Glossary of driving school terminology

Confused about all the terms flying around when there’s talk of driving schools? Here are the most common, broken down for you:

Glossary of driving school terminology


An Approved Driving Instructor. Someone who is fully qualified to teach driving lessons.



A type of car transmission that automatically changes gears for the driver.


Block bookings

The ability to book multiple lessons in one go, often at a discounted rate.


Car sharing

Where a learner shares a car with another during a lesson with an instructor.


Code of practice

A list of behaviours and professional standards drafted for driving instructors by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency



The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency. This is the government agency which carries out driving tests, approves driving instructors, and sets the standard for safe and responsible driving.


DBS checked

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. Someone who is DBS checked has had their criminal record checked by this body. It replaced the CRB check.


Defensive driving

Defensive driving is a style of driving that prioritises safety, aiming to reduce the risk of collision by teaching drivers to anticipate dangerous situations.  


Door-to-door (or home pickup)

A door-to-door service means an instructor will arrive at your home or desired location and drop you back there at the end of the lesson.


Dual control car

A dual control car contains a second brake and clutch pedal on the passenger side for the driving instructor. These controls mean an instructor can intervene during danger, or assist a learner when they are struggling.


Green badge

Green badges are displayed by ADIs in their car to indicate their status.


Intensive course

An intensive course aims to help learners pass in a short amount of time. They can range from one week to four weeks.



A type of car transmission where a driver must manually change the gears.


Mock driving tests

A mock driving test is a service most schools provide which simulates the experience of the practical driving test.


One-to-one tuition

One-to-one tuition pairs a single instructor with a single learner during lessons.


Pass plus

Pass plus is a course to be taken after the practical driving test has been passed. It takes a minimum of six hours, helping drivers improve their skills and experience. It focuses on things like motorway driving, country roads, and night time driving.


Pass rate

A pass rate is the percentage of tests passed amongst all tests taken.



A Potential Driving Instructor. PDIs are instructors who are yet become fully qualified driving instructors, but are able to teach lessons.



Piggybacking is where an instructor teaches more than one pupil at the same time. One is likely to observe from the back seat while the other drives.


Pink badge

Pink badges are displayed by PDIs in their car to indicate their status.


Refresher lessons

Refresher lessons are intended for students who have already passed their practical driving test, but are looking to improve their driving, or haven’t driven in a while.

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