People usually take driving lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) before taking their driving test. Although it is not a legal requirement that you use an ADI to teach you to drive, they are the experts and will guide you through the process and prepare you for your driving career.
Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)
To be on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) register of ADIs, a driving instructor has to pass three very demanding tests. Once qualified, they have to demonstrate suitability to remain on the ADI register and do this through regular checking of their skills; called a Standards Check.
It is illegal for anyone other than an ADI to charge you money for driving lessons. Driving Instructors need to meet specific criteria to be able to teach you to drive.
There are several websites listing driving instructors, but the official Government list is a good place to start your search. People with a physical disability may need to drive an adapted vehicle and would need to find an instructor with a suitably modified vehicle.
Approved Driving Instructors do not restrict tuition to learner drivers. They are qualified to develop full licence holders’ skills and commonly assist:
- someone who needs to drive an adapted vehicle because of a physical disability
- with drivers who want to improve their ability or brush up on their skills
- drivers who are lacking in confidence or have not driven for many years
- foreign licence holders who want to drive in the UK for the first time
- people who have not driven a vehicle with automatic transmission before
Many of our Mobility Centres offer tuition either through ADIs who are staff members or through associates in the local area.
Learning with family or friends
You are allowed to ask family or friends to help with your learning. This can be a good way of improving your driving experience alongside more formal tuition. They are not allowed to charge you for tuition or receive any other form of payment (a gift or to cover fuel costs for example). To learn this way you must be insured to drive the vehicle. Your accompanying driver must also meet certain conditions if they are to help teach you. You must clearly display L plates to the front and rear of the vehicle until you have passed your driving test.
Please contact your nearest Mobility Centre for more advice or information.