Saturday, 13 December 2008

Is becoming an instructor a good way to spend your redundancy?

There's been a massive increase in people searching for a few worrying things since the start of the credit crunch, though at least a few have got their heads screwed on, as we keep turning up for "driving instructor earnings".

Unfortunately though, we also seem to turn up far more often for searches for training with the big providers.

All we can say is - if you read what they tell you, then remember that EVERYTHING they say is designed to get you to buy their product. Even the ones who are "honest" about the business still want you to buy.

At the moment the reality is not good. Just have a look in your local paper - driving instructors are giving stuff away cheaper than Woolworths - for exactly the same reasons. They're going under and are desperate to get money in.

The simple facts mean that any driving instructor who is charging less than £10/hour is losing money. Actively GIVING MONEY AWAY in the hope that they will bring in work and that those people who feel that £10 should be the hourly rate for an instructor will stay with them when they put their prices up to £17/hour.

Fact is they won't.

The REALLY scary bit is this - the people trying to flog you instructor training will then expect you to put up with this kind of thing when you are a franchisee -

  1. Surepass have a really STUPID OFFER, which makes you wonder whether this major driving instructor training provider has enough work for it's instructors.
  2. Bill Plant are also guilty of idiotic irony, on this page which shows a load of ridiculous offers, desperate to drag work in, yet still has the brass neck to suggest "INSTRUCTORS URGENTLY REQUIRED"!!!! Must be frickin joking.
  3. Or the wonderful irony of Passmasters page with (in their words) "slashed prices" on the same site as the page offering a "guaranteed position" but remember, this is NOT A JOB, this is a guarantee that they will let you become a customer and pay them a franchise - talk about positive spin!!
(These links will be removed soon as I don't like giving these morons any more publicity or search engine help. Their franchisees are already paying for this kind of lunacy, I don't want to add to it.)

These are just a few of the offers. Even BSM and the other big guys are having to offer reductions and daft discounts.

Some companies will bear the cost of these discounts and as they may actually help to keep up your supply of customers you may not mind that the customers then disappear after the offer has finished - you still get paid don't you? Well, yep. But who's paying for the offers again? Oh yes, it's the franchise fee YOU pay every week to the company who are generously footing the bill for the discounts.

In the meantime the public are beginning to believe that the right price for driving lessons is around £10-£15/hour, when really this would leave the average instructor earning around half the minimum wage for every hour they work (they usually work around 1.5 hours for every hour they actually get paid and overheads are between £5-£10/hour).

Worst is when the franchise advertise these offers then "recommend" that their instructors offer the discounts themselves (or worse insist that they do) at which point the average instructor can actually find themselves paying for the priviledge of working.

So what do you think - is becoming a driving instructor a good way of spending your redundancy?