Deathwatch: Red Driving School in administration

18 February 2010

deathwatch If The Actor Peter Halpin is reading this (and we’re pretty sure he is) he’ll be distraught at the news that the parent company of Red Driving School has gone into administration. After all, he starred in their adverts, playing a Red driving instructor.

284317050Or maybe he won’t be in the slightest bit arsed. That’s because he isn’t actually a Red driving instructor but a supremely gifted actor instead, a human chameleon who can be a driving instructor one moment and an ‘impartial advisor’ for Simplify Digital the next.

Still, today isn’t about The Actor Peter Halpin – it’s about LVG, the parent group of Red Driving School, Red Instructor Training and Red Fleet Training. They’ve plummeted into administration today and fears must be growing among their 400 operational staff (the instructors are all franchisees.)

The administrators MCR say that they’re confident a buyer can be found, but then they would wouldn’t they?

TOPICS:   High Street News


  • Klingelton
    Does that mean their adverts are lying? "you too could earn up to 30k a year - or at least until we go into administration and are required to pay off our shareholders before any of you plebs get hold of any of your hard earned cash." Former Red Employees, please let me know what the verdict is.
  • Michael A.
    Well, instructors should be fine as all of their money is paid directly to them, cash in hand, as they're all self-employed franchisees. Just means that pupils may be slightly harder to come by as many won't book lessons with a company that seems to be quaking.
  • Az
    Well the earn 30k a year is the baitthey give you and lure you in, I went to one of their open days, and fell for the con, ended up signing up to become an instructor, and it cost me almost 3k to get enrolled on the course, they supplied me a handfull of books for my 3k, the same books I could have bought from WHSmiths for less than £100 for the lot. then 1st I am sent away to study the highway code and theory test, what I was NOT told is I would have to pay for the exams from my own pocket, I go back for 4 or 5 sessions and I am told now go and take your theory test,, had booked that few weeks prior, and cost me £50 from my own pocket, went and took test, and passed it. then back to training centre, now they send you out in a car with a instructor but wait, you arent alone, you get another learner in the car too, and you get to drive for 30 minutes and the other learner gets 30 minutes, The instructor points out your mistakes but does nothing more. then at the end of the hour you are told to go and buddy up with some other learner who is local to you, and practise and rectify your mistakes. you go back and forth for about 5 or 6 sessions, then you are put on back list as newer students et priority. you have to practice alone or with someone local, then book ad take your practical test. this costs you another £100 from your pocket, thats on top of the 3k you paid for the course, the other thing you get told is you have 3 attempts at passing your driving test, all have to be booked and paid for individually, so fail once, pay again and rebook and come back few weeks later, and so on. also you get told if you fail on 3rd attempt you have to wait for 2 years before you can re attempt the practical test again. but wait this is only half the journey, if you are a really good driver you might pass the test, so then you go back to the Instructor College (aka) Red driving school. they then give you 4 or 5 session in a car and explain to you how to teach,, then you go away and practice untill your exam date comes through, which is your ability to teach exam, this one costs £250 and you get 3 attempts again, and if you faill 3 times then back of the que for you, you then wait 2 years, and redo your theory which would have expired by now and redo the practical.. well thats the plan or shoudl I say the program you are given, but in reality thinsg are different, when I passed my theory and went back I got few session in the car with an instructor, but veery time I would ask a question he would change the subject, everytime I questioned something the company were teaching I would get a round about answer and the subject would get changed , I found it very frustrating, and ended up leaving.. I ended out of pocket by 3k plus the exam fees and never got furthar than stage 2 due to the incompetence of the instructor I had.. the company just seemed like they were taking people for a ride.. I am still waiting for my 30k a year but in reality there are so many driving schools out there you will be lucky to earn that kind of money. GOOD LUCK
  • Brian
    Hi, my name is Brian . I don't understand all that stuff posted by "Az". I have a Provisional Licence (DVLA) and wish to learn the joys of driving a car. Besides stealing one, and driving it around the estate, can anyone reassure me BSM is a competent and safe place to pay for 10 hours of lessons in advance? Thanks
  • SAP
    AZ, the problem with Red is not mis-selling, poor training or an over priced course. The problem is people like yourself who do not listen or read and then repent at their leisure, blaming everyone but themselves. The 'bait' as you put it is 'earn up to £30000'. This is no different to a sales job advertisement that says OTE (on target earnings) of £30000. It is not a promise but it can be achieved and is achieved by many driving instructors. Presumably though, it is people who do not expect it all to fall into their' laps. You do still have to work at any job. Now to the presentation. As the consultants go through the presentation each DSA fee is given along with details of each test and training. Once the price of the course is given, details of what is included follow. Perhaps AZ fell asleep at this point or didn't think to ask for clarification either at the time or at the subsequent meeting where he signed on to the course. At the point of enrolment AZ would have been given an enrolment pack that included all books and questions. It would also have included a 'DSA Starter Pack' that includes the book 'ADI14' that goes through the full qualification process in detail, including the 'two year rule' for those who might be unlucky enough to fail a third attempt at Part 2 (driving) or Part 3 (teaching). Again AZ couldn't be 'arsed' to read it. The theory training is now all done online but with full tutor and e-mail support. At the time AZ enrolled, it would seem that he had additional classroom training with a fully qualified ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) who will have been governmant approved through ORDIT. It seems that AZ passed first time. It must have been awful training! Now to Part 2 (driving). The ORDIT (government) standard is for this type of training to be done at no more than a two to one basis and this is how most training providers deliver. There are benefits to this including reducing fatigue, learning from the mistakes and skills of others. Furthermore, driving instructors have to spend most of their time watching the driver so getting used to this at Part 2 can only be a good thing. Training sessions last for approximately three and a half hours. Even allowing for a break, that is around one and a quarter to one and a half hour each. If you didn't get this, did you complain. I doubt you did because the mists of time have clouded your memory somewhat. All sessions are properly structured with clear learning objectives and feedback sheets giving additional practice guidance. I doubt whether your ORDIT approved instructor was incompetent. If he was, he wouldn't have been ORDIT approved or still working for Red Instructor Training. The fact you gave up at Part 2 seems to tell a different story. The Part 3 test currently costs £111 so where did £250 come from? The training includes at least forty hours of training and no charges are made for extra, where required. Should a scenario arise where the course has to be repeated, no extra training fees would be payable. If you were so dissatisfied did you follow the procedure in the enrolment pack titled 'Customer Services Policy'? I doubt it.
