From 961 complaints over 5 years, just 18 have resulted in a conviction


According to data revealed by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), there have been 961 complaints made about unqualified driving instructors since 2014, yet only 18 of them had led to a conviction.

Official figures from the DVSA have revealed that during the last five years, just 2% of complaints have led to a conviction.

If a driving instructor takes payment for a lesson, they must be legally required to do so and hold an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) qualification or be a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) in the course of training.

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Complaints about unqualified driving instructors almost never results in a conviction. © Copyright Stephen McKay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

However, DVSA’s latest data confirms that a total of 961 complaints were made about unqualified driving instructors who took a payment for lessons between the 2014/15 financial year up to the current day, with just 18 of these complaints resulting in a conviction.

The data comes following a Freedom of Information request which showed that not one prosecution was made against illegal driving instructors during the 2014/15 financial year, yet 125 complaints from members of the public were made to the DVSA during this period.

The DVSA points out that many complaints could have been made against one individual instructor, whilst there’s no evidence to suggest whether the complaints this data relates to were credible.

However, since the 2018/19 financial year, the DVSA decided to carry out prosecutions themselves for these offences, instead of relying on the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, implying that the organisation could have been worried about low conviction rates.

According to the DVSA, there are currently around 40,000 qualified driving instructors in the UK, with the organisation adding: “We have stringent measures in place to detect fraud and bring offenders to justice…Obtaining co-operation and witness statements is a vital part of the evidence required to prevent illegal driving instructors from operating. Therefore DVSA encourages individuals to come forward and work with our investigators.”



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