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PassPlus and Advanced Driving: are they useful?

You might think that passing your driving test makes you a safe and capable driver, but in truth that is just the start. All too often, driving instructors teach you how to pass your test, rather than how to drive safely and confidently on the busy roads.

Naturally, this will come with experience, but you can also speed up the process by undertaking further training, such as PassPlus or Advanced Driving instruction. Both could reduce your car insurance premium (depending on the insurance company), which is an added bonus for young, new drivers.

PassPlus

PassPlus is designed to teach new drivers the practical skills needed to drive more confidently and safely on the road after they have passed the basic driving test. A number of car insurance companies will reduce the cost of motor insurance for new drivers if they take a PassPlus course in the first year after they pass their driving test.

PassPlus takes around six hours, and covers practical instruction under a range of road conditions, including:

  • Town driving
  • Adapting to the weather
  • Rural driving
  • Night driving
  • Faster roads, such as dual carriageways
  • Motorway driving

There is no test for the PassPlus course, but you are constantly assessed during your six hours or so on the road. If you pass this assessment, you will receive a PassPlus certificate, which you can send to your insurer to claim your car insurance discounts.

In many areas, the local authority will subsidise your PassPlus course, as this is more cost effective for them than having to budget for new drivers crashing their cars. To find out if your local authority will contribute to your PassPlus course, click here, or contact the PassPlus team at passpluss@dsa.gsi.gov.uk.

Advanced Driving

Another way to improve your skills, and reduce your car insurance premiums, is to train with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). The IAM Skills for Life course costs as little as £139 and includes in-car training, an instruction book, your advanced driving test fee and a year’s membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists. You can also take the IAM Fast Track course, which delivers all the training in two half days in an intense, one-to-one format, for £249, including your test fee etc.

Over 400,000 people have taken the IAM advanced driving test and the qualification is widely respected by both insurance companies and employers.

Why take extra driving training?

You do not need to take any further training once you have passed your driving test, so why go to the expense, and hassle, of more lessons and tests? Well, not only will it make you a better driver, and possibly reduce the cost of your motor insurance, it could save your life. We’d all like to think that we know what to do in an emergency situation, but with advanced driver training, you can know for sure – and that could make a big difference.

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