  • sammy
    i would like to know ,i took out a loan to cover my driving instructors training with reds ,as they are in adminstration would i have to pay back this loan or would they reimburse the bank on my behalf ,as i only just started the course.
  • ADInstructor
    LGV limited is not the parent company of Red driving school. LVG is not a group of Companies. Red driving school is the main trading name of LVG limited and accounts for over 90% of the Companies turnover and it is the Red operations that have resulted in the £2.2 million lose in the last 16 weeks and hence the need to go into liquidation. This article gives the false impression that it is the parent Company that has gone into Administration not Red driving school when they are one and the same.
  • mark m.
    sap i read your comments with amusement ( customer services policy) unfortunatley due to process of court action pending. i cant say much .... RED /lvg are misrepresenting them selfes at any time they can . as for the customer services ..dont make me laugh want one thing and one thing only ...your money they dont give a shit about anybody just their own plain greed and in fact they are crooks ...they will tell you that they are crying out for instructors in that are ..only to find out they have flooded it with pdi....and they will never be able to supply enough pupils for you to pay the over rated franchise ...and yes i cpuld write a book about their lies and deceit ..becuase i was a red instructor that thankfully got out in time lvg/red adi news and the likes are all one, the head office is in brighton and they have CCJS against them from all over the country MY ADVISE TO WHO EVER IS READING THIS GET OUT NOW AND STAY OUT
  • Steve B.
    Well, this story really has dragged the spelling champions out from behind their spelling learning books, hasn't it? Then again, having seen the apes that mask themselves as red driving instructors, I shouldn't be too surprised. My advice? Spend your new found disposable income on school instead.
  • David D.
    "unfortunatley due to process of court action pending. i cant say much" "they dont give a shit about anybody just their own plain greed and in fact they are crocks" I think you've blown it.
  • David D.
    This spelling this is catching, I put crocks instead of crooks!
  • Wee R.
    My husband signed up with Red in January after being made redundant, the sales guy gave a really good pitch and after discussing it further with myself he signed up. He signed a standing order bank mandate to pay the fees but after red failed to take the money from our account and then cancelled my husbands training they threatened us with court action if the money was not paid. We contacted Red and paid in full by card over the phone. A week later red approached our bank and tried to take the money again landing us with a £35 bank charge, we tried emailing and calling red, no one ever calls you back. We even wrote to reds head office to complain. The response was basically the problem was not them but my bank, we should have cancelled the bank mandate and red were entitled to their money so look elsewhere for a refund, the answer we got regarding the lack of customer service and no one returning your calls was "sorry were very busy", not a lot of help to the person £3k out of pocket. I agree with previous posts , red are just out to get your money once they get it, if a problem arrises your on your own as red don`t want to know. Unfortunately we can`t afford to walk away and my poor husband will just have to continue with this course like it or not.
  • Buggy
    Hi, I did my training with The instructor college (part of the red group)some 11 years ago, and like everything in life you get good & bad. Some of the tutors where better than others ...some driving instructors are better than others also,But as with all training you get out what you put in. AZ (above) most of the points you make are not reds doing.. the 3 strikes & 2 year rules are the DSA's rules & all potential driving instructors have these restrictions, they are to separate the wheat from the chaff .Like most tests it works, sometimes people fluke it but like the L-test the examiners usually get it right .I never thought i'd defend red but ,failure to prepare is to prepare to fail -as they say! If you didn't read up & look at other avenues on becoming an ADI before you signed up... that's no-ones fault at red . Red's admin' failing are a whole diff' matter though.. they where not great when i was a PDI or an ADI with them, they where ment' to be sorting that out... don't look like they did! :( As for advice to Brian(and anyone looking to book lessons), All driving schools of more than a couple of cars are franchisee... the instructor you get is more by luck than anything else ,unless you ask friends for a recommendation you pay your money & take your chance. But READ the leaflet you got with about ADI's & PDI's , you will find it enlightening . Most single instructor schools will be an ADI & if you still don't know how to tell...see my website for details , I hope that helps , Have a Safe & good driving life! Phil (ADI)
  • Buggy
    Just a quick add-on to above, almost all national driving schools & most larger/local regional ones do driving instructor training(the AA don't ,but the use to be linked with red/the instructor college i believe-but, i maybe wrong). And as a rule if they do instructor training...they have trainee instructors! see ADI/PDI above!
