The public may not be aware. Setting up a driving institute is different. Not everyone or any entity for that matter, can decide to set up driving institutes. You cannot decide to set it up just anywhere you fancy. There are certain rules and regulations to follow.

Why is this so?

Permit me to explain. The driving school or institutes business today is in fact a controlled business. It is under the purview of the Transport Ministry.

To set up a driving school or institute, one has first of all secure a permit or license to operate it. This is known as S.M.1 in the driving industry circles.

Why does the driving school industry need to be controlled?

Why, you may ask, can’t it be a free enterprise. Like opening up a restaurant or a sundry shop for that matter?

Well, the authorities have their reasons. The public seems have a poor image about driving schools or institutes. They might not accord it high regards. You might not be aware, but driving institutes are regarded as being run by less educated strata of the society.

In the early days, on the 1950s and 60s, a driving instructor’s job was a part time job and a profession not many people will prefer electing to do. Except and unless you yourself are involved in this industry itself, that is, if you happen to be a driving instructor, do not expect that your son or daughter will ever land up in the same profession as you.

Amongst the thousands of jobs in the market, which sane father or parent would ever dream of encouraging his son to become a driving instructor?

The profession itself may command a pay or salary rather lucrative, compared to other profession around, but believe me, it is not an easy job to hold if you should ask me. I should know because I have been involved in this industry for nearly forty years.

Until today, no insurance company is willing to yet insure me for the dangerous profession I am doing. In fact, a driving instructor is likened to that of an air line pilot. Insurance for driving instructors are available, but at extremely high premiums. Very few instructors are able to afford paying for it.

Today’s article was in fact intended to discuss the procedures and the requirements needed to set up a driving institute.

Amongst the many things a business man or entrepreneur, who wishes to set up this industry should bear in mind are:

1) Have enough experience of some 15 – 20 years ideally.

Like any other businesses, one should have enough experience in the field itself. Therefore, the more experience you possess in the field, the better it is for you overall.

2) Ideally you have a driving school permit currently.

Why should this be so?

Because to ask for a new permit to be granted to you these days is rather difficult. To expect a new permit to be issued to you these days may be likened to the moon turning blue or in Bahasa Malaysia they say “mengharapkan bulan menjadi biru”.

Unless you have the correct cables, forget about trying to secure a driving institute permit at all. But having a driving school permit, you could then ask for it to be converted into a driving institute instead.

In this manner, your chances of approval to set up an institutes would be better and also faster.

3) Should possess some 30 – 40 business associates in the driving school industry.

Any person intending to set up a driving institutes should possess a minimum of 30 – 40 driving school instructors who possess the certificate to teach or Sijil S.M.2.

It should be borne in mind, the Transport Authorities will issue the total number of vehicles based upon the number of instructors you have in your institute. Therefore, the higher the total of instructors you have in your institute, the larger the number of vehicles you will be eventually given by the authorities.

4) Having a capital of some RM1 million would be ideal.

Having some RM 1 million in your hand will be a fairly good amount of money you could work with. To build the infrastructure, you will need a lot of money. Among some of the infrastructure which are required are:
i) Lecture rooms
ii) Office
iii) Toilet facilities
iv) Canteen
v) Prayer rooms
vi) Store rooms
vii) Testers’ hut
viii) Building slopes and parking lots
ix) Signage

5) Purchasal of vehicles such as motorcycles, tractors, lorries, cars and other vehicles.

Purchase of the above can cost quite a lot of money. A lorry, even a 2nd hand one may cost anything between RM80,000 to RM100,000. Motorcycles can cost a lot of money too. Not to mention other requirements.

6) Availability of land to build the institute.

One should remember land remains an important item. Those wishing to open up an institute should realize no institute is allowed to be built very near another institute.

Preferably, an institute should ideally be set up in areas which have a fairly large population. Do not forget, it is a service oriented business.

Talking about the question of land needed to set up an institute, how big should it be?

The authorities suggest anything from 6 acres to 8 acres would be just perfect. Unless you would like to set up a mega size institute measuring 20 acres or more.

Confucius said, “the journey to a thousand miles begins with the first step”. So, if it is the intention of anyone to start a driving school institute in Malaysia, hunt around for a fairly big piece of land first.

Look around and ask brokers and friends. Be interested in options. Advertisements in newspapers can sometimes assist you to scout for a suitable piece of land.

But besides land, which is obviously very important to set up a driving institutes these days, you first step towards the aim of setting up a driving institute anywhere is to get the necessary application forms.

And where do you secure the above forms?

The J.P.J. offices cannot supply you these forms. You have to head to the Headquarters of the Transport Authorities at Putrajaya itself to get the forms your require

Well, that’s where my good buddy Mr Chin of Sekolah Memandu Sentosa and I were headed to recently. And where do you think our next new institute would be set up eventually? In Taman Sentosa, Klang itself.