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#1 Monday 24th April 2017 07:59:10

Verified Member
Registered: Monday 9th April 2012
Posts: 627

Survival or more?

I've been in this business for over 7 years now and maybe I'm just slow or overly optimistic (although that would make my kids laugh in disbelief as they think I am the most pessimistic person they've ever met) but I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible to be a sole earner, working full-time and make enough money to live.  My outgoings are very low because my lifestyle is very basic but if I look at the overall picture I'm more in debt every year.  How other ADI's not only survive but take more than one day a week, do 'extravagant' things like take time off or go on holiday or even go out for dinner once in a while is utterly beyond me.  I assume that it is down to having a working partner, an alternative income, a secret lottery win or a pact with the devil.  If I could change jobs and earn more I would seriously think about it but I love what I do, I'm !!!!!!!! good at it and the chance of me getting a job elsewhere is very small.

To anyone who makes this job work financially, how do you do it?  To anyone who is thinking of entering this business don't expect to do any more than barely survive...


Monday 24th April 2017 07:59:10

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Re: Survival or more?

#2 Tuesday 25th April 2017 11:31:51

Verified Member
Registered: Thursday 4th March 2004
Posts: 5,538

Re: Survival or more?

Almost everyone who comes into this trade do so without any prior research, and many are just taken in by the adverts about earning  loads.  Some also have never even been self employed before and have no clue as to how to run a business.   

It is possible to make a living, but everyone has different circumstances, and to make a success they need to sit down and plan out, BEFORE committing, as to whether they could make it work.   

I kept a full time job while I trained, then went on my own as soon as I passed part 3 so was able to make a wage right away rather than having to work many hours just to pay large franchise fees.


#3 Tuesday 25th April 2017 19:13:03

Verified Member
Registered: Saturday 22nd October 2005
Posts: 375

Re: Survival or more?

Roadmaster makes a good point about running a business.
It is not sufficient to be a great ADI, you need to be a great business person.
In my 15 years of being an ADI and training other ADI's, I have seen many instructors come and go due to them having little or no business acumen. I came into this job having been in business, both my own and working for large companies for over 30 years.
As a result of having that experience, I was able to hit the ground running after qualifying and set up my own driving school right away. Everything had been researched and budgeted for and I was making a good living in my first year.
It helps to have paid off the mortgage and have no debts when you start though as this is what kills most new ADI's, they just can't make enough money to service their costs.
Another mistake made by many is to give away their earning time by offering stupid prices to attract business. You should aim to be the most expensive ADI in your area and cultivate new business through existing pupils and social media and not spend a penny on advertising.
If you can do 40 hours a week at £25/hour and your only outgoings are your car, fuel and phone then you can make a good living and have a day off.
That said, I would not advise anyone to consider becoming an ADI as a first career choice. It's damn hard work!


#4 Thursday 27th April 2017 06:29:42

Verified Member
From: Edinburgh
Registered: Sunday 5th February 2006
Posts: 1,636

Re: Survival or more?

How much are you charging per hour, how many hours are you working per day/ week.

How much are you spending supplying a vehicle.

I have seen some people buy an AUDI and charge £17 per hour.

LGV PCV Instructor DVSA ADI Fleet


#5 Thursday 27th April 2017 07:07:20

Verified Member
From: Wiltshire
Registered: Sunday 5th August 2007
Posts: 3,269

Re: Survival or more?

The problem isnt always the business end, business earnings, costs, expenses etc.
It can be the personal end, mortgage costs, childcare costs etc.

These are much harder to control, prices here are set by others not by you.

So all you can do is work more hours to increase income. But then how do you juggle childcare?

But from the business end, the options are obvious.
If you are turning work away because you are too busy, then you aren't charging enough,,up,those prices until the demand for your services matches your ability to supply them.

Cut back on expenses as much as humanly possible, keep your car longer, find a good local garage for servicing,  not dealers, find cheapest phone tariffs, make sure you claim everything you can on expenses.

But it can be difficult.


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