A trainee licence is something that allows a trainee driving instructor to teach for up to six months to gain experience for the final exam. It is sometimes referred to as a pink badge rather than a green badge which is what a fully qualified driving instructor would have.
Is it worth taking out a trainee licence?
A trainee licence can be a very effective tool to help you towards your final exam if used correctly. The trainee licence is designed to learn – not to earn. While you can use a trainee licence to charge for driving lessons, it is ultimately designed to help you with your training. Each lesson should be used as an opportunity to improve your skills and after the lesson allowing yourself some time for reflection to consider:
- What went well
- What could be improved
- How something can be improved
It is also an opportunity for your trainer to sit in on a lesson and give you constructive feedback, providing useful comments and suggestions that will contribute to a better process.
How can I obtain a trainee licence?
Before obtaining a trainee licence, you must first complete the first 2 qualifying exams known as Part 1 and Part 2. You must also complete 40 hours Part 3 training and have it signed by a driving instructor trainer. Once you have done this, you can apply for one on the government website which will cost £140.
Conditions of the trainee licence
When you apply for a trainee licence, there are two options: a supervised option and an additional training option. Training companies will usually encourage you to take the additional training option. The additional training option means completing an additional 20 hours of which 20% must be done in a car. The supervised option can be a very expensive mistake, and this option means you are committing to having a trainer sit in 20% of all your lessons. This option is not only more expensive but impractical due to the availability and cost of your trainer.
Can I pass without a trainee licence?
90% of trainee driving instructors use the trainee licence. You can pass without a trainee licence, however it is recommended that you find an alternative way to get some practise for the final exam. For example, with a family member or friend. The trainee licence does not give you the ability to teach, it gives you the ability to charge for that teaching. So if you are training people without a trainee licence you are not allowed to charge.
Decide whether it is the right option for you
You have to decide if a trainee licence is the correct route for you. For some people who are still working full time this might not be an appropriate choice due to the lack of time they have to use it. It’s not just £140 for the licence you need to consider, you will also need a car with dual pedals and insurance.
Other things to consider is who’s paying for the extra 20 hours. Is it coming out of your pocket or is it covered by your training company?
For more information on trainee licences, please get in touch with Nayland Driving School who will be able to assist.