  • Pete
    My Son recently took out a loan for £3600.00 via Barclays and he hasnt even completed his theory. Now they go into administration. How does he stand? Can he get his money back or will he end up paying his £120 a month with nothing in return from Red?? Does anyone know where we can get any information regarding this. Regards. Pete.
  • Tim R.
    I went through the Red / Instructor College Process & now work successfully as a stand alone driving instructor, I also earn a dam good wage. Thing is, this has nothing to do with Red, their training was completely useless. There full of smiles before they get your money & follow up phone calls. Once they get the money, every appointmnet is preceeded with a threatening letter, saying u must pay more if u miss the appointment. Mine was at Birmingham & in class training was with a bully called Lynn, who talked about herself & her sad boring life most of the time, when questioned about anything she became aggressive. The in car training was rubbish of good dependant on the Instructor u where given, but even when it was good it wasnt anywhere near enough to get u through the very hard to pass Part III. They dont tell u 80% of student never pass the part III. I for one am glad this Shower of S*** are out of the industry, they have destroyed many lives. Oh yes, also I was stupid enough to go with their franchise .. the got me hardly any pupils, the useles call centre staff NEVER returned my calls & they still expected me to pay the fee every week. I left within the minimum 3 months .. to the day. Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish.
  • Tim R.
    I went through the Red / Instructor College Process & now work successfully as a stand alone driving instructor, I also earn a dam good wage. Thing is, this has nothing to do with Red, their training was completely useless. There full of smiles before they get your money & follow up phone calls. Once they get the money, every appointmnet is preceeded with a threatening letter, saying u must pay more if u miss the appointment. Mine was at Birmingham & in class training was with a bully called Lynn, who talked about herself & her sad boring life most of the time, when questioned about anything she became aggressive. The in car training was rubbish or good dependent on the Instructor u where given, but even when it was good it wasn't anywhere near enough to get u through the very hard to pass Part III. They dont tell u 80% of students never pass the part III. I for one am glad this Shower of S*** are out of the industry, they have destroyed many lives. Oh yes, also I was stupid enough to go with their franchise .. they got me hardly any pupils, the useles call centre staff NEVER returned my calls & they still expected me to pay the fee every week. I left within the minimum 3 months .. to the day. Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish.
  • Steve A.
    ok here is what I have to add. I paid my money got first class instruction from part one to part three (passed each exam first time) now I am a grade 6 ADI working with RED and they have been good to me. The admin yes this is very bad and this i feel needs looking at and I have said so to LVG many many times. The pupils well I have had plenty and from them I continue to get recomendation after recomendation as I am a first class instructor (ok my computer typo is not the best but...) making more than 30K a year working 5 - 6 days a week. as has alrwady been said you get out what yu put in. Since when did life owe you anything? Work hard and you get your reward. The sales team do give you the best case senario but then thats their job yours is to ask the questions and then you will get an honest answer. I am sad to hear the RED brand being gunned down by you guys and sad to hear it is currently in admin but this is not the end just a new begining for the brand. Steve
  • Ray B.
    COMPLAINT No 1 I enrolled for the driving course at Bristol on the 15th September 09, at the same time I opted to enroll in the 2 week Residential Training Course at Wolverhampton, to start 23/11/09 I had to cancel the course as I had not heard back from DSA with my PR Number. I received the number on the 25th November and rang Wolverhampton to rebook my course, to be told that no more courses are being run. On the 27th November I sent a letter asking for a reimbursement of £538.00. Since then I have made numerous phone calls and sent email's to asking for my money, I can never get to talk to any one and never get a returned call or email's, Bristol collage has done the same on my behalf without a pos answer. I was told on the 26/1/10 that I would receive the money in 2 weeks, that never happened. I phoned again on the 17/2/10 and again told that I will receive money in 2 weeks. Am I ever going to get it or am I being fobbed off. COMPLAINT No 2 On the 4th January I sent in my form for my Part 2 Test. By the end of Jan I had not heard anything so I rang to find out if I had a test date but was told that no test had been booked. Since then I have phoned and sent email's asking if test has been booked,again I am being fobbed off. I phoned on the 17/2/10 and asked again why my test had not been booked and was told "Why dont you book the test yourself and claim the money back" . This whole experience I have been receiving from RED is totally unacceptable. Now I Know Why.
  • karen f.
    my daughter signed up with red never did the course cacnceled months ago now barcleys are demand ing payments for money we have not used and my husband stood as gruanrantor
  • Ray B.
    Pete I Contact Barclays Bank this morning and they have put my Account on hold untill this is sorted out. Give them a call Ray
  • goon
    good i hope they vanish completly and therefore more annoying adverts on tv from them pissing me off i am of the persuasion that if an advert annoy me i won't but from them on principal no matter what shame more people don't think like that or red might have gone bust even sooner
  • Jack
    @Karen Is you husband a bit like the Terminator? Sounds like it - gruanrantor! Try to cancel anything you can by contacting the bank, and put your situation into writing and send it to the bank. In my past experience they are normally very understanding about tough / bad situations like this where you have been left out of pocket.
