Driving Instructor Franchise Tips – How to Expand Your Driving School

It’s great to hear that for many instructors, business is booming. I’ve certainly noticed a difference coming out of the recession over the last couple of years, and to be honest, it’s hard to fit new customers in when you’re so busy – what a fantastic problem to have!

An instructor recently asked for guidance on taking on another instructor and starting a driving instructor franchise. It’s a big decision. Here I’ll offer some advice and share what I’ve learnt and experienced as a franchisor over the last 13 years.

Is Starting a Driving Instructor Franchise Right For You?

The most difficult decision can be deciding to start a driving instructor franchise the first place. Yes, business is great and you may be turning people away. Is that enough reason to take on another instructor? It’s really hard to let go when you have such a great reputation, especially if your customers ring you from […]

“Just check your b****y mirrors!!!” (Part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this article, we explored how to effectively develop our learner drivers’ mirror use.  If you missed it, we’d strongly advise you read that part first – click here to read Part 1.

In the second part of this article, we will be looking further into the cyclic nature of the Look – See – Respond routine.  Also, we’ll check out some higher level techniques to ensure your pupils not only continue to use their mirrors with better levels of understanding, but will learn to develop their own effective strategies to deal with situations arising behind them.

The ‘Silent Conversation’

In Part 1, we took some time to explore some examples of questions to use at the RESPOND phase of the routine. Although many instructors encourage their learners to look for cars, cycles […]

“Just check your b****y mirrors!!!” (Part 1 of 2)

“Hi Ged and Claire, I’m getting really frustrated with my pupils not checking their mirrors, they do it sometimes when I ask or tell them to, but then go right back to forgetting again when I stop helping them.  What can I do?”

This is probably a very common frustration for a lot of ADIs, so rest assured you are not alone!  I know I’ve had the same issues in the past, too and you can feel like a bit of a nag or a broken record repeating yourself every 2 minutes!

The problem with some pupils is that no matter how many times we tell or ask them which mirrors to check, unless we keep at it, some will keep forgetting. So what can we do differently so they are less likely to ‘forget’?

I like to think there are 3 elements to effective mirror use:

 

LOOK

Many instructors stop after teaching […]

7 Top Tips for Easy ADI Diary Management

ADI Diary Management and Diary planning is an art form in itself. Learning to plan your diary efficiently can help maximise your time, boost your profits and reduce your fuel costs.  It also enables you to ‘work to live’ rather than ‘live to work’. Many new instructors struggle with diary management, so here are 7 tips on how to manage your diary more effectively, based on our own experiences.  We hope you find the ADI diary management tips useful!

ADI Diary Management – Top 7 Tips TIP 1 – Decide on your hours of work… and STICK TO THEM!

OK, this sounds pretty obvious I know. When you have a ‘normal’ job (i.e. in employment), you have a specific start time and finish time.  You also know the days you have to work and the days you have off. Why make an exception now that you’re your own boss? For many of us, it’s the […]

Dealing with aggressive tailgaters!

Another great question was sent in to us this week – this time about dealing with aggressive drivers.  Find more information about what to do and how to deal with aggressive tailgaters and angry drivers during a driving lesson.

“Hi Ged & Claire, I love reading all of your articles and love the long detailed answers you give.  Any advice on dealing with other crazy people on the road?

I had a few moments recently when I thought I was going to get my head kicked in! For doing the speed limit!  Doing 30 mph in a 30 zone, this person comes flying up behind, driving an inch from my bumper.  We are doing the speed limit, so what can I do? I asked my learner to pull up on the left, but then the other driver pulls up alongside us and gives a mouthful about nothing! People turn into ‘gangsters’ when they get behind […]

Overtaking – Are your learners fully equipped?

Back when Ged and I were training to become ADIs, the steps for overtaking in ‘The Driving Manual’ were stated as MPSLMSM. This remained the case in seven editions of the updated version of the book (retitled, ‘The Official DSA Guide to Driving: The Essential Skills’). But in the 6th impression (released in 2013), this guidance mysteriously (and without explanation) changed to simply MSPSL

So which method is best, and which routine should we be teaching?

The ‘Old’ Guidance

The following extract is taken from the 6th edition of The Official DSA Guide to Driving: The Essential Skills, released in 2007):

Mirrors – Always check in your mirrors to assess the speed and position of traffic behind.

Position – Be near enough to the vehicle ahead to overtake smoothly when you’re ready, but not so close that you can’t get a good view of the road ahead.

Speed – Be fast enough to keep […]

20 Top Test Tips for Driving Instructors!

A newly-qualified instructor recently asked me what they need to do on test day, so I decided to put down some helpful test tips for driving instructors so others can benefit from them too. If you’ve been teaching a while and have any other tips to share, please add them in the comments box at the bottom of this post!

Getting ready for driving test day starts well before the day itself. As an instructor, you want to make sure that everything is in place ready for your pupil’s practical test. Here are some tips so that test day goes as smoothly as can be for both of you.

Helpful Test Tips for Driving Instructors As soon as the test booking has been made…

TOP TIP 1:  If your pupil has booked the test themselves, ask them to print off and bring confirmation of booking (email or letter) to their next lesson. Double-check that the […]

What makes SUCCESS?

Things have changed a lot in the 16 years I’ve been part of the driving instruction industry, and the way in which I have run my driving school has had to change keep up.  One thing that hasn’t changed though is my definition of success.

From starting as an independent driving instructor as soon as I qualified, to starting a multi-car school 4 years later, I’ve learnt to adapt along the way.  So what are those changes I’ve had to make?  I’d like to share them with you, as I’m hoping you may find some of the following information useful.

The Road to Success

Back in 1997, I set up as “Claire Moores’ School of Motoring”.  Right from the start I was incredibly busy.  I think I had the low number of ADIs and the large number of 17 year olds partially to thank.  Other things that I think contributed were:

Bay Parking Manoeuvre – Room for Error?

The Bay Parking Manoeuvre (bay park exercise) can be one of the most frustrating to teach and to learn.  Getting the car in between the two white lines first time isn’t always easy, especially from a 90 degree angle to the bay, and when there are no other parked cars in the adjacent bays to help guide you.

But does it have to be done this way?  Not at all!

Two common myths about the bay parking manoeuvre among learner drivers (and even some instructors) seem to be that on driving test day:

1.       You have to park from a 90 degree angle, and
2.       You will fail your driving test if you don’t get the car into the bay in one movement.

Bay Parking Manoeuvre Techniques

A recent trainee driving instructor I was training believed the above to be true because […]

‘The Split Second’ – Can You Help Make a Difference?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could help reduce or even eliminate the crash rates for young drivers?

Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people.  In 2009, 11 young people were killedand 125 more were seriously injured every week in Great Britain.

Chris Dale was one of those killed.  He was hit as he crossed a road in Oldham by a young speeding driver, showing off to his 2 female passengers.  Read a news article about the incident here.

Charlotte Kilroy & Chantel Birtwistle of Oldham Youth Council decided something needed to be done.  They, along with Chris’ sister, Becca Dale created ‘Every Life Matters – The Chris Dale Campaign’ (ELM).

They have campaigned tirelessly with fantastic results.  After 8 deaths on the same stretch of road, ELM succeeded in their campaign for not one but two speed cameras to be erected close to where Chris and others were killed.