By Prudence Minayo
A lot of people in Kenya today wish to learn how to drive whether they are car owners or not. Knowing how to drive has become a must do among many if not all Kenyans. This is why more people are setting up driving schools. While a driving school may be a very lucrative business, there are considerations to be made in order to start such a business. The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has been given the mandate to govern driving school. This means all driving schools in the country have to be approved by NTSA.
This article helps you understand the requirements of starting a driving school in the country. It takes you through the process and explains things that one must consider while planning to start a driving school.
Things to consider before getting up a driving school
It goes without saying that this is a capital intensive business venture. Before starting a driving school it is important to look at the amount needed to start one. Calculate all the costs required before even going further. Some of the costs to be considered include;
- The cost of cars
- The cost of location if it is going to be a rental facility.
- The cost of hiring driving instructors
- The costs to be incurred during the license application process.
This is a very important consideration. There needs to be enough space for students to learn theory as well as for them to practice the theory. The latter is especially important as learners will require enough safe space in order to learn how to drive.
A business without structure is bound to fail. When the driving school is well structured, it is more likely to maximize its potential. Therefore, structure the business in such a way that will enable it to run smoothly. In the structure, define what you want for the school, how lessons will be conducted in the school, how the driving instructors will be hired and how the learners will be enrolled among other things.
While looking at structure, remember to include the school’s online presence and how it will be maintained. Today, people look for almost everything online, hence, creating and maintaining an online presence will be very good for the school. Through the online website, you can update various things from time to time.
As you set the structure also set the school fees. Most driving schools in the country charge from Ksh10,000 and above. The fee will depend on the type of car the learner wants to drive. The training is often different when a learner wants to learn to drive normal cars and when he/she wants to learn to drive big trucks and transits. The price will also depend on the target market, that is, are you targeting those from wealthy backgrounds or struggling Kenyans.
Competition in business will always be there. In fact, competition helps to keep you on toes. Check what the competition is doing and what they are not doing. This gives you an advantage of knowing what mistakes to avoid and also knowing what to incorporate to the school. Be different from the competition. Offer services that are unique to your driving school alone.
The driving school has to be licensed for if to begin the operations. Operating without a license is illegal and leads to the closure of the business and paying hefty fines. The license is issued by the National Transport and Safety Authority and is renewed every two or three years depending on the type of license.
There are set rules by the government and NTSA before a license is granted.
Requirements for one to be granted a license
- KRA pin certificate for the individual or business
- Filled registration form, Form A
- Copy of vehicles logbooks and insurance
- Lease agreements of the land. In the recent rules, it was proposed that each driving school will be required to own at least 1.7 acres where proper training facilities will be established.
- The school will also need to have a model highway and a we equipped ICT center
- Licensed driving instructors. Knowing how to drive does not immediately qualify one to become an instructor. For one to teach others to drive, he/she must have a valid instructor’s license. The instructor’s license is valued for two years after it is issued after which one is required to renew it.
- CV copies for all the employees in the school
Starting a driving school requires a lot of things including capital. Therefore, it is important to plan very well before taking on this venture. The process may not be too easy, but if managed well, the outcome is amazing.
Look for marketing strategies that are efficient in order to advertise the school. You can choose to market by posters, word of mouth and social media. Another way to market is through the customers/ learners. Let them post reviews online of how their experience at the school was. Thus, ensure the learners are given an exceptional experience for the reviews to be amazing. When the services are amazing, the learned will also spread the word making the school popular.