  • annie
    Red have ripped off alot of people, keep an eye on the one show! my partner has been done by them, he did even begin the course due to ill health, and didnt even know the money was taken by red until 1 year later when barcleys wanted their money, noone at red listened, you couldnt get passed the witch on reception, i know we are not on our own but getting any money back is going to be a hard slogg, they have got a well soiled name to clean up, they got to go some to acheive that!
  • NG
    Several people above have asked if they will get their money back now that Red have gone into administration - you obviously don't understand how the system works! When you sign up to Red they receive their money for your training, up front, directly from the bank. Effectively you have taken out a bank loan and paid the money straight to Red, the loan deal is between you and the bank and has nothing to do with Red. So the simple answer to the question is NO you will not get your money back, at the moment Red are still trading but if they cease trading then any outstanding traing that is owed will just dissappear, even if they are sold it's unlikely any purchaser will take on existing debt (training). By all means have a word with your bank and explain the situation and they may be able to help you meet the payments (less amount, longer term) but I think it is extremely unlikely they will write off the debt. Remember it is the bank you owe the money to, NOT Red. DO NOT just cancle your payments or you will have bank charges, interest, and all kinds of other nasty extras added to your payments. Although I never had a franchise with Red I did do my training with The Instructor College (and passed) but I have to say i agree with most of the comments above and would not reccommend them to my worst enemy!! Whilst I think "Sap"s attack on "AZ" (above) was a little harsh he does point out one very valuable piece of information to anyone thinking of becoming a driving instructor. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! Before spending £4000 do as much reseach as possible and know EXACTLY what you are getting for your money. Whilst this may seem like common sense, life can look very different through rose tinted glasses after talking to one of their very clever salesmen - isn't hindsight wonderful!?
  • SK
    What if you paid be credit card?! surely you can get your money back
  • Kk
    I am currently a Red Instructor and I also passed with the Instructor Training back in 2007. I did enjoy the training and loved putting the work in from theary to part3 passing all first time and quickly. I did recieve lots of help and extra hours on my part 3 training.I got many many offers of work on my trainee badge but made an INFORMED decition and went with Red, they filled my diary in the first four weeks and was a good company to represent. Since passing the final exam I stayed with Red as I have never had a problem with them. It is what YOU make it !!!! You don't like what u hear go else where, there's plenty of trainers waiting for people who think this business is easy to get into and struggle then start to moan that they are being ripped off.
  • Kk
    For the guys who are looseing out due to the administration I feel for you and hope the banks will stick to there code of practice, if you paid by credit card I believe you are covered due to the cards code of practice. I have been told today a buyer is signing next week as one has stepped in so don't panic all is supposedly in hand
  • Jimbo
    The spelling and grammar on some of these posts is atrocious. How hard is it to spell check before you hit the 'post' button? I hope those of you that are instructors are better at that than you are at spelling.
  • Andy A.
    I think a big part of the problem seems to be people hear what they want to hear and are swept along with the hype of the dream job and earnings. Act in haste repent at leausure right enough. Do the homework before you sign anything and you should no what the conditions are. I do feel sorry for people but it would appear they have not done any research before commiting to the challenge
  • Kevin A.
    I have been a driving instructor for 10 years when I qualified there were 29,000 qualified instructors now there are 45,000 qualified instructors and the number rapidly growing yet the number of teenagers has actually decreased. Now you see many instructors almost giving lessons away just to get established in the market. What is not needed is more driving instructors. Another point I am well established own my company and therefore do not pay a franchise fee often work evenings and 7 days a week yet I earn no way near 30 grand.Maybe some instructors earn that amount but here in the East Midlands I am yet to meet one.
  • Steve B.
    @Jimbo - I was irate about the same issue several posts back, and now I'm fucking livid. I suppose it's Darwinian..
  • NG
    Jimbo & Steve Blag At least everyone else has managed to communicate without resorting to swearing!! If the bad spelling is the only thing you have to worry about then I suggest you take your sad little lives elsewhere as you obviously have nothing to contribute to this discussion.
  • Andrew
  • Keith
    Always amuses me when I see complaints of spelling issues. Guess some of these guys want their builder to pass a spelling test before they hire him? If I want an English teacher, spelling is important, if I want a driving instructor I want him to be able to teach driving, his spelling might be nice but will not make him a better instructor.
  • karen f.
    barclays still demanding money red insisting they have paid it back dont no what to do dont want to be black listed
  • NG
    Karen Get real! Red is still being run as a going concern, why the hell would they pay the money back to Barclays?? Your contract is with Barclays and has nothing to with Red. See my earlier post!!
  • Mike
    To those unfortunates that signed up with Red/The Instructor College and funded the course through a Barclays loan - there is some hope! It would appear that it was Barclays pulling out of the financing of future courses that caused the collapse as Red could not sell enough courses without the buy now/pay later finance offer. Not many people have the thick end of £4k in cash nowadays. Barclays have a shared responsibility with Red and will be looking to find alternative trainers for courses that have been funded by them. Unfortunately now that Red has been 'saved' by a buyout, guess who will be completing the courses?
