Thousands of learners are unknowingly paying an illegal driving instructor for driving lessons
A recent shocking report appeared in the Sun online regarding illegal driving instructors.
These are people claiming to be driving instructors but haven’t passed the three stringent tests required to become a Driving Vehicle Standards Agency approved driving instructor.
The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is an executive agency of the UK department for transport. They are responsible for carrying out driving tests, approve people to be driving instructors and MOT testers, carry out tests making sure lorries and buses are safe to drive, carry out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles, and monitor vehicle recalls.
There are more than 40,000 instructors registered with the DVSA in the UK, and each instructor has to display their in-date badge on their windscreen.
Section 123 of the road traffic act 1988 States Driving instruction for payment can only be given by registered or licensed persons.
There are 2 types of licences granted by the DVSA:
Green badge holders are fully qualified driving instructors who have passed the three qualifying exams.
Pink badges indicate trainee driving instructors (potential driving instructors). These are instructors registered with the DVSA who have passed the first two exams and who have been granted a licence to teach for up to six months while acquiring experience before taking the final exam.
Freedom of information data from the DVSA reveal 961 reports for illegal driving instructors were made over the last 5 years.
This indicates that thousands of learners in the UK are unknowingly paying illegal driving instructors for lessons.
Paying for lessons from illegal instructors can put learners in a particularly vulnerable position, alone in a car with a stranger for long periods of time.
If the instructor is illegally posing as a qualified instructor, what else are they not being honest about:
They won’t have the required DBS check required by the DVSA. Enhanced Disclosures are used by the DVSA Registrar as part of a ‘fit and proper’ assessment, for the roles of ADI and PDI, to ensure the integrity of the ADI Register and give members of the public reassurance of their safety when learning to drive.
Insurance: Is their vehicle insured, taxed with a current MOT, if not they are putting the learner and general public at risk.
Do they actually have a licence themselves, they may never have learnt to drive or passed the driving test.
One thing is for sure, if they have never trained to become a driving instructor then they won’t know the DVSA syllabus required to teach people to drive safely.
You might be paying these dodgy instructors a fortune to drive around without any learning strategy in place, and you can guarantee when you want to take a driving test they won’t be around to take you because that’s how they will get caught out.
Before booking driving lessons due your due diligence and make sure the driving instructor you will be using are registered with the DVSA, don’t take their word for it ask to see their badge.
The badge should include the instructors photograph, a unique DVSA reference number and an expiry date.
If in doubt you can check they are on the DVSA register here, if suspicious call the DVSA on 0300 1233248.