Midrive caught up with one of our long-standing (and highly rated) driving instructors, Veselin, to learn more about his Midrive journey so far, to hear his reasons for leaving RED driving school franchise and why he decided to invest in our Crowdfunding campaign.
Midrive (MD): Hi Veselin, thanks for speaking to us today. So tell me how long have you have been with Midrive?
Veselin (VV): Not from the very beginning but fairly early on I think – it was around December 2015 when I first joined the platform.
MD: How did you first hear about us?
VV: A colleague recommended me – he had been using Midrive for a while and spoke very highly of the company – he was an instructor back then but later became a driving examiner.
MD: How much of your business is made up by Midrive
VV: Less than 100% but it has been growing all the time – I’ve been an instructor for over 10 years now and I still get lots of word of mouth recommendations and I also run my own advertising. I would say on average 25 of my total 40 hours a week is now coming directly from Midrive – normally over 50%.
MD: What are the main reasons you decided to sign up as a Midrive instructor?
VV: The first thing is that you can sign up for free. You don’t pay any franchise fees as you do with traditional schools like RED or BSM. Only if you get students from Midrive do you pay a commission, which is fair. Other things are the free advertising which is included as part of the service and the freedom to work on my own schedule.
MD: So you’ve actually touched on some of the possible answers to my next question which is – why did you ultimately decide to part company with RED driving school?
VV: Before I joined them I thought it was a case that you pay the franchise fee and then you get students from them but it wasn’t entirely like this. The reality was you pay the franchise fee and then you pay an additional percentage fee per student. It felt wrong that I should have to pay twice, once for the right to be a franchise instructor and get the stickers, and then again to actually get the students.
MD: How much was the fee?
VV: I used to pay £60-70 per week for the franchise. And you pay a percentage for each student depending on how many lessons they take. Even if they (students) take a low amount of hours – say 10 hours – then you still need to pay a percentage cut which I wasn’t happy with.
MD: Was there anything besides the cost of being a franchise instructor?
VV: If you have a problem it’s very difficult to get hold of them. You have to write in and it’s very time to consume to resolve problems. It may be different now I’m not sure.
MD: How does the payment work with RED?
VV: The payment system was actually quite good. Not as quick as Midrive who pay before each lesson but I never had any issues with receiving payment from RED who pay 2 weeks after the lesson.
MD: Thanks for sharing. Can you tell me what you think Midrive do well as a business and what do you think we could do better on?
VV: I love the fact that you are always innovating and trying to improve things for learners and instructors. Midrive is making my life easier – there always seems to be a great supply of learners and the problem is more my availability than anything else. I have a big waiting list. One feature that could be nice is the ability for learners to recommend me specifically to other new learners (rather than Midrive as a platform) but right now I’m not concerned as I have plenty of work!
MD: What do you think of the Midrive app/tools that we have provided you with?
VV: I don’t have the new instructor app which is only available on iPhone so far. I was considering upgrading my phone contract to Apple to get this. The existing instructor app for Android works well for me but I’ve heard great things about the new app so I’m excited to try that. I use the app right now to accept bookings, provide lessons reports and message learners. For future versions of the app, I would like to see the ability to track the road conditions ahead – for example, to see traffic conditions.
MD: What would be the top 3 reasons you would recommend Midrive to another instructor?
VV: Well firstly you will never be short of students because it’s important for any instructor to have a steady supply of work. Second, again the payments – the payments system has always worked well for me. Finally, it means that independent driving instructors can be part of a bigger network and get benefits that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to pay for as a one-man band – like the online advertising. Oh yes, and you can make extra money by referring Midrive’s other products like the Anytime insurance product – you get money per referral which is a nice way to make extra money.
MD: How is the matching process? Do you have to wait long to be matched?
VV: As I mentioned, I actually have a waiting list so there’s actually no waiting time at all right now. I don’t know how you find this many people!
MD: I see you decided to invest in the Crowdfunding round – what was the deciding factor?
VV: Investments are not my strong point but after seeing Asher’s presentation at the investor meetup last week, I decided to invest £100 as I believe in the business model. It makes sense to first invest in an area you know. At first, I didn’t know if I could trust Crowdcube but now see it is very easy – it took 5 minutes. I wouldn’t want to miss out if the Midrive business keeps growing as it has done.
MD: Did you know that we give a £100 commission cashback reward for investments up to £100 as well – so in effect, you can become a shareholder for free.
VV: I actually didn’t know that, so that’s great!
MD: Thanks for giving up your precious spare time to talk to us on a weekend.
VV: No problem – anytime.
Midrive’s Crowdfunding campaign is now open. Anyone can invest from just £10. #capitalatrisk. We are hoping all our instructors will get involved and share in the success as we become the #1 lesson provider in the country. You can check out the campaign here
Last modified: 26th March 2018