  • jim
  • Kk
    To jumbo sorry spelt wrong... Jimbo! If you google spelling mistakes, there's a forum set up for people just like you. And FYI I do not have spell check on my phone :0) since sat' we have been brought so business as usaul, let's just hope it's not effected future pupils trust in booking with Red.
  • ren
    eye never sor so meny ijiots dat carnt spel proply - u wud tink dat nobodee went two bladdy scool- wots de mata wid all u ilitrit braynlas twits aut der ... four gudnis sayk go four spelin lesonz - u shud al bee ashamd.
  • ren
    by d wey - i also aksidently synd 2 b dryvin instteutstor wid red an i loozd £3500.. only bicos i sor a big kew of ijiots and i thort dey kewin up two by drugz.
  • Kevin A.
    Many people have been conned out of thousands by Red over the years.Others could lose money on loans they have taken out. Thosands of newly qualified driving instructors are flooding on to an over saturated market. But non of this matters because someone on an obscure internet forum has made a spelling mistake! Get a life all you sad pedants out there.
  • karen f.
    ng i did get real now red have paid my loan to barclays
  • SK
    Karen Forbes - How did you get your money back?!
  • karen f.
    my daughter went to the citizens advice who phoned red on her behalf money paid back in next day good luck
  • Shiv
    For God's sake, if not for your own, don't touch Red School with a barge pole, you will do yourself the biggest favour in your life. Don't blow away your money, if you do you will have only yourself to blame because you are forewarned. I failed to carry out some research before falling a prey to this rapacious and unscrupulous driving school which pretend to be highly rated. All lies and half-truths. They are a selfish bunch of money grabbing and unethical lot. Exhorbitant fees, lack of tuition, plenty of excuses, false promises, unrealistic claims and misleading ads, all concocted into a potion to conjure a dream that you will be earning £30k a year. In my case, I am kicking myself after taking out a huge loan to pay for the damned thing. which is not worth it. You will be a fool not to learn from others mistakes. I wished I had this warning from others then I would not have bought tension and headache.
  • Shiv
    By the way I urge dissatisfied or disenchanted would-be ADIs with negative experience with Red School to contact me so that we could all get together and take a unified and collective action against Red to either return our money or return the loan to Barclays Bank which seemingly is acting in cahoots with Red School. I am against malpractice and taking people who are desperately seeking a living for a ride. Hence, I am currently designing a website with the address as where all complaints against Red will be posted to intimate or warn others, if not make Red School really see red. They knew what was coming which is why they went on a huge advertising campaign to amass as much money as they possibly could in the run-up to their going into Administration. What makes me furious is that they don't come clean with you. If you think others should benefit from your experience please take action now and email me at [email protected] or contact me through this forum. We have to stop them in their track. Act NOW ! ! ! Shivmedia
  • John C.
    Red are nothing but swindlers, took out loan almost a year ago through Barclays to fund course, I became ill a short time later and could not work, so was not earning to fund the course, with hindsight why isn't anyone offered payment protection for such a large amount, as you would if you were applying for any other type of bank loan. I only attended the course for two days and I have contacted Red and Barclays to advise them that I have very limited resources and that I am willing to make a reduced one off payment to close the account, but they don't want to know. I have told Barclays that because of their attitude ther are getting nothing I gave them the opportunity to be fair and reasonable about the matter, but if they want to cut up nasty about the matter then fair do's.
  • Tim R.
    Hey John, Yes they are swindlers, they tell u 'take the loan out, in 6 months u will be earning a fortune' ... LIARS ... its takes even the best pupil with lots of time on their hands over a year. Then they pull out the old sales spheell ... 'THE GOVERNMENT ARE MAKING 40 hrs COMPULSARY LESSONS BEFORE TEST BY A ADI / PDI & not a non adi / pdi#. MORE BULLSHIT ... the government have been saying this for over 20 years & still nothing .. its a LIE !!!. Ive now been doing this for 2 years (using savings from property) Im told Im the best in my area & my 1st time pass rate is 2nd to none. Ive got about 3 months money left, then Im broke & homeless. So listen to me ::: Im the best at what I do, I have a great reputation, I had lots of money in the bank, Ive taken 2 full years to build up the business & ILL BE BROKE & HOMELESS IN 3 MONTHS. All thanks to the bullshitters a RED Birmingham Instructor College !!! .. Thanks .. see u on the streets.
  • Phillip J.
    I am very sad to see so many people who have in good faith paid money to a company who are obviously only interested in their bottom line profit, they lost the plot with the change of CEO this company is purely driven by greed, it does not care for the Instructors it is training and many who after training do not get the work they were promised. As for the pupils they train they are getting a very raw deal indeed, hopefully this will be the end of the beast. There is all ready to many Instructors in the industry plus a 50% drop in people looking for driving lessons this is since 2007 less work and more Instructors not a great scenario, I hate to tell you will not earn 30-40K a year once you have paid all your over head costs the average driving Instructor will only earn £300-£400 a week after taking off over head costs that's of cause if you can still get the work.
  • Tim R.
