Be your own boss as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and work the hours you choose.


Send us a request to call you back

Be your own boss as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and work the hours you choose.

Feel a great sense of achievement as each of your pupils pass the Driving Standards and Vehicle Agency (DVSA) driving test.

Few jobs offer such flexibility, earning potential and job satisfaction.

If you want to find out why Only Essex Driving Instructor Training course offers the best chance of passing the qualifying exam first time please call today for an informal chat.


How many qualifying test attempts you can take?

Test Limits

Part one (theory) No limit

Part two (driving ability) Three attempts

Part three (instructional ability) Three attempts

If you do not pass in the three attempts, you must wait until the end of your two-year period before you can start again. You will have to begin again with part one.

In the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland only Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) on the Driving Standards and Vehicle Agency (DVSA) can legally give driving lessons of instruction for reward.

How do I become an Approved Driving Instructors?

There is a three stage qualification process to becoming an ADI:

Your First Name
Field is required!
Your Last Name
Field is required!
Your Email Address
Field is required!
Your Phonenumber
Field is required!
Held licence more than 2.5 years?
select one
Field is required!
If so how many years?
How many?
Field is required!
Do you have any penalty points?
Field is required!
If so how many?
How many points?
Field is required!
Full entitlements on licence
Full licence for the following
Field is required!
What instructor training interests you?
please select one
Field is required!
Tell us about you
Why I would like to become a driving instructor....
Field is required!



In order to become either a PDI (potential driving instructor) or ADI (approved driving instructor), you must complete three tests, the first of these being the ADI Part 1.

The Part 1 ADI theory test comprises of two sections; multiple choice and the hazard perception test. Both sections of the theory test must be passed in order to pass. The ADI theory test closely resembles the learner driver theory test. The ADI theory test comprises of 100 questions compared to 50 on the learner version. Many of the questions are similar although some of the questions will be related to driving instruction.


Provided will be 90 minutes to answer 100 questions. Four possible answers will be available for each question. You can select your answer by touching the computer screen or by using the mouse. On certain questions, there may be more than one answer required. If so, this will advise you on screen. 85% will need to be scored in order to pass the theory part of the test. Additional time or a voice-over can be granted to individuals who have reading difficulties. The multiple choice section is banded into four main areas:

  • Road procedure
  • Traffic signs, traffic signals, car control, pedestrians, mechanical knowledge
  • Driving Test, disabilities, law
  • Publications, instructional techniques

Although the overall pass is 85%, you must reach a minimum mark of 80% in each of the 4 subject areas. 20 out of 25 questions in each band must be passed. For example a score of 25, 25, 25 and 19 would be 94% but would not be acceptable and would result in a fail.


The hazard perception part of the theory test is viewed on a computer screen consisting of 14 video clips which feature every day road scenes. Every video clip will feature at least one developing hazard, although one of the clips will feature two developing hazards. When you spot a developing hazard click the mouse button.

A tutorial will be given before the hazard perception test starts. For each hazard a maximum score of 5 can be reached. If you spot the hazard in good time and click the mouse a score of 5 can be rewarded. This score descends from 5 to 0 depending on the time it takes you to spot the hazard.

The sooner you spot the hazard the better your score will be. The pass mark for the hazard perception part of the theory test is 57 out of 75. At the end of the test you will receive printed paper containing your results.

Hazard Perception best score Only Essex Driving School
Hazard Perception cgi Only Essex Driving
Hazard Perception Training Only Essex Driving
Pass your part 1 test with Only Essex Driving School
Train with us at Only Essex Driving School

‘Show me’ questions

  1. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen.
  2. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen.
  3. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights.
  4. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d set the rear demister.
  5. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d operate the horn.
  6. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d demist the front windscreen.
  7. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d open and close the side window.
  8. When it’s safe to do so, show me how you’d operate the cruise control.

‘Tell me’ questions

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick or oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.


The Part 2 test for driving instructors is very similar to the standard learner driver test. As with the learner test, at the start you will be required to read a clean and stationary car number plate.

The distance 26.5 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate and 27.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate. Also just as the learner test, the examiner will ask you maintenance ‘Show Me Tell Me‘ questions on your vehicle. You will be asked 5 Show Me Tell Me questions; 3 Show Me questions where you will need to show the examiner how to carry out vehicle checks and 2 Tell Me questions where you will need to explain how you will carry out the vehicle checks.

Each Show Me Tell Me questions you get incorrect, you will receive a minor fault. The duration of the ADI Part 2 test lasts longer than a standard learner driver test at around one hour due to more manoeuvres and varying road types. More manoeuvres than the standard L-test will be requested, if not all possible manoeuvres.

These will include the driving test manoeuvres, including those on the new driving test; forward bay parking and pulling up on the right. Reverse bay parking is only considered if bay facilities are available at the test centre or a test centre close by.

You will also be required to demonstrate independent driving. Independent driving will take approximately 20 minutes and you will be required to follow either road signs or directions from a sat nav.

Unlike the L-test with 15 minor faults, the ADI Part 2 will only be allowed a maximum of 6 minor faults. The test will be spread over varying road conditions and environments to include busy town roundabouts, one-way systems, country roads, dual carriageways and motorways. In order to successfully pass the Part 2 test, you must satisfy the examiner that you can:

  • Expertly demonstrate handling of the car controls
  • Follow road procedures safely and correctly
  • Anticipate the actions of other road users, taking the appropriate action and in
    sufficient time
  • Demonstrate a sound judgment of distance and appropriate speed
  • Give consideration to other road users and demonstrate a safe level of driving
  • Abide by the Highway Code


Before you can book the ADI Part 2 test, you must have completed and passed the ADI Part 1 test.


