How to Report a Driving Instructor For Misconduct

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During your driving lessons, it is important that you feel safe in the car as you need all of your concentration on what is going on around you to make sound judgement and if your mind is pre-occupied with other things, then you will not be able to react quickly to dangers.

However there are times when disgraceful driving instructors will try to hit on you. In most cases it is a male driving instructor trying to flirt with a female learner. Women instructors tend to be more professional towards their job and cases where women instructors have tried flirting with a male student are really rare.

You should know that it is against the Code of Practice for an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) to misbehave with his/her pupil. Driving instructors are supposed to teach you how to drive and not harass you in any way. So if you feel your teacher is behaving in a non-appropriate way with you or not giving you any respect or consideration, then you need to make a complaint against that driving instructor straight away. Don't wait!

All approved driving instructors have a pink or green badge which should be clearly visible on the car's windshield when they are teaching. The badge is a proof of their license as a driving instructor and without it they cannot demand payment for the driving lessons. If they try to act clever and increase the fees for the driving lessons every now and then without any valid justification, you can report them for that too.

How to file a complaint against your driving instructor

First thing you need to do is warn the driving instructor that you are not happy with what is happening or complain to the driving school for which he/she works for. If the outcome is not satisfactory, then you can approach the Driving Standards Agency Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors and use either the full name of the instructor or their ADI number to make a complaint. Be clear and concise when you are speaking to the representative of the DSA and tell them exactly why you are willing to file a complaint as this will enable them to start an investigation against the instructor. The latter may be suspended or have their license taken away if found guilty and you may even get a compensation as well depending upon the circumstances.

Remember if your driving instructor is abusing their power as a tutor in any other way not mentioned here (racist comments, discrimination, talking on the phone while teaching you, repeatedly on being on time, taking passengers during driving lessons, calling your for a personal chat which has nothing to do with driving and without your approval etc) and taking advantage of you, do not hesitate to report them. The sooner you do that, the better!

Taking it further and reporting to DSA

Below is the contact info (address & telephone number) which you need to make a complaint about a driving instructor:

ADI Section,
The Axis Building
112 Upper Parliament Street
56 Talbot Street

Tel: 0115 901 2500

A formal written letter is required to report the dodgy driving instructor and you will need to give as much information as possible.

gices Level 6
I'm a Software Developer and the co-founder of Clever Dodo. Born in Mauritius and now living in the UK, I usually blog about fitness, music, spirituality and driving topics to pass on my knowledge.

13 Replies

Richelle_Smith Level 1

Christmas 2011 my daughter's partner bought her a package deal for driving lesson with PAUL C. from ST.IVES in Cornwall... she had a few lessons with him and he then told her that he was given up teaching as it wasnt paying him other daughter rang him to book lessons after this and he said yes thats fine until she then said o i thought you was given up and he then changed his tune.....for the past 3 months we have been ringing and leaving messages for him to get the money back that he owes her for 18 hours of lessons that she has not had. he keeps saying he will pay it as soon as he can ...i have just rang him again and left him a messgae to call me back which he did , but as soon as i said who i was he made out that he couldnt hear me and hung up....i have rang him 5 times since and left messages but he is not returning my calls ...can u please advise us on what to do next

1 Reply
AngelaDuncan Level 1
i book some driving lesson with 121 driving training his name is colin hogg.i paid up front £400 for 25 lessons at £16 per hour. after a few lessons i felt i couldnt do it as driving is just not for me. so i stopped back in october 07 ive spoken to him and asked him for the rest of my money back (i didnt have a contract)he said he never had it so close to xmas so i rang him again 3weeks ago and he said he will give me my money back. then today 7/2/08 i asked him again for my money back and he turned up at my work with a letter saying im not getting nothing back. but he is still willing to give me my lessons which i no longer want. how can i get my money back thanks angela duncan.
1 Reply
forgetmetknot2 Level 1

Driving instructors using illegal drugs

What are the policies of driving instuctors regarding ilegal drugs? I have concerns about a certain instructor who is a regular canabis user. The guy smoke it most evening? Concerned member of the public.

gices Level 6

There's a code of conduct for driving instructors, however it may be a difficult task to prove your allegations. Although I understand your concerns, I must say that unless the driving instructor was unfit to teach a learner through the use of illegal drugs and the learner reported him to the police when that happened, it would be really difficult to frame him.

