Last updated: 21/04/2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Advanced driving courses
Advanced driving courses can be a great way to improve your confidence and driving skills. This guide will take you through what courses are out there, and which ones can improve your chances of find a cheap car insurance policy.
In This Guide:
- What is an advanced driving course?
- Widely recognised courses
- What other courses are available?
- Will your course have premium discounts?
What is an advanced driving course?
Your driving test is the only practical exam legally required to maintain your licence until you turn 70 years old. Advanced driving courses are not necessary, but they can help build confidence on the road and some can help you save money on your insurance.
Advanced driving courses cover many types of driving that aren’t typically included in standard lessons. They are designed to improve your confidence and knowledge on the road and give you experience of more challenging environments such as adverse weather conditions or rush hour traffic.
The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) driving certificate is the most widely recognised qualification. If you are looking to reduce your insurance premium, this is the most likely to help. However, it’s worth noting that your premium savings may not outweigh the cost of the course, so this shouldn’t be your main motivation for taking one.
Widely recognised courses
There are a number of advanced driving courses available and they all offer slightly different things. It’s important to consider what benefits each course will bring you before deciding to take one.
IAM Roadsmart is a registered charity for improving road safety which offers a range of DVSA Quality Assured advanced driving courses.
The most widely recognised course is their Advanced Driver Course which costs around £149. It focuses on specific skills such as control, observation, timing and dealing with unpredictable roads. The course is designed to help you read the road further ahead and avoid possible problems before they arise. Upon completing the course, you are offered IAM membership which can help reduce your insurance premium.
IAM also offers a Young Driver Assessment for drivers under the age of 26. This helps you gain greater confidence and skills on the road.
There is also a Mature Driver Review for older drivers who may have lost confidence or want to sharpen their driving skills.
Pass Pluss is a course designed for new drivers who have recently passed their test. It covers a range of conditions and environments and will set you back around £180. Pass Pluss can make you eligible for a discount on your car insurance but the majority of insurers no longer recognise it, so you’ll need to compare car insurance if you want that discount.
Pass Pluss builds upon what you have learnt in your pre-test lessons and gives you practical training in towns, all weathers, rural roads, night conditions, dual carriageways and motorways so can be a huge confidence boost for new drivers.
What other courses are available?
IAM Advanced Driving Course and Pass Pluss are the most widely recognised courses, but there are other courses available and these may suit your needs better.
RoSPA Advanced Driving Course
This is a four-day course based on the Police Driver Handbook and is great preparation for the Advanced Driving Test. It’s ideal for company car drivers, commercial van drivers or immediate response drivers. It focuses on enhancing handling skills, anticipating changes and observation skills.
This Advanced Driving Test must be taken every three years to keep skills up to date but is not widely recognised by insurance providers.
The AA Courses
The AA runs a range of driver safety courses, including Pass Pluss, Drive Confident Refresher Course – for drivers who’ve lost confidence after an accident – Motorway Driving Course and Drive Smart, which helps improve fuel efficiency whilst teaching you to become a safer driver.
AA Qualified driver lessons cover many bases and can be great at improving skills and confidence, but they are not widely recognised by insurance providers.
Will your course have premium discounts?
Some courses will help you get discounts on your insurance premium, but this is not the biggest benefit. Many courses don’t lead to discounts at all and any savings that may be available will not necessarily outweigh the cost of the course.
The IAM Driving Certificate is the most widely recognised and is, therefore, most likely to lower your insurance premium costs. Pass Plus is also recognised by a number of insurance companies but usually only if you have held your driving licence for less than twelve months.
If you’re taking a course to lower your insurance premiums, it’s essential to ask your insurer whether they recognise the course before signing up. It’s really best to have other motivations for taking an advanced driving course.
There are many benefits for advanced driving tests. They can help you maintain a no-claims discount as a safer driver. You can also learn to improve your fuel economy and save money that way. Advanced driving courses will help you find challenging driving conditions less stressful and can make it easier for you to read the road. Your driving will be safer and more likely to be incident-free.