    Here we have a case of the proof is in the pudding, the previous post by Phillip Jackson. I'm presuming by what he has typed, that Red Instructor College trained him. Now please re-read what he has typed, its got the spelling & grammer of a 5 year old. Instead of already he puts 'all ready', instead of are he puts 'is', instead of too many he puts 'to' many. Jesus ... & Red say they check all people prior to taking them on the course. Would you be happy to let an illiterate like 'Phillip Jackson' train your children ???.
  • Tony
    Today Dom Little in his BBC 1 morning show, "Dont get Done, get Dome" has taken on board the case of people getting coned by "RED Driving School". It is very clear that these people are simply after you money and have no real intention of providing the quality they say they do. Why is it in the UK, we simply let these people get away with it ? The law, Trading Standards should ensure that these people cannot get away with the level of lies these companies tell.
    Did anyone else watch Don`t get done get Dom on Mondays show it was rife with complaints about Red Driving school POTENTIAL instructors, there scam`s and money people have lost to the point of loosing there house`s. I was due to go to BRISTOL today for an initial meeting with them ,with a view to being an instructor , thanks to Dom and most of the above complaints I have just rung them and cancelled ,thanks for saving me money, I hope that all of you who are still out of pocket get your money back and give RED a royal kick up the arse .
  • Was
    Hi Brian, I am fully qualifed instructor, studied with Red and they were excellent never had any prolem at all. My advice to you not to go with BSM for the lessons, they are nite mares, service is shit and cost you too much, i am currently working for them and since day one had problem and now they are not terminating my contract which didnt they didnt tell me at all, for the lessons go with Local driving school rather then going with BSM.
  • BobD
    Sorry spelling mistake in last sentence, damn!! bad not had.
  • David
    May be they may just STOP keep sending me spam emails ! like every day !!! dose any one no the MD's email address so i can spam him with all the junk i get from him !!
  • Sarah
    Do not go into this industry. The costs are high. Your customer base is shrinking as there are fewer teenagers than 10 years ago and many more instructors. To stay afloat you will need at least thirty pupils a year but there are fewer than that available if you devide the number of students with the number of instructors. Red advertise that you can train around your work but their training is only available 9-5 Monday to friday. They advertise high income. Well if you live in london that may be true but consider the population where you live. In the south west where Reds bristol office is based very few instructors do much more than cover their costs. Most PDI s are paying to go to work. It can cost £1000 a month in franchise petrol insurance and car hire. Lessons average at £20.00 an hour. For the first six months you will be lucky to get 5 pupils. Even luckier if you can get them to do 2 hours a week. £200 income a week if its a 5 week month you may just cover your costs. My experience was 1 pupil after 2 months of paying out. I got some more later but after paying for the course I then lost a further £500.00 a month. I am ten months in so thats £5000 on top of the course. All training companies know there is a lack of students out there. The DSA and the driving instructors association have published the figures for them all to see. They should be made to print a warning label on their product because just like smoking causes cancer it has been proven that this market is dying.
  • sour g.
    sarah you state that there are less teenagers that before, but yet the amount of people taking driving tests is going up(don't figure) its not just teenagers taking lessons...... and most are actually on 2 hour lessons as you should know.... i also think that if you only had one pupil in 2 months you would have been saying something to the company you worked for... i know i would have been!! I think the problem on all these type of websites are that current ADI's dont want anybody else coming in to the industry because they will have to work a little harder to keep the pupils or get new ones... not fair on all the people who would make great instructors alot of them better than the one's currently out there. I am a ADI and I welcome the new fresh face's and i DONT have any problems in keeping or getting new pupils
  • Gary E.
    I have been with a driving school as a pdi and the franchise fees are ridiculously high, they don't care if you can't pay, they don't help you, they couldn't care less if you amount a huge debt with them, all they want is your money.
  • dora
    Hi! to anyone who is signing contract with RED. be very careful as you can't end it before 12 months, wont to end it after 4months. I'v been asked to pay 6897 pounds for the rest of days left and I'm doing no more than 6hours a week. think about it!!!
  • Driving B.
    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours as of late, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the internet shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.
  • ellenmaureen
    hi i am a 70yr OAP i have been paying back a loan at barclays bank for red driveing collage for 2yrs which was i was told it would be 3600 not so my loan is 6300 as gar/tee for my son who could not get work, still no work and no money left. take my advice it is a very costly scam. ellenmaureen.
  • ken
    i am having problems with red drivng collage i paid over 3600in full through barclays now they gone into adminisration they are now wanting more cash i agree with ellenmaureen
  • CPC T.
    I just like the helpful information you supply for your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and test again here regularly. I'm reasonably sure I'll learn plenty of new stuff proper right here! Good luck for the next!
  • Thomas
    Hi, I am looking to go with Red to train as instructor and will be meeting with a rep this week. Could anyone give me some advise to take to the meeting?
  • stuartlevi356
    Very good information it help lot
  • SIMON B.
