If you’ve taken driving lessons before in the past, you may have come across a driving instructor who doesn’t seem like the real deal. The media can often portray instructors in a negative light, showing how some can be “scheming” and take advantage of your custom. However, sometimes the situation can be more serious than this, as some driving instructors even decide to work illegally. Therefore, we wanted to give you a heads up on what to look out for in illegal driving instructors

Avoid Illegal Driving Instructors

Section 123 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 prohibits drivers from receiving monetary payments for offering driving instructor services, unless they have passed the Driving Standards Agency (DVSA) three-part instructors test.
All licensed driving instructors have to by – law, display an appropriate licence clearly in the front windscreen of their car (or your car if you are using it) whilst they are providing paid tuition.

Driving Instructor Licences

The licence will be one of the following two:

  • A pink licence that has a triangle on it. This shows that the driving instructor is a trainee.
  • A green licence that has an octagon on it. This shows that the instructor is fully qualified.

Whether it is green or pink, each will show a valid date and a unique driving instructor number along with a photograph of the instructor on the other side of the licence.

A professional instructor should always have their licence on show. There can even be a fine up to £1000 for anyone who does not have it on display for their pupils to see. Always ensure that you have taken a look at their licence. A friendly face, dual controls and a roof sign may make someone look professional but this certainly isn’t always the case.

Dangers Of An Illegal Driving Instructor

Driving instructors and all other national instructors are CRB checked regularly. This prevents you from getting into a car with someone who is deemed as “unsuitable” to teach. If you are taking driving lessons with an illegal driving instructor, these checks would have not been made, which may possibly put your safety at risk. Furthermore, this issue also raises the question whether or not you are being taught modern driving methods or if they hold suitable instructor insurance?

At driveJohnson’s we take great pride in our tuition techniques that provide us with our high pass rate of 92%. All of our driving instructor’s are fully qualified ADI’s and have completed a recent  standards check receiving either a grade A or B.

We once had a pupil who came to us for driving lessons in Kettering after having a bad experience with an illegal instructor. The “instructor” had a reliable looking website, roof sign and seemed friendly, which lead the pupil to believe that they were the real deal. After paying for almost ten lessons and noticing no progress at all, they started to become suspicious as the instructor seemed to have almost no knowledge on manoeuvres or even the UK driving test. The pupil asked to see their licence, which they could not prove, so they reported them to the GOV.UK website.

We always follow the saying that “you get what you pay for” … very cheap driving lessons may indicate a sign of illegal driving instruction so be very careful when choosing an instructor. Always ensure you are in safe hands.

If you still have any questions on illegal driving instructors, please feel free to call us on and we will answer any questions.