This article will explain the driving instructor code of conduct and ethics; what to expect from your driving instructor.

There are a number of standards that you should expect from whoever you choose to be your driving instructor. Please see the list below of what you should expect – as a paying customer.

1. Qualification

Always ask your instructor what their GRADE is. The highest grade will be a grade A; this grade is given to the instructor by a senior examiner, on their teaching techniques.

For more information see the section on ‘How do I choose a driving instructor?’ in our article ‘From getting a provisional license to the practical driving test.’

2. Vehicle

A fully-qualified driving instructor will have a dual-controlled vehicle and their ADI or PDI badge should be displayed at all times.

Dual control pedals mean your instructor can take control to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. If your instructor needs to take over, they should give you warning they are about to intervene and very importantly a full explanation of what you did wrong and how you can prevent this happening again.

3. Character

As a learner driver, you will make mistakes; this is inevitable and it is part of your learning journey.

Your instructor should always support you, give you the correct guidance and help you improve your learning patterns, however fast or slow. If you find your instructor is raising their voice and not supporting you; find an alternative instructor.

4. Punctuality

Your driving course should be planned out with mutually agreed pre-booked lessons, at times that suit your needs.

If your instructor has to cancel a lesson, they should give you notice as soon as possible. If you find your instructor fails to turn up without giving you any notice of cancellation and keeps doing this on a regular basis; find an alternative instructor who is committed to completing a full course of training to help you gain your licence.

All instructors should explain fully what their terms and conditions are with regard to late cancellations and when you will be charged.


Here are some key questions to ask your instructor, before paying for any lessons:

  1. Can you please show me proof of what GRADE you are and how long have you been a qualified instructor?
  2. Can you please show me 3 recommendations of previous customers and can I contact them if needed?
  3. Can I please have a receipt as proof of any monies I pay you and a chart of my lessons booked?
  4. Can you please show me how you plan a course for your students (to what stage they are at) and how improvement is registered?

There are certain things that you should never accept from your driving instructor:

  1. Foul language – under no circumstance should you ever have to put up with someone shouting or swearing at you, it is totally unprofessional especially as you are paying for a service.
  2. Uncleanliness – All vehicles should be kept to a clean standard when you are paying to learn to drive. Your window view for the road should always be clear. You should also expect the same from your instructor; you certainly shouldn’t have to put up with smells like food, tobacco smoke or body odour.
  3. Poor conduct – You should definitely not stay with your instructor if you feel they are being inappropriate. Your instructor should never make any remarks or suggestive conversation.  Under no circumstances should there be any form of brushing, rubbing or touching and you should always feel safe in your instructor’s company.


PLEASE contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and report any unacceptable incident immediately, these individuals should not be in a position of trust. You will need the instructor’s identification number which is located on their badge, displayed in the window of their vehicle.

Never accept inside a car what you wouldn’t expect outside of a car.

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