    I am a fully qualified Approved DSA Driving Instructor I have been with Red Driving School for more than 1 year and a half. during this time I have been so stressed and hurt with the empty promises and lies and incompetency of the procedure blunders with both resolving car problems and provision of pupils. The earnings have been after costs about £7000 a yr after paying red £15000 in franchise fees. I wrote a 5 page letter of complaint to Miss Karen Mcdonagh at north england head office with not so much of an acknowledgment. I have written to Mr Mike Penning under secretary of state for dept of transport and Mark mcgee registrar of the DSA and my local MP. No response Under secretary of state no response Mark mcgee, however some one dsa did call and gave advise to contact local mp and get them to put complaint to mike penning. The whole industry is torturing Instructors and families. I have been Instructor 6.5 yrs Previously BSM 2.5yrs AA 1yr Elite Driving School 2yrs Red 1.5yrs. 2 things must happen a limit needs to be created number instructors to improve pupil base provision highest grades allowed only 5 above. government must fix a minimum legal hourly rate of £40 per hr to bring it in line with inflation and annual price increases that have not happened schools wont do it and dsa say it is not their responsibility to regulate. I see first hand exhausted stressed instructors every where road safety is being compromised because of tired instruction. Associations that exist were also written too via email all of them none replied. A union needs to be created so that all instructors can take strike action. Less learners does not mean less cars sold as most are upgrades for existing drivers. Some one reading this take the torch I am resigning as a official grade 5 instructor and finding an industry that pays enough to support my family.
  • SIMON B.
    to get positive change in driving instructor industry write that hrly rate needs to be £40 and number of instructors limited. government does it with examiners because they pay them a basic salary approx 20,000. because government does not pay instructors they dont care. only if instructors everywhere form a national union maybe join the national union of teachers. we are after all and call for strike action immediately. all other teachers strike when pay has been below required levels. put this to local mp they take to parliament to be heard then they are supposed to regulate industry to make just if they dont righteous indignation and punishment will be their profit. fact
  • Radka P.
    Hello everybody, just share my experience with red driving school. I was looking for a new challenge, so I thought I'll give it a go. After the representative left I went through the agreement again and realized that this is really a rip of and they will not keep their promises based on the representative's "nice talk". So I immediately cancelled the agreement. They are very quick with taking money out of your pocket but having a great problem with return it. It has been nearly 2 month and I still have not seen my money back. They keep telling: "I can confirm that your cheque is with our directors for signatory and will be posted to you before" over and over. This is not a company which I would like to have a business with.
  • matthew h.
    she deserves to be payed her money back as she has not recieved the service she has paid for !!!!!!! Red driving schools motto should be that they make you see RED !!! they need taking out right now before they cause some serious damage to peoples lives.
  • matthew h.
    the first half of my comment was not posted RED DRVING SCHOOL should be ashamed for the psychological ABUSE they put people through,my mum only wanted to drive to get a job, get off of benefits and provide for the family herself she used to hate cars but thought better of it as the best chance of a job is to drive. She is too trusting and too caring to hurt someones feelings even though she knows she is being taught {ha ha}incorrectly she is now leaving to do her test with someone else, and about time too. Good luck mum, we know you can do it!!!!!!! RED GO HOME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you know the way DEADBEATS.
  • David E.
    In 2009 I signed up to RED with the promise of Qualifying within 3 months. Because I could qualify so quickly I could start to pay the £3,600 one year interest free loan off to Barclays Partner Finance before the interest free option elapsed. This was what I was told by the nice smooth Talking PAUL PRINCE... I subsequently was informed by one of the back room staff at RED when i phone up to start my training that it would take at least 12 to 18 months to qualify. At this point I wrote to Paul Prince asking to Cancel my agreement. surprise surprise no response. Since then I have been in a war with Barclays Partner Finance who are now demanding £7,300 back from me. I have challenged them stating that I have not had the goods or services but they claim that the goods and services are still available to me via the "New RED" company...... At an extra cost of £1,500-£2,000 extra, which correct me if I am wrong? is paying for the training again? To cap it all, they have now passed the account (sorry sold the debt) to a company called "MARLIN" debt recovery who have instantly slapped a default payment onto Experian Credit file. This has had a knock on effect in so much that I had got myself a job in 2011 as a Financial Adviser with a company. I was selling life products and Mortgages.... Guess what? as the dispute with Barclays Partner Finance was put onto my credit file I lost my Job which had a nice basic plus bonuses and car allowance as I was deemed to be and "UNFIT PERSON" in the eyes of the FSA because I had a default........... Since Marlin have become involved I have just been turned down for a self employed Mortgage advisers role..... Is there anybody out there that can give me some help and advice in how to get this alleged debt set aside....I did not have the goods or Services save for a CRB check at a cost of £35.00. Email me at with any help please.
  • John M.
