What’s the job really like?

“Being a driving instructor brings fantastic opportunities, is really flexible, and is rewarding in so many ways.  But don’t take my word for it,  below are real life accounts from both myself and our driving instructors about how their lives have changed since becoming a driving instructor” – Dave Shannon


Dave Shannon, previous career – sales, driving instructor since 2005

Dave Shannon Driving Instructor“I never really had an idea about what I wanted to do as a career, throughout school I was always changing my mind.  In my early 20’s I ended up in a sales job.  I started off in telesales then worked my way into a field sales role.  I was covering an area as far North as York and far South as Gloucester and everywhere in between.  I was working 12-14 hours a day, had constant pressure to meet targets and wasn’t particularly well paid for it. My favourite part of the job was the driving.  I saw the opportunity to train as a driving instructor in the local newspaper and spent the next 12 months training alongside my sales job.

I initially worked for a local driving school who were excellent in helping me to get used to local training routes and answer all the questions I had as a newly qualified driving instructor.  After a few years I decided to go it on my own and set up my own business which is where Drive Ahead School of Motoring was born in August 2010.  Whilst being a driving instructor both of my children were born.  By working locally and having the flexibility of the job I was able to spend a good amount of time at home in those first few weeks.  Since then, as the kids have grown up, I’ve been able to go to all of those important school events such as concerts and Christmas plays without having to take a whole day off work or getting permission from a boss.  When I first started as a driving instructor I used to work Monday to Saturday, but as my family grew the weekend time became more important so now I just work Monday to Friday.  On Tuesdays I finish early which allows me to coach my son’s school rugby team as well.”


Ben Turner, previous career – sales, driving instructor since 2008

Ben Turner Automatic Driving Instructor“I was a sales engineer at a small family run business in Stone.   Due to the business being small I had a number of different roles including collections and deliveries from suppliers and to customers.  I loved the driving so then thought about setting up my own business teach people to drive.  Being a driving instructor is very rewarding in the sense of helping someone to achieve such an important milestone in their life, the ability to drive safely.  Also you are your own boss and can therefore be flexible with your working hours too.”


Mark Lawton, previous career – electrician, driving instructor since 2002

Mark Lawton Driving Instructor“Having spent 20 years as an electrician, I decided the time had come for a change.  I had always liked driving ever since I passed my test at 17, so the thought of teaching someone else to drive seemed rather exciting.  To actually coach someone who has never driven before and to take them for their test and them pass is rather rewarding.  The flexibility of the job is also an advantage, working hours to suit yourself or family.  You can work as many hours as you want to and have time off to suit you.”


Sarah Alcock, previous career – school teacher, driving instructor since 2006

Sarah Alcock Driving Instructor“I previously worked as a school teacher in a secondary school. I was constantly working and rarely felt appreciated for the hard work I put into the job.
I learnt to drive during my first year of teaching. After a tough day at school, I would go out for a driving lesson in the evening. One day it struck me what a great life my driving instructor had. Imagine someone wanting you to help them achieve a life-changing goal.
Once I had enough driving experience I took the training to become a driving instructor and have never looked back.  Every day welcomes a new challenge and the opportunity to meet a whole host of interesting people. I find the work incredibly rewarding and to be appreciated for doing something you enjoy is priceless.”