchise
  • how many lessons per week and weeks per year that the instructor works
  • other variable costs eg one instructor may use an older low cost car while another may go for top of the range

Hourly rates for driving lessons

At the time of writing (2021) it is reasonable to think in terms of driving lessons costing on average around £30. However there is a big disparity- some instructors are charging £25 while others are able to charge £35 per hour or more.

Number of lessons per week/year

The more lessons you do, the lower your effective expenses are per hour. Although some expenses are based on an hour’s lesson eg petrol/diesel, others such as annual depreciation of the vehicle are a fixed sum. To use extreme examples – if your depreciation is £2000 per year and you do 20 lessons then that’s £100 per lesson. If you do 2000 lessons it’s £1 per lesson! Most instructors average around 28 hours tuition per week. You need to remember there will be occasional unfilled lessons in your diary and that you need to factor in time for travelling between lessons, car cleaning and maintenance, admin and marketing in assessing the number of hours per week you are working.  You also need to factor in that you don’t get paid for holidays or time off sick etc. realistically you should think of working for 47 weeks per year.

So an average driving instructor earnings will be based on 1316 hours tuition per year.

Driving instructor earnings calculation

To keep things simple we will use the HMRC mileage rate of 45p per miles for the first 10,000 miles and then 25p thereafter.

1316 lessons x £30 = £39,480 gross.

At an average of 15 miles per lesson (in rural areas it will be considerably more) 19,740 miles that works out at approximately £7000 at HMRC rates.

That leaves us with how much driving instructors earn figure of around  £32,500. From this you need to deduct other miscellaneous expenses, such as an ipad, ADI association fees, DVSA registration, marketing and advertising, website and pension contributions, car cleaning etc. We can assume that these would cost around £2,500 so leaving us with a net figure for driving instructor earnings of around £30,000 per year.

So, while there will be a big variation form one driving instructor to another we can assume that a driving instructor will earn on average £30,000 per year.

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