    David Ellis you have my sympathy I was told like you that I would qualify within 6/7 months so like you tried to take out a loan through Barclays Partner Finance(actually they are Clydesdale Financial Services Ltd) but was turned down by them because of my credit history also I was unemployed but because I would be trained and qualified by the September of that year I was persuaded to get the loan through a third party(my mother in law). It became apparent after a while I was not receiving enough training as this only amounted to one lesson a month when I asked for more I told there was not any spaces and all the instructors were totally booked. By the end of 6 months I had only passed the theory again pushing for more training but to no avail. By December I had my test booked but when I informed Red the car that I had been promised for the test was not available this put my test back 2 months. It was obvious that I would not be in a position to pay back the loan by the due date so the interest would kick in making a loan for £3500 over £7000. This is when the trouble really started I contacted Barclays and explained the situation to them but they were not interested as the loan was not mine but my mother in laws and so she was liable not me. I tried to reason with them but had no joy I was stuck with this debt and no job I started paying off the loan and managed to get a full time job but was really struggling to pay £194.00 a month to Barclays I did manage to pay the loan for 18 months but in the end I had to face the fact that I could not afford to pay the full amount I contacted Barclays again and after some persuasion they allowed me to pay a reduced payment but it meant that my mother in law was placed on the default list I tried to object but it fell on deaf ears. I continued to make the reduced payments as agreed but that did not satisfy Barclays they still proceeded to put the matter in the hands off a debt collection agency who then started action against my mother in law I had to contact the financial ombudsman and inform him that the debt collection agency was going to send people around her home for collection of the out standing money. The debt collection agency have not done this as I told them that she was in her seventies and her only income was her pension. I did complain to the financial ombudsman and Barclays have up held my complaint about the treatment that we have both received and they have sent my mother in law £100 compensation I prefer to call it a penance payment. I am still pushing for more answers from Barclays and will continue my fight I hope that you realise like myself that we are not alone in our dispute with Barclays/Red
  • Ken F.
    Hi, I made the big mistake of paying for my training course upfront 3k in total. That was nearly 2 1/2 yrs ago. Since then ..... well nothing. In the early days, repeated calls to the local centre I went to for my interview, only to be told someone would call me back .... never happened. Letters sent to same off and head office only to be told the same and ...... nothing. I continued to study for the pt 1, but time flew past and soon it was coming up to 12 mths and still nothing from them. I have since requested details of the CEO in roder to escalate my complaint, but the Customer Services keep refusing saying all complaints go through them. I have now put them on notice that I intend to take proceedings to the County Court .... watch this space! Good Luck everyone. Oh and I did put a comment on theri Facebook Page today, which I had done last year that got me an immediate response from a manager, guess what ..... they have deleted and blocked me from leaving any further comments on the site. I am now seeing RED!
  • Pete
    Ken - similar situation here, today received a letter from CEO, and attachment to an email from someone else, no letterhead, no signature, reiterating that they will not provide any of the partial refund I asked for, based on their lack of performance. It has taken 18 months to get this unprofessional response. I shall go out of my way to try to male sure they lose income to the tune of at least 50 times what they have absconded from me, I beloeve in an underhand way. Anyone reading this, do yourself a favour, and steer well clear of this conpany of cowboys!
  • kim
    red gave me a lone for £3777 and did not ask for it they said we will see if I can get it I was out of work had medical problems so I could not do it this was 2009 and trying to get the money back is impossible they just ignore you their must be something we can do I still have the money collectors' on my back I don't have the means to pay it
  • steph
    Hi all. Has anybody had any luck with getting their money back from Red? I am looking to get money back from joining in 2009, had none of the training and had pre -paid for the test. Im not even sure as to where to write to now. Any help greatly appreciated.
  • Ken W.
    I have had the same problems and now Marlin are now chasing me. If you guys feel the same: Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person. Contact: 0300 123 2040 Good luck I am going to.
  • Lee B.
    My advice to those who wish to train as a driving instructor..... DO NOT TRAIN WITH RED.... I paid £3600 through Barclaays Partner Finance way back when Red were known as LVG - or better known as the Instructor College. I was promised I could complete the course in as little as 3 months, when the reality of the situation was I was going to struggle completing the course in 18 month due to availability of booking classroom lessons and lessons in the car. After 2 years I managed to complete Part 2 of the course, however I was involved in a non fault RTC and as a result could not continue with Part 3. 4 years on after a lengthy recovery I tried resuming my studies from the start and were advised this was not possible unless I paid more money to Red as they were not prepared to honour LVG's commitment to train me as long as required to complete the course. So basically I've been conned by both LGV/RED and Barclays Partner Finance.... I'm not going to let this rest, either RED or Barclays are accountable... My guessing is Barclays as liable as they provided the training under a regulated finance agreement....
  • George M.
    Hi -- Just read your page-- Red Driving School are at it again , after initial inquiry got half a dozen phone calls (Newcastle) dropping the price stating a special discount offer and telling you they need instructors in your area the price dropped from £2,700 to £1000 After paying them £1000 I received 2 books and instruction for theory online learning --After a couple of weeks on and off the Red site I decided to Google DVSA and noticed they had a site for studying the online learning and better still it was the correct format as DVSA actually deliver the part 1 --- Well I saw this and questioned Red as to why charge me for a product I can get free -and ASKED for my money back ! This was 2months ago -- After numerous emails requesting my money and to speak with the director of Red Driving School--- Needless to say they are refusing ,using their 8 day clause-- Hmmm!!!! George Mckenzie
  • George M.
    Update-- after emails back and forth to Kate Raven (head of customer services) stating I want my money back and don't wish to train with Red Driving School, blatantly calling Red Dishonest, as well as requesting my emails to be forwarded to Ian Mackintosh (CEO) Red are insisting that I have to complete my training with them and I have 12 months, to do this Kate raven consistently tries to encourage me to get in touch by phone and repeats scripted contract of the company. Still trying to get a reasonable reply from Red Driving School.
  • A S.
    Has anyone succeeded in a complaint to the Ombudsman about Barclays and Red? Having no job, I was miss sold a loan by Red on behalf of Barclays. To date I have not been successful with the FOS.

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment