7 Criteria Of A Good Driving Instructor

Like other professions, for example, to be a teacher or a policeman, requires a few necessary qualities. To become a good driving instructor therefore is of no exception too.

A few readers have time and again, written to this blog, asking what are some of the qualities one needs to become a good instructor. Having been an instructor for over more than 40 years, I believe, has made me more than qualified to provide you with a few of the qualities one should possess to make him or her a good driving instructor.

Amongst some of the qualities a person should ideally have to make him or her a good driving instructor must surely include:-

1. Be a trustworthy person.

One of the first thing which can contribute to a person being a good instructor is being “trustworthy”. In the driving school industry, quite a lot of money exchange hands between a driving instructor and a student. In such circumstances, driving instructors who are untrustworthy can easily collect money for services and all forms of transactions and then not carry out their obligations. In short, students will become victims and are cheated by unscrupulous instructors.

2. The ability to be punctual.

It is important that an instructor is able to be punctual. An instructor who is unable to be punctual, will be incapable to conduct his lessons successfully as planned. If this happens, students will be left waiting for their driving instructors to arrive. Much time will be wasted. Such situations cause much unpleasantness.

I have personally heard of driving school instructors who have already collected money, but end up not performing their duties. There have been cases whereby reports and complaints have been made to the Road Transport Department regarding instructors who have not carried out their duties to their students or pupils.

3. Be capable of doing an honest job.

An instructor should always attempt to do an honest job. Students should be taught diligently by an instructor. Unfortunately, most instructors seem to care for the economics aspect more than anything else. Because of this, driving schools and institutes seem to produce drivers who aren’t able to drive well. That’s the reason why the rate of accidents in Malaysia seems to be rather high.

The attitude of not bothering whether students are capable of driving or otherwise should therefore undergo a change.

4. Attempt to be a caring instructor.

Most instructors teach young people who have just attained their 16 or 17 birthdays. Students who register with our driving schools are as a matter of fact, children of people who care tremendously concerned for the welfare of their children.

Parents in fact are very worried as to whether their children have taken lunch or breakfast when they have to attend courses which can go on for as long as 5 hours and sometimes even 6 hours. Irregardless of whatever course a student attend, be it the 5 hour highway code or the 6 hour theory course, a caring instructor should make it a point to take their students who are registered under their wings for refreshments, breakfast and lunch. Such caring attitude, if practiced by instructors, will go a long way to make parents less worried about the welfare of their children and other siblings.

5. Be compassionate and understanding.

As an instructor this blog writer has time and again been compassionate or understanding to students who approach for driving lessons. I still remember vividly, an instance whereby a friend of mine, a Mr. Sundram, who actually worked for Tenaga National Berhad (TNB) as a linesman approaching me.

As a linesman, Mr. Sundram, who was then around 30 years of age and had a fairly large family, earned a rather low salary. To take up a driving course would cost quite a lot of money.

I finally decided to help Mr. Sundram out of his predicament. Mr. Sundram was taught by me for a fairly low rate, thereby assisting him to secure a driving license. Eventually, Mr. Sundram became a lorry driver of T.N.B.

Even today, after 30 to 40 years have since gone by, Mr. sundram and myself still contact each other. He is in fact much indebted to me for helping him out when he most needed it.

6. An instructor should a patient person.

One cannot possibly be a good instructor if he or she is not a patient character. Like a teacher, a driving school instructor, should possess lots of patience, if he or she wants to be a good driving school instructor.

An instructor, out teaching a young and inexperienced novice, who knows next to know nothing about driving, can be a very daunting task indeed. On the other hand, old students like housewives, can sometimes be very difficult to handle. You have, as an instructor, have to have “steel of patience” in order to carry out your duty as an instructor.

Permit me to relate to you a rather interesting episode which actually happened some twenty or thirty years ago. A 16 year student and her grandmother 60 over years of age, once enrolled in my school to take up driving lessons. The granddaughter unfortunately failed. The granny, although old, was determined to get her driving license. She learnt her lessons diligently. She did her parking and slope maneuvers well.

Finally, when appearing for her practical test at the Kota Raja Stadium, Klang, the grandmother, surprisingly passed with flying colours. Her feat so much impressed the chief tester, nicknamed the “Bomoh”, that he finally gave the old lady RM2 to take a drink for her undaunting efforts.

The above tester was said to have commented, “Even younger students were unable to achieve what the 60 year old grandmother achieved that very day”. The chief tester was indeed very happy with what he witnessed.

7. Do not possess the attitude of giving up easily.

It’s a very difficult task to teach a new student the art of driving. As such, driving school instructors should be advised to bear in mind this maxim. “Always try not to give up on a student no matter how difficult the situation is.”

An instructor should always try to persevere when meeting with difficult students. This instructor is not implying that he has been successful with all of his students. Without a doubt, there exist students who have given up their intention or wish to secure a driving license mid stream.

In 2011 alone, I have a young driving student, hardly 30 years, who finally decided to abort her driving lessons with me. No matter what I did, I was unfortunately unsuccessful in trying to impart to her the art of driving. This 40 years experienced instructor “Failed”!

The above failure represented a colossal blow to me. But unfortunately, that is what life is all about. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you fail”, so they say.

Having given readers 7 important advices which might lead you to becoming a good instructor, I feels should be more than sufficient. Who knows, there might be, existing amongst readers who might one day decide to make the decision to etch out a living by choosing to become a “driving school instructor”.

To them, I extend to them, a warm welcome!

By | 2012-11-01T15:44:20+08:00 June 21st, 2012|Driving Schools|6 Comments

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  1. nicholas yan August 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Dear Cikgu Yap,
    Just to ask that if my sister currently studying in australia, can i help her to register for IDP? Her original IC and License are with her right now, so can i still register this IDP for her if she scan and email her photocopy IC and License to me?

    • Cikgu Yap August 6, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

      IDP can only be obtained by the owner personally in Malaysia.

  2. Rajiv Kumar September 9, 2012 at 8:46 am - Reply


    I am originally from India and working here in Malaysia for the past 2 yrs. I already know to drive and have a valid Indian license. Can I get my license converted or do I have to apply for a new one? If conversion is not possible please suggest some good driving school around Jalan Ipoh Bt-3

    Thanks in advance

    • Cikgu Yap September 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      I understand that Malaysian authorities only allows certain professions to convert Indian licenses into Malaysian driving licenses. Furthermore, their licenses should be proven to be real and authentic in the first place.

  3. Jocelyn Deana September 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I just started learning driving. I know I’m not good driver yet but I’m trying my best and giving all my effort when I’m driving without panicking but my driving instructor keeps shouting at me, blaming me for the mistakes I’ve did and he easily loses his patience when teaching me to drive on the road. I try to be positive and patience towards him so that I can keep calm when driving on the road with him but day by day, he keeps getting on my nerves and it really stresses me out plus I get panic easily when driving on the road with him shouting at me. What should I do?

    • Cikgu Yap September 20, 2014 at 8:29 am - Reply

      Sorry you’ve got an unsuitable and impatient instructor. I suggest you quickly find a more understanding person to teach you.

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