Car Driving School Business

Hi Folks,

I need some advice on opening up a car driving school. If anyone here owns a business or work as an instructor, please advise.
I am planning to start working as an instructor first (after doing trainer course from TAFE)to gain more knowledge of the business and to know if the business is really for me or not.

Thanks in advance!


  • +2 votes

    You got your advice/advise mixed up.

  • +9 votes

    If you work for someone else, you will get work straight away, but they will take a bigger cut and classify you as an independent contractor. If you work for yourself, it will take some time to build up your business, probably six months, as it is largely a referral based business. Be prepared to work Saturday and Sunday as that is when a lot of people have free time. After and before school is popular too with the high school students. You don't get paid while you're in between jobs, so try to do 90 minute lessons, instead of 60. My clients always liked them more anyway. You need half and hour in between appointments. You will need a dual-control car, so factor in about $1500+ for the dual-controls and there are only a few insurance companies who will insure you. You will pay about twice the normal comprehensive cover for your car.

    Your car will get lots of kms on it, quickly. Be prepared to keep good books and here in Queensland, you need to keep a record for 12 months of all the times and dates and who was driving. I found a cloud-based calendar handy for that. You won't earn as much as you think might be possible. I wouldn't be trying to be the main breadwinner of the family. Concentrating for lengthy or periods of time is tiring, especially on weekends when you might start at 6 in the summer time and end at 6 at night.

    If you enjoy teaching, you will enjoy the job, despite the downsides. If you're not a trained teacher but know how to drive, you will look back in a year and see how much you have improved as a teacher, hopefully. Be prepared to intervene early if there is a problem. After a while, you will know whether you need the assistance of your brake and or guiding the wheel. I have transitioned to become a school teacher, as the pay is better. There is something special about working with someone over a period of time to see them achieve their driving independence.

    There's probably a whole lot more I am forgetting, and apologies for the stream of consciousness like post. It's a great and rewarding job if you do it well. I've never raised my voice to a driving student, but I have got some clients from instructors who did. I have also picked up clients from instructors who feel asleep during a lesson, took their client past the dry-cleaners to pick something up, took calls during lessons, told the client they would fail, and told the client they were steering wrong without being able to teach them how to correct the deficit. The barrier to entry into the industry is woefully low, but if you do a good job, you will have plenty of work. Just be prepared for a lot of costs to be sucked out of your hourly rate.


      Thanks Daabido. Really appreciate your insight on this.
      How long did you run your business for ? Did you have any business partner or more instructors working with you ?


        A long time. Long enough to see the change of preference to go from 70/30 manual/automatic to about 50/50 these days. One guy that I know runs two cars (one auto and one manual) by himself. He keeps very busy. I worked solo. I didn't think it would be ethical taking cream off the top of someone else's hourly rate when I knew the take home amount was already fairly low. If you can target the university crowd there is possibility for your weekdays to be more full of customers.

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