Starting a driving school business is a highly lucrative business as it requires only minimal capital to launch. Ultimately, you can start your business with only a car and your driving experience – for the purpose of the venture, you’ll also need business insurance and specialist training to be certified as a driving instructor. But compared to other types of businesses, it’s fair to say that your equipment needs are on a low side. You can take on more instructors and add more vehicles as your company grows. As a result, if you’re working on a venture plan with limited funding, your driving school is a profitable and inexpensive idea.
However, it is important to note that driving instructors need to develop a trust relationship with their clients. You will get to work with a variety of learners. As everyone is different, it’s easy to see how your teaching style might have to adapt to provide the necessary support for all your learners. It is fair to say that you will be challenged on the way. Indeed, you will need a lot more than your driving knowledge to help some of your clients. More often than not, a touch of psychology and empathy will make all the difference! These are going to be the most difficult and yet rewarding clients you’ll ever get:
#1. The enthusiastic teen who plays driving games
If you’re a video game addict, you can probably name your favourite racing games in less than a minute. From Forza Horizon to Dirt Rally, play consoles have brought a long list of exciting driving and racing games. The most enthusiastic players have probably bought or asked Santa to deliver – a driving set which typically consists of a steering wheel, a gear system attached to the steering, and pedals. Most of those games, despite aspiring to create a realistic experience, can have a negative influence on your learners. Ultimately, paying video racing games teaches learners a series of dramatic lessons. Firstly, damages typically only cost them a handful of minutes in the race. In real life, breaking the transmission gear can cost you an appointment at your local Certified Car Clinic, which means several hours to days of repair depending on the damages. You have to help learners to develop road awareness in a way the video games don’t allow. Additionally, you might also need to teach them how to handle the pedals and the steering wheel gently. Remember that their experience is only virtual!
#2. The learner who is terrified of driving
Even though it’s impossible to get anywhere without a car, more and more people are scared of driving. Driving anxiety is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon. As an instructor, you are likely to meet students who are terrified of sitting at the steering wheel even though they know they have to learn. In most cases, you can refer them to a psychologist who will be able to tap into their fears and help them to control it. But you will also play a reassuring role in their anxiety management. For a start, picking challenging and busy locations is not a good idea. It’s a process you need to develop together. Firstly, it’s all trusting the vehicle and engaging the appropriate reflexes when they feel nervous. Then as their confidence level builds up, you can focus on the driving lessons more.
#3. The person who’s recovering after an accident
Accidents, illnesses, or even genetic conditions are the most common reasons for limited mobility. Individuals with partially impaired mobility are able to drive – however, some circumstances might require specialist equipment. As a driving instructor, you don’t need to supply the necessary equipment. However, you should be able to understand how to help them best – you can find information about prosthetics and assistive technology with your local doctor, which can give you a better idea of what to expect. Additionally, you might find that learners struggle with simple gestures, such as looking behind them when parking the car or adjusting the side mirrors. For these clients, it’s a good idea to prepare mobility-focused exercises you can do together before starting the lesson, for instance.
#4. The former driver who’s lost his licence
Not all of your clients will be beginners. You might be asked to retrained former drivers who have lost their licence. If it’s the case, it’s fair to say that your role is not one of an instructor. You can assume that your client knows how to handle a car. Careless and dangerous driving habits have caused the loss of the licence, not lack of knowledge. Consequently, you should focus your attention on helping them to get rid of their bad driving habits. Breaking a habit can take time, ultimately because a habit is a learned and automatic routine. With your support, your learner can become aware of potential triggers – such as getting stuck behind a slow car, for instance – and stop themselves from reacting recklessly.
#5. The late bloomer
You’re never too old to learn, right? Some of your learners might be seniors who have never driven before. You need to understand that with your support, they can become safe drivers. However, your support needs to extend beyond the role of an instructor. Your priority is to test their physical abilities to drive. You should plan eye tests with them and make sure that they receive the appropriate correction. The clearer they see, the quicker they can react to dangers on the road. Additionally, you can also find exercises that practice their reflexes, which can save lives behind the wheel.
#6. The non-practical who can’t fix a flat tyre
Admittedly, you don’t need to be a mechanic to drive a car. However, it helps to understand how the car works. A learner who relies on others to sort out most issues might be at a loss when their vehicle encounters a mechanical problem. You can complete their training with a brief lesson of basic car mechanics, helping them to understand what’s going on under the bonnet!
As a driving instructor, you need to create a bond with your client. Trust is critical, but it’s not enough to help them uncover their potential. Identifying issues and helping them to make peace with the car will make them better drivers in the long term.