Advanced Driving Courses (UK) - A Guide
After months of learning to drive, practicing for the DVLA theory test and finally being granted a UK driving licence, it’s likely that the last thing you’ll want to do is sign yourself up for yet more driving lessons – but with the notoriously high car insurance premiums that are charged by insurers to new and young drivers, taking an advanced driving course could help to reduce the cost of insurance.
Whether you’ve been driving for days, weeks, months or even years, there are a number of advanced driving courses which can further improve your ability on the road, while reducing insurance premiums in the process.
What is an advanced driving course?
Designed with the intention of making roads in the UK safer, an advanced driving course can be taken once a driver has passed every element of their theory and practical driving tests.
They aim to reduce the likelihood of a driver being involved in an accident by improving their confidence in a range of different scenarios.
What do you do on an advanced driving course?
Advanced driver training is different to the driving lessons taken prior to passing a driving test, as it focusses more on increasing confidence, competence and consideration in a range of different scenarios.
As well as aiding the development of day-to-day driving by improving handling and road positioning, advanced driver training helps motorists to become more comfortable whilst driving in difficult conditions like heavy rain, snow, ice and sleet.
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Does taking an advanced driving course reduce insurance?
Yes, some car insurance companies will offer reduced premiums for those who have passed an advanced driving test. This is because those who have been given extra training are naturally less likely to be involved in an accident and therefore less likely to make a claim on their insurance policy.
For younger drivers in particular, advanced driving courses can help to reduce the notoriously expensive insurance premiums that come with being an inexperienced motorist.
It should be noted that there are no guarantees that taking an advanced driving course will reduce the cost of your insurance, and providers are likely to deem the extra qualifications unimportant compared to factors such as the vehicle you’re trying to insure, your claims history and your driving experience.
While taking an advanced driving course cannot guarantee you a cheap car insurance quote directly, it can reduce potential future premiums by making you a better driver and reducing your chances of making a claim.
How much does an Advanced driving course cost?
The cost of an advanced driving course varies depending on which one you decide to take. We’ll discuss the range of advanced driving courses, with prices, later in this article.
One thing that’s important to remember is that the cost of an advanced driving course might exceed any potential discounts you get on your car insurance. We do not advise that you take one of these courses purely to reduce the cost of cover, but instead to improve your ability on the road.
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What advanced driving courses are available?
There are a number of different advanced driving courses you can take, ranging from extended theory-based tests to practical examinations, which can take a number of months to complete.
One of the most popular advanced driving courses in the UK is PassPlus, which is provided throughout the country by various approved driving instructors (ADIs).
A minimum of 5.5 hours is spent driving over the course of 6 different modules. The modules can either be completed all in one day, over 2 3-hour sessions or 3 2-hours sessions.
The modules covered by PassPlus are:
- Driving in town
- Driving in all weathers
- Driving on rural roads
- Driving at night
- Driving on dual carriageways
- Driving on motorways
The cost of the PassPlus course varies depending on the instructor; however, the going rate sits at around £180.
IAM RoadSmart is the only advanced driving course which is officially accredited by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and can take up to 6 months to complete in full.
IAM RoadSmart goes into detail on crucial driving skills, such as:
- Road positioning
- Unpredictable roads
Upon completion of the course, drivers are given IAM member status which can sometimes be used to attain discounts on car insurance.
The entire course can be completed in your own vehicle alongside an Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) expert and costs £149.
RoSPA Advanced Driving Test
The RoSPA driving test is not generally recognised by insurance companies, but it encourages and teaches road safety and improved driving standards based on the same principles seen in the IAM RoadSmart course.
The cost of an RoSPA test starts at just £20, but requires regular re-tests (usually every 3 years) to ensure that your knowledge and skills are kept up to date. The tests are usually given by either serving or retired police officers and take around 60-80 minutes to complete.
The AA Advanced Driver Courses
Popular for its insurance and breakdown cover products, the AA also offers a range of advanced driving courses – like the RoSPA advanced driving test, these are not typically recognised by insurance providers.
The various AA advanced driving courses are designed to improve on-road confidence and ability, making motorists more aware when behind the wheel of a car.
Is an advanced driving course worth it?
An advanced driving course can help to make you a better driver, reducing the likelihood of you ever being involved in an accident and making a claim on your insurance policy.
It can also help to improve the confidence of nervous drivers, and in some cases, reduce the cost of car insurance.
As discussed earlier, motorists shouldn’t opt to take an advanced driving course just to reduce the cost of car insurance. Some of the courses available cost in excess of £100, a sum which is unlikely to be recovered via cheaper car insurance.
To find out some other great ways of saving money on car insurance, check out Bobatoo’s 10 tips and tricks here.
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