You must take along to your ADI Part 2 test:

  • your ADI Part 1 test certificate
  • your valid Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving licence, plus a valid passport if you have the old-style paper licence
  • a suitable car for the test to be conducted in


The ADI Part 2 car requirements are as follows:

  • Fully insured, taxed and a valid MOT if applicable
  • Road worthy (tyres, windscreen / wiper condition, seat belts etc)
  • Car must be right-hand steering
  • Must be a hard-top saloon, hatchback or estate car
  • Car must be of typical performance for its type
  • Car must have fully adjustable front passenger seat, seat belts and head restraints
  • If you have a manual licence you can take the test in either a manual or automatic car. You’ll be able to train people in both types of car when you’ve qualified.
  • Car must not be displaying L plates or D plates in Wales
  • Car must not be fitted with a space saver tyre

Take along a adjustable interior rear view mirror for use of the driving examiner. Hire cars are permitted providing it meets with the above rules and is fitted with dual controls. If the above rules are not met, the examiner will terminate the test and you will lose the test fee.


An automatic car can be used for the ADI Part 2 test if:

  • you have an automatic licence you must take the test in an automatic car. You’ll only be able to train people in an automatic car when you’ve qualified.
  • you’re looking for qualification in this special category of becoming an approved driving instructor – you will need to bring your emergency control certificate


You can use a hire car for your test but it must be fitted with dual controls and meets all the other rules.


Unlike ADI Part 1, it is advised to obtain the services of a professional trainer for the ADI Part 2 test. The amount of hours required to gain Part 2 test standard varies considerably on each individual.  Consult a trainer who can provide an assessment of your ability and base a suitable course upon the outcome of this initial lesson.

ADI Part 2 training is also preparation for the ADI Part 3 test as any good trainer should know and simply gaining a high proficiency in driving for the Part 2 test is the very least you should expect.


  • Ensure you use the correct methods for general driving, mirrors, driving routines, observations and the manoeuvres.
  • Put any new skills you have learnt into everyday driving to ensure it becomes second nature.
  • Study the Show Me Tell Me questions to ensure you do not waste one of your possible six minors on something simple.
  • Take an eyesight test to ensure you can read a number plate – 26.5 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate and 27.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate.
  • Visit the driving test centre where your test is being conducted from and become familiar with the roads leading in and out of the centre.
  • Familiarise yourself with any difficult traffic systems in the area such as roundabouts and junctions.
  • A local driving instructor will be familiar with the driving test routes, more importantly the difficult areas. Knowing all the test routes won’t help you, familiarity with certain challenging areas will. You can also view the ADI driving test routes which are more challenging than the learner driver routes.
  • If you intend on using an ADI trainer, ideally use an independent local ADI trainer who has been recommended. They will likely provide a suitable tailored course based on your skill level, which compared to national courses often proves better financially, plus an improved pass rate.


  • Ensure your car is legal, road worthy and clean inside and out.
  • Ensure you take along your driving licence and your ADI Part 1 test pass certificate.
  • Arrive at the test centre in good time, around 10 minutes before your test appointment time.
  • The examiner will be friendly, try to relax and chat to the examiner, but remember to concentrate on the road ahead.
  • If you have made a mistake don’t give up – chances are you still may pass.


You will fail the ADI Part 2 if you receive a:

  • dangerous fault – which may result in danger to yourself, the examiner, the public or property
  • serious fault – that has the potential to be dangerous
  • minor faults – that exceed 6

You will be informed of your result once you have returned to the test centre and have turned off the vehicle. If you have passed, you can after 40 hours of Part 3 training become a trainee driving instructor or apply to take the ADI Part 3 test immediately.

New ADI Part 3


The new ADI test is designed to help driving instructors and learners work together to achieve shared outcomes.


The Old Pre-Set Test


Most qualified driving instructors will be familiar with the old PST format. The test took one hour and required senior examiners to play the role of two different pupils: one beginner and one trained to test standard.

During the test, the potential driving instructor would be assessed on three core competencies: fault identificationfault analysis and remedial action. The test candidate would receive a grade of between 1 and 6 for each element, 1 being the lowest and 6 the highest.


Main Changes to the Part 3 Test




One of the biggest changes to the examination is that there will no longer be any role-playing involved (even though this is no longer part of the part 3 test it still plays a key role in instructor training).

Instead of having to ‘teach’ a senior examiner, the trainee driving instructor will now deliver a real driving lesson to a person of their choice. This could be anyone from a beginner to a fully qualified driver. However, it mustn’t be someone who has taken the ADI part two test.

The test candidate will work with the learner to plan a lesson that meets a real life learning need. The lesson will be one hour-long and can be adjusted to meet learning opportunities as required.

Throughout the test, the potential driving instructor needs to be aware of the pupil’s actions and their surroundings to ensure a safe learning environment is maintained. Any critical mistakes made by the pupil must be addressed in a timely manner.


Core Competencies


Assessment will become competency-based. The three core competencies that will be examined are:

  • lesson planning
  • risk management
  • teaching and learning strategies

There will also be a further 17 sub-competencies that fall under assessment too.

The new part 3 test has been designed to be more client centred. It places an emphasis on the driver and instructor sharing responsibility for the lesson. The DVSA hopes that the new approach will help learners to become more responsible drivers.


Part 3 Test Grading


Once the test has been completed the candidate will be graded on a sliding scale from 0 to 51 points. To achieve an A grade the potential driving instructor will need to be awarded 43 points or more.

For a B grade, the candidate will need to achieve between 31 and 42 points. While a score of less than 30 will result in the potential driving instructor failing the test.

Instructor Training at Only Essex Driving School
Grade A at Only Essex Driving School

Please note before all the training can begin the candidate must pass a DBS CHECK.


Scroll to Top