Right Driver

Stamping out illegal driving instructors

ADIs, or Approved Driving Instructors, go through a rigorous training process to ensure that they are fit to teach driving, and that they know their topic thoroughly. If you want to see part of the process, you can check out the ADI theory questions here, but there is so much more.

Illegal driving instructors are dangerous. They don’t have the skills to teach novice drivers, and they may not have passed police background checks – i.e. there’s the real risk that an illegal driving instructor teaching you or your child could have criminal convictions that would be of serious concern when leaving them unattended with a young person.

In the last 10 years, DVSA has received over 3000 reports of illegal driving instruction and investigates all of them. Over half the 136 people arrested for it have been convicted or received a police caution (39 convictions and 36 police cautions).

In order to report a fraudulent instructor you need to provide the following information:

  • type and colour of car
  • registration number
  • description of the individual giving instruction
  • date and time seen
  • street name where seen (if known).

Conviction often rests on proving that payment has taken place as proving instruction has taken place is often very easy. Young people often don’t want to testify in court, and if the instructor has taken cash, there will be no record of the payment.

DVSA sometimes does covert surveillance on individual suspects, and will pull over marked driving school cars randomly to check that they are displaying a valid ADI badge on the windscreen.

If the person supervising/teaching in the car is not an instructor they could be arrested and they may be required to forfeit their vehicle.

DVSA sometimes publicises cases, but it’s likely that you won’t find out whether the person you have reported has been convicted due to privacy reasons.

If you spot a fraudulent driving instructor you can contact DVSA on 0191 201 8120 or [email protected].

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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