In the last 6 years there have been over 1000 reports made about driving instructors who are not actually qualified to be teaching. Fake instructors are dangerous for a multitude of reasons, such as teaching (or inability to teach against) bad habits. What’s more is that they have not proven that they can conduct themselves safely while teaching a learner, which at worse could endanger both them and their pupil’s lives. Despite the danger, only 18 reports ended with a conviction because of the difficulty in proving that money has moved hands from the learner to the dodgy instructor.
All valid instructors will display an up-to-date badge on their windscreen. The colour of the badge depends on their level of qualification. A green badge indicates that an instructor is fully approved and has frequent DVSA checks. If they display a pink badge, it means that they are training to become fully qualified and can teach for six months to ensure they gain foundational teaching experience. Legally, the badge should contain a unique reference number, an expiry date, and it should include a photographic image of the instructor.
It is impossible to tell just how many unqualified driving instructors, even in smaller towns such as Bolton, might be taking people for a ride. So, it is important that if you are at all suspicious that your driving instructor may not be qualified, you can check using the DVSA supported website: https://www.gov.uk/find-driving-schools-and-lessons.