You can try reporting him to the local police or contact the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) to make an official complaint though.

bob_4 Level 1

If he smokes and then drives while intoxicated then this is clearly illegal and he could lose his driving licence and his job (as he would be putting people's lives at risk).

Although smoking outside of work is of course still illegal it is not likely to impact safety and certainly does not sound as though it affects his job. Similarly if someone drank every night, although this would not be good for them (or perhaps those around them) it would not prevent them from doing their job.

nicklove Level 1

My Wife and I bought my son a block of 10 lessons with A Class from Chatham in Kent. My son managed to get 4 lessons with an instructor and then the instructor didn't turn up and informed my son after the lesson time that he had personal problems and would have to rearrange. 3 weeks passed with no contact so we contacted A Class who gave us the name and number of another instructor. This guy waited ten days to get in touch and then today (20/09/2016) sends my son a message to say that he generally finishes by 17.30 (my son works until 17.00) but will occasionally do 19.30 or 20.30 lessons but has no availability until 04/10/2016 or 18/10/2016!! We have now contacted A Class to demand a full refund as we do not feel that our Son is receiving the service which we have paid for, the guy says he will refund but we will see when we visit their offices tomorrow, I do not feel confident to say the least. If they refuse to refund, who can I lodge a complaint with?

waynecanning Level 1

My daughter paid for 20 lessons and test costing £667 . She never got a contract as he said he forgot to send it . He also made her pay by bank transfer as he said he didn't like paying paypal or for cards which he advertises you can pay by on his website. The last 2 days he has turned up with another pupil who my daughter has to take home 28 miles away. Today after her second set of lessons she came home in tears as he had called her a spastic and that he can tell she has a disability as she is so bad. So my daughter has said she no longer wants any lessons as she is so upset. She has had 5 1/2 hours with him which he is calling 7 sessions. And that she also has to pay for the next days 4 lessons. He has told her she will get £250 back and that his lessons are only 45 mins not an hour. What can she do.

benstewart Level 1

My daughters been taking driving lessons with a teacher called Steve F[...] and now after he saying Danielle was ready for her test has now said she is not ready and cancelled to even to let her my daughter use his car for a lesson and the actual test which is only 48 hours away now she's had to cancel the test day and we feel very let down because of his actions and should be reprimanded from the dvla big wigs

vibes Level 1

I paid a considerable amount of mony to a well known driving school for part 1 theory PDI - but found out I could get the same product free elsewhere and the driving school concerned was aware of this ---deciding I did not wish to be with a dishonest organisation --I asked for my money back by several phone calls and emails - how can I stop this happening to other people as obviously this company has made money from what I have read on forums up and down the country and who do I go to for a reimbursement as other than 2books and a couple of weeks online I don't feel this company deserve to keep the considerable amount of money I have paid.

vasandreas Level 1


I would like to make a complaint with regarding a certain driving instructor named [removed] who lives in the Bexhill East Sussex. 

I have been told that someone I know who did take lessons with this man takes advantage of his male students.  I have told many times and also by my partner who took lessons with him. 

He then gives them a reduce fee for doing things. 

He should not be allowed to act as a driving instructor or working with the public in that way if he makes such advantages towards his male pupils. 

You can find him on Facebook by putting in [removed] driving school of motoring.

Kind regards

lizab Level 1

Not sure if anyone will see this, but I need advice on my husband who is a driving instructor. I am finding inappropriate messages between him and female students. Some are past students which he constant texts. Some of the girls are very young. I have approached him regarding this and his excuse is he puts them at ease. He's been an instructor for 30 yrs and no complaints been made against him but as his wife this has destroyed our marriage. I save some of these messages and can't believe he thinks this is professional or normal behaviour to these students. What does anyone suggest I do?

anonymous_2 Level 1

Can a instructor get out of the car on a test leaving the pupil in the car with the keys to find there own way back to test station?

anonymous_2 Level 1

My son of 17 has had the same driving instuctor since sept 10 and he's now due for his test, 11 days before his test the instuctor rang to say he can't take my son to the test due to a meeting at his other job, is he allowed to do this, we have now had to find another intructor to take him?

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