Why you should avoid Illegal Instructors

What is an illegal driving instructor?

Anyone over the age of 21 who has held a full driving licence for 3 years or more can legally teach someone to drive. Where it becomes illegal is when money or monies worth is exchanged.

Fully qualified ADI's(Approved Driving Instructor) go through a tough qualifying process at some considerable cost to become and ADI, they also have to pay every four years to remain on the register and have an enhanced CRB(Criminal Records Bureau) check to ensure they are a 'fit and proper person'.

As well as the above, in order to teach, the car must be insured for the purpose of driving tuition; a requirement of that insurance is usually the fitting of dual controls. All this is to ensure the person paying for the service is properly insured, has protection and can be confident they are being taught to drive in a safe and recognised manner.

Illegal instructors.

An illegal instructor may have had no training and little knowledge of the current laws and road regulations. Any car insurance will become void in the event if an accident.
An illegal instructor is unlikely to have dual controls fitted which can be a serious safety concern; even the most competent and experienced learner driver can have a lapse of concentration or a moment of panic where an experienced trained instructor will be ready to step in and even anticipate an incident to deal safely with it. An untrained instructor without dual controls may not be able to deal with such situations safely. A bad experience could dent the learner drivers confidence for some time and even slow any learning.

What you save on lesson costs could well turn out very expensive in the long run or even result in serious injury.

Just because a friend has learned with someone does not mean they are a qualified ADI, if in doubt check.

How to spot an illegal instructor

Fully qualified instructors or trainee instructors must display an official badge when receiving payment for training. Any genuine qualified instructor should be only too happy to allow you to inspect the badge. If they refuse or seem reluctant then you should consider changing to another instructor.

Examples of ADI badges for NI.

  • Does the instructor display his badge with ADI number.
  • Has the instructor had a CRB check?
  • Does the car have dual controls?
  • Is the instructor reluctant to take you to the test centre for test?

If you have any doubts don't be afraid to check with the DVLNI in Northern Ireland:


Or the DVSA in England, Scotland and Wales:


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