Today we’ve published the results of our ‘Working as a driving instructor’ survey. This was previously known as the ADI Demand survey.
Thank you for taking the time out to respond to our survey. We received over 3,250 responses and we’ll be using your responses to this survey and the previous results findings to inform our future decisions, what to focus on, and when to do it.
You can find the full the results on GOV.UK.
In this blog, I want to go into further detail about why we introduced new questions in to the survey and share the main findings with you.
I’ll also explain how we plan to use your feedback and update you on how we’re using this to help develop the updated terms and conditions for using the Online Business Service (OBS).
New survey questions
Since introducing the survey in July 2021, we included the same questions to help us to measure the impact our actions are having over time.
This time around we added some new questions to help us understand more about:
- how the move to electric vehicles is changing your business
- how you are managing pupils who may be pausing training while waiting for their test appointment
- how you are using our services to swap driving tests
The main findings
Your responses provided us with extremely helpful information and revealed that:
- 89.6% of you said that high driving tests waiting times are leading to your pupils taking a break in lessons
- 25% of you provide lessons in a car with automatic or semi-automatic transmission (this includes hybrid vehicles)
- 3.2% of you currently use electric vehicles and 37.3% of you plan to change the vehicle type for which you offer lessons in the next 5 years
- Half (50.6%) of you swap between 1 to 5 test bookings every month
- Most (51.2%) of you think it would be effective to set a test swap limit for each organisation based on the monthly average of driving tests they book to stop abuse of the service
NASP's view on the survey
The driving instructors’ National Associations Strategic Partnership (NASP) chair, Peter Harvey, said:
"NASP is pleased to see DVSA engaging with the ADI community via surveys such as this, and seeking to understand the challenges trainers are currently facing. Gathering such feedback is important in deepening all our understanding of the issues trainers face, and of the environment they are operating in. But it's particularly crucial DVSA have this insight, given so much of what the agency does impacts trainers and their pupils.
NASP will continue to work closely with DVSA to use feedback such as this, and that which we feed in from our members on a regular basis, to improve the services on which our member trainers rely. "
Electric and hybrid vehicles
We live in a technological age, and the rise in electric and hybrid vehicles will impact the future of the profession. Research shows that 62.4% of new cars sold in 2021 were automatic which is up 24% from 2011. This trend has had a direct impact on the driving test as our data shows that over the last decade candidates taking their test in an automatic vehicle has trebled over the last 10 years.
As over a third of you plan to change your vehicle type in the next 5 years we want to understand this in more detail to see what other ways we can support you and your pupils with this transition. We’ll be looking to carry out further research into this, and we’ll update you when we can.
Helping you to manage your waiting lists
As ADI Registrar, I speak to many of you regularly and listen to your concerns about how difficult recent times have been. Most of you (65.1%) currently have a waiting list to take on new pupils, with 68% of you having up to 10 pupils waiting for lessons. We know that this also means potentially having to miss out on new pupils.
As part of the ‘Ready to Pass?’ campaign, we will encourage your pupils to not take a break in lessons while waiting for their tests. To help us to do this, we’ll explain the benefits of regular on-road practice and the combination of professional lessons and private practice. We have also created 'supervise a learner driver guidance' for parents and guardians of learner drivers to assist this.
As part of this, we’ll explain to pupils that they will need to consistently achieve level 5 (reflection) in each area that they are learning in. This means they can adapt to situations and see why perfecting the skill makes them safer and more fuel-efficient.
We want to prepare more learners to drive safely for life, pass their tests, and help to clear your waiting lists so that you can start supporting new learners.
Online Business Service terms and conditions update
For the first time, we asked you about swapping driving tests because we wanted to find out more about the reasons why you swap tests, and how regularly you do it.
The reason for doing this is because we have seen an increase in organisations using the ‘book and manage driving your pupils driving test’ service. This has resulted in increased traffic to our Customer Service Centre (CSC) and an increase in learners failing to attend their test.
As mentioned before, we are planning to update our terms and conditions for those of you who use OBS. The information you have provided in this survey has been extremely useful in helping us shape our planned changes, and we hope the updates will allow more users to book earlier tests.
We plan to share our updated terms and conditions with you in the next few weeks. We recommend that those of you who use the regularly to keep an eye out for this.
We’re also exploring the possibility of introducing a function which would allow users to search for 2 booking reference numbers when swapping tests. This functionality would be available for both business users and ADIs.
Read the full ‘Working as a driving instructor’ (October 2022)' survey