Your guide to becoming a driving instructor

Considering a new career or change of career why not consider becoming a qualified driving instructor asks Ladybird Driving School

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a qualified driving instructor in Ireland?


  1. Upwards of €40,000 per annum.
  2. Working for yourself but not by yourself.
  3. Setting your own hours weekly.
  4. Setting your own holiday times.
  5. Very low entry costs into the business.
  6. Not missing family events.
  7. Meeting new people everyday.
  8. Taking people to the next phase in their lives.


  1. Weekend work
  2. Evening work by choice.
  3. Diary management taking and making calls after hours.


What qualifications do I need to be a driving instructor?

You actually don’t need any qualifications to become an instructor. However, you do need to have tax clearance and garda vetting and be a person of good repute.

We are training ADIs every day and it’s changing their own lives first and getting used to the new title of “Qualified driving instructor ” we will chat briefly on the stages involved in qualifying but this article is really about the choice as to whether you should begin your journey or not.

Questions you should ask yourself first are,

  • Am I fed up where I’m working?
  • Do I need a change of job?
  • Are the wages poor where I work now and would I benefit from more?
  • Do I need more time to be with the kids and family?
  • Do I like meeting new people?
  • Am I the helpful type?

If you have answered 3 or more yes then the rest of this article is going to assist you further in deciding that indeed you are making a positive step closer to making the initial contact with us just like all of our other Instructors that you see below on this article. With that in mind let’s now talk about costs.

How much does it cost to become a driving instructor?

Good question,

Firstly you need to download our free driving instructor application pack here and send the application to the RSA which is also free.This is to establish your eligibility to become an instructor. In the application, you need the application form, the garda vetting form, tax clearance reference number,2 photographs and a copy of your licence.

The RSA then if the application is ok will issue your eligibility to start the process.

So up to this point, there are no fees payable.

To send off for stage 1 of the process the fee to the RSA is €150

There is quite a bit of study for this stage and you should allow 4-6 weeks to cover all of the content which you can get from us here at the school.We show you exactly what’s needed to get this stage passed. 100 multiple-choice questions over 5 different headings.An overall score of 75% is needed to pass stage 1.

Having successfully passed Stage 1 you will then be invited to sit Stage 2 and pay a fee of €200 to the RSA.

Some candidates take 8 hours some need more but an average number of lessons to pass stage 2 is 10 hours. These are divided into 5×2 hour lessons. This will cost €500 or thereabouts depending on the number of lessons needed which in turn depends on the work and effort being put in in their own time away from the scheduled lessons.

Having passed stage 2 you will then be invited for stage 3 and pay an application fee of €200

How long is the part 2 test?

The part 2 test is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and takes in all types of roads including motorways, dual carriageways, rural roads, urban and you must carry out 6 manoeuvres which are to be done at a very high level.

  • Left reverse
  • Right reverse
  • Turnabout
  • Hill start
  • Emergency stop
  • Parallel park.
  • You must not get more than 4 grade 2 marks and no grade 3 Marks.

Stage 3 training can take equally the same amount of time and anywhere from 10 hours to 16 is needed to become fully versed in the instructional ability stage 3.Again this amounts to roughly €500 give or take some hours again depending on progress and own time

Breakdown of fees

RSA stage 1 application €150

RSA stage 2 application €200

RSA stage 3 application €200

Stage 2 training with Ladybird €500

Stage 3 training with Ladybird €500

The total cost to become a qualified driving instructor €1550 – €2,000

A very low entry considering our instructors make anywhere from €4,000 – €5,000 per month depending on hours worked.30 hours x €40 = €1,200 per week.These figures can be verified by any of our Instructors and if you care to speak or call any of them we have their permission to forward their numbers on request.

Following on from the fees involved you may well be asking how long does it take to become a driving instructor?

The length of time depends on a few factors,

  • How efficient you are at organising your paperwork and study times.
  • How fast the RSA are in responding with your results
  • Whether you have to resit any stage

Generally, if you are on top of your affairs throughout the process and training as you should be then it is possible to qualify within 20 – 24 weeks.

Post qualification we have a support structure in place which takes care of business setup, diary management, EDT management, financial planning, and startup.

Even after qualifying we stay with you and help you develop yourself and get you set up with branding and pedals, insurance, EDT rollout and the everyday running of the business.

If you have any questions in relation to any part of the ADI process then feel free to call us 01:4851585

Read our Instructor Clodagh’s path to becoming a Ladybird Driving Instructor.

We will be back next month with our next instalment of #LearnWithLadybird but in the meantime check out some info about us here

December 2nd, 2019


Author: wheelsforwomen

Ireland's only website for women on wheels - cars, motorbikes, bikes. Video/ reviews, driving tips - written by women for women.

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