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Thread: Driving School

  1. #1

    Default Driving School

    I am new to this forum and came here for some input. A friend and I are thinking about starting a drivers ed school. The metro area we live in is apx 840,000 people. There are currently at least 20 driving schools in this area, with a couple being well known and having multiple locations. We have enough money between the two of us to purchase a vehicle and a bond ($10,000 required in our state). Does anyone know how fierce the competition is for driving schools? What other costs should we expect (insurance, etc.) How many students would we need per month to make a profit ( current schools charge apx $400 per student)? Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Matt2903; 10-21-2014 at 03:06 PM.

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    Welcome to the forum Matt. Interesting. I don't think I've ever known anyone who opened a driving school. It didn't even occur to me that you could for some reason.

    Your competition is going to come from those at least 20 other driving schools. My first thought is that sounds like a lot, though I really don't know. That's your competition though and I don't know if any of us can tell you more about them, than you likely already know. One good thing about their being 20 schools is you know the area you live can and will support driving schools. Chances are another one can survive.

    I assume much of what you do is required by law, but try to find ways to differentiate your business from others. Is there something other schools don't do that you could? I have no idea if this is done, but it wasn't with the driving school you went to. What if you picked up students instead of having them meet you at a central location. I have no idea if it's a profitable thing to do, but perhaps it's different. It lets you gain as customers all the kids who can't get a ride to a driving school. Again I'm not saying this is a great idea, but hopefully you can see how it might be something potential customers might find valuable.

    You might want to search online to see what's being said about the existing driving schools in your area. Twitter is often a good place for this kind of research. Review sites would be another. What are people saying good or bad about your competition? The good things are probably things you'll need to do as well and the bad things provide opportunities if you can solve the problems people are having with other schools.

    I'm not really sure what additional costs you'll have. Will you be teaching some things in a classroom? If so you'll need to rent or lease space to serve as a classroom. I would think insurance is the big cost. Are you allowed to let student drivers drive on regular roads or do you have to keep them in a lot of some kind. I assume you take them out on roads and wondered if there's a state cost associated with that. I would think a driving school needs to register with the state and file paperwork with associated fees. If you do need a lot and cones to set up, you'll need to pay for those things too.

    As far as what to charge, you'll probably want to figure out your costs first. You'll likely have to charge something comparable to everyone else, but you should know how much you have to spend to earn that money is important.

    Hope something in there helps.
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  3. #3

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    Two other factors to consider:

    Is Driver's Education compulsory (or almost compulsory) for drivers in your state? For example, here in Oklahoma, you must be 15 1/2 and enrolled in a Driver's Education class before applying for a learner's permit (16 without Driver's Ed). After having a permit for 6 months or completing 55 hours of supervised driving (10 night hours), whichever comes later, you can apply for an intermediate license that restricts your driving to between 4:30AM and 9:00PM and one passenger. If you've had Driver's Ed and no traffic citations, you can get an full passenger car/truck license after 6 months. If you haven't had Driver's Ed, you have to wait a year and have not traffic citations for a year.

    In additional to private schools, are you also competing with the public school system? Many public school districts offer driver's education as an elective class for students eligible that year.

    What percentage of your population is becoming of driver age each year in your area? That's probably where your biggest market will be. Then you'll have people who want a discount on their insurance (which you might be able to partner with different insurance offices depending on your state's regulations).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    What percentage of your population is becoming of driver age each year in your area? That's probably where your biggest market will be.
    This was my very first thought. How many high school kids in the area. And can you make a living with one car?
    I just started realizing that they don't teach Drivers Ed in school anymore. When did that happen?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    I just started realizing that they don't teach Drivers Ed in school anymore. When did that happen?
    If it doesn't get special funding, schools won't teach it. Education isn't about educating these days.
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    That's crazy. Back in my day ( in my best grandpa voice), if you didn't pass drivers ed, you didn't graduate. There was also no internet, cable TV and if someone called and you weren't home, you just missed the call and called them back later. And we still lived.

    Just thought I'd toss that in there for perspective.

  7. #7

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    Hello guys,

    I've been thinking about a driving school as a business, but then as an alternative - why not start a gas station? I found a topic here on the forum too - https://www.small-business-forum.net...el-to-Get-into I checked the list of driving schools in my area (Cincinnati) and there're more than 30 of them. Any experience with driving schools or gas stations? Does anyone have perhaps the samples of driving school business plans? I will appreciate any help. Thanks.

    John
    Last edited by JohnGraham; 09-11-2019 at 01:17 PM. Reason: added forum topic

  8. #8

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    Just a comment on gas stations. I don't know the business, but it seems that gas is a loss leader to get you to go into the associated store. Mercedes said recently that they would only be selling electric cars within 10 years. I suspect that is a trend with other electric cars coming out these days, not just Tesla and they are really nice cars. That would mean that gas stations as we know them will disappear over the next 10 years. There will be charging stations for car batteries, but mostly for long haul drives. I could see apartment complexes adding charging to parking spaces for their residents etc. So gas stations seem like a pretty risky venture not knowing what the future will hold??

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