What is Pass Plus car insurance?

Find out about Pass Plus and what it means for the cost of your car insurance

Woman driving a car with one hand on the wheel and the other on the gear stick.

What is Pass plus?

The Pass Plus scheme is a government-approved training course aimed at improving road safety. 

  • it is for those who have just passed their test although it can be taken any time 

  • it is best taken within 12 months of passing a driving test and getting your first driving licence

  • it can lead to cheaper car insurance

How much is Pass Plus?

Pass Plus course fees are between £150 and £200 however:

  • the exact cost depends where you live, and the cost of the instructor or driving school

  • some local councils offer discounts off Pass Plus training costs

  • you will need to contact your borough, town, city or county council where you live to see if they can help

  • you must live in the council’s area to obtain the discount

What are the benefits of Pass Plus?

Pass Plus helps prevent accidents; drivers who have passed an advanced driving course like Pass Plus are regarded as safer motorists. 

  • Pass Plus helps drivers navigate difficult or unexpected conditions, for example ice in winter or navigating sharp bends in countryside roads

  • some car insurers offer those who have a Pass Plus certificate cheaper car insurance

What is a pass plus certificate?

When you complete the course and can show you have met the required standard, you are awarded a Pass Plus certificate. 

You will need this certificate to trigger a discount from your car insurer.

Can you fail Pass Plus?

No, you can’t fail Pass Plus, the course is an assessment not a test but to get the Pass Plus certificate you need to reach a certain standard

  • When you’ve finished the course, your instructor will write up an assessment of your driving.

Each module must be completed to an achieved or exceeded standard:

  • achieved: successfully reached the driving standard required

  • exceeded: exceeded the driving standard required

How much does Pass Plus reduce insurance?

If you have just passed your test you will be paying more for car insurance than an experienced driver

  • taking an advanced course such as Pass Plus may entitle you to cheaper insurance but not necessarily

The British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) says the amount of discount you’ll get for a Pass Plus certificate depends on the insurance company. 

  • not all insurers offer Pass Plus discounts

  • you might be able to put the cheaper insurance on hold for up to two years if you do not have a car

  • always check with your car insurance company first

How much you pay will also depend on other factors such as:

  • claims history

  • your age – as younger drivers who have just passed their test are considered more of a risk than an older driver who has just passed their driving test

Where do I take Pass Plus?

You can do the Pass Plus course through your driving instructor.

How long does Pass Plus take?

Pass Plus is a six-hour course with six modules. 

  • all modules are practical sessions, 

  • local driving conditions might mean they end up being theory based

  • those who take Pass Plus spend at least 5.5 hours driving during the course

How do I get the Pass Plus certificate?

You are assessed during the course and to get the certificate you’ll have to reach the required standard in all six modules.

What does the Pass Plus course cover?

The Pass Plus course’s six modules cover:

Driving in town

  • navigate complex junctions, underpasses and tram, bus and cycle lanes

Driving in all weathers

  • learning to cope with heavy rain, snow, ice, fog and dazzling sunshine

  • preventing and handling skidding

  • learning about the need for longer stopping distances in bad weather

Rural roads

  • blind bends, animals in the road and dealing with slow vehicles

  • how to use safe passing places 

  • what to do when you encounter sharp corners horse riders or cyclists, 

  • dealing with farm vehicles and road debris

Night driving

This teaches drivers how to drive after dark and is why the course is ideal for newer drivers and includes:

  • the correct use of headlamps

  • adjusting to different light levels

  • getting used to being dazzled by oncoming headlights judging speeds and distance

Dual carriageways 

Although the driving test does cover dual carriageways newer drivers might not feel as though they’ve got to grips with them. 

This module focuses on:

  • how to join and leave the carriageway using slip roads

  • overtaking, lane discipline and safe distances

Motorways 

Many newer drivers will have had a lesson on the motorway after passing their driving test but as with dual carriageways, probably won’t have spent much time on them. In this module you’ll learn:

  • how to drive at a safe speed in different conditions, 

  • deal with motorway fatigue 

  • handle a breakdown

  • use lanes correctly and follow sign

Does Pass Plus give me a car insurance discount?

When you finish your Pass Plus course, you’ll then get a training report form from your instructor showing that you’ve reached the required standard in all modules. 

  • You and your instructor must sign the form. 

  • You can then apply for a Pass Plus certificate via the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Other reasons to take Pass Plus 

Not all car insurance providers will offer a discount but over the long term taking an advanced driving course will make you a safer driver, with a better claim’s history. This in turn will reduce your car insurance premiums over time.

What are the benefits of Pass Plus?

BIBA recommends the Pass Plus course is best taken by drivers in their first year of driving, 

  • that’s when drivers are most likely to have an accident 

  • it’s also when car insurers are more likely to charge them a higher premium

Road safety charity Brake says drivers age 17-24 years old  at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers. 

  • So, while drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders, they are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are the driver.

  • In 2018, 99 drivers aged 17-24 were killed and 1,170 were seriously injured in road crashes.

Advanced driving courses

There are other advanced driving courses. All are based on Roadcraft, aa safe driving system endorsed by the police and other emergency services

IAM RoadSmart

IAM RoadSmart is an independent road safety charity and runs advanced courses for motorists. 

RoSPA’s advanced driving test

RoSPA, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, runs an advanced driving test.

  • This test is monitored and approved by the DVSA and lasts around 45 to 60 minutes. 

  • The test is taken with a RoSPA Examiner, all of whom are serving or retired Police Officers in the UK. 

RoSPA has three levels of driver safety: bronze, silver and gold.

How to get cheaper car insurance?

The amount of motoring experience you have under your belt will determine how expensive your car insurance is

If you are a younger driver you might want to shop around for car insurance aimed at younger drivers

There are some things you can do that may reduce the cost of your car insurance:

  • Having a black box fitted

  • Lowering your mileage

  • Parking in a private driveway or garage

  • Considering a multi-car insurance policy

  • Choosing a car from a low insurance group

Black box car insurance

Having a black box fitted means your driver behaviour is monitored. The telematics box reports on how you accelerate, brake and negotiate sharp bends as well as what time your drive and on what sorts of roads. 

The data is analysed, and if your scores are positive, your car insurance may be discounted over time.

Lowering mileage 

If you drive fewer miles in a year this could result in a lower car insurance premium.

Parking in a private driveway

Parking in a private driveway or garage can also attract a discount. Car insurers may take into account where you park, depending where you live.

A multi car insurance policy

If your driveway is cluttered with cars, you may want to consider a multi car insurance policy

Choosing a car from a lower insurance group

The lower the value of the car and the cheaper it is repair, the less car insurance you may have to pay. 

Car insurance is just one of the costs of keeping your car on the road along with tax, petrol and servicing, so cut your insurance costs by comparing the best deals for you.