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
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
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
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.
check your car insurance to see if taking an advanced course such as Pass Plus will entitle you to cheaper insurance.
you may also want to shop around for car insurance for young drivers
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
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:
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
you may also want to shop around for car insurance for young drivers
you may also want to consider short term car insurance if you don’t own a car
You can do the Pass Plus course through your driving instructor.
they need to be a Pass Plus registered approved driving instructor (ADI)
the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can check if an instructor is registered with Pass Plus
you’ll also need your instructor’s name and ADI number
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
You are assessed during the course and to get the certificate you’ll have to reach the required standard in all six modules.
The Pass Plus course’s six modules cover:
navigate complex junctions, underpasses and tram, bus and cycle lanes
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
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
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
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
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
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).
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.
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.
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 is an independent road safety charity and runs advanced courses for motorists.
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.
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
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.
If you drive fewer miles in a year this could result in a lower car insurance premium.
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.
If your driveway is cluttered with cars, you may want to consider a multi car insurance policy
The lower the value of the car and the cheaper it is repair, the less car insurance you may have to pay.