A guide to UK advanced driving courses
You can become a safer driver and, in some cases, reduce your car insurance premiums by taking advanced driving lessons. Find out more with our short guide.
What is an advanced driving course?
An advanced driving course is designed to make you a better, safer, and more confident driver, especially in difficult conditions, such as adverse weather or very busy traffic.
As car insurers generally view drivers who have passed an advanced course as less likely to have accidents, completing one can also help to cut your car insurance costs. However, it’s important to consider that the cost of the course may outweigh the savings on your insurance policy.
How does an advanced driving course differ from standard driving lessons?
Standard driving lessons should teach you everything you need to know to drive safely and properly on the roads, including parking and navigating junctions and roundabouts.
Advanced driving courses, meanwhile, tend to focus on driving in particular situations such as at night, in bad weather, or on a motorway or dual carriageway.
Is an advanced driving course worth it?
You have no obligation to take an advanced driving course once you have obtained your full driver’s licence. But taking one can improve your ability to deal with stressful situations such as rush-hour traffic, making you more comfortable behind the wheel, and helping to protect you, your passengers, and other road users.
What is covered by an advanced driving course?
Advanced driving courses are run by different companies, meaning they vary in content. However, common elements include:
Difficult weather conditions
Automatic (or manual) transmission cars
You may also be given advice on dealing with other road users, for example when their driving is poor or even dangerous.
Who is eligible for an advanced driving course?
Anyone with a full UK driver’s licence is eligible for an advanced driving course, but not all courses will be suitable for your needs. This could be down to the price, the areas in which you wish to upskill, or even the time you are willing to dedicate to completing the course.
Will taking an advanced driving course cut car insurance costs?
Many insurers will reduce your premiums slightly if you take an advanced driving course. However, there’s no set discount; this will depend on the provider. Some advanced driving courses are also more widely recognised by insurance providers – increasing the likelihood of lower car insurance premiums.
If the skills you can learn in advanced driving courses help you to avoid being involved in accidents in the future, this will also help to keep you insurance costs down.
The Pass Plus scheme is a well-known advanced driving course available in the UK. As such, it’s widely recognised among insurers. Run throughout the country by approved driving instructors (ADIs), it usually takes six hours to complete and covers areas of driving such as:
Driving in rush-hour traffic
The cost of taking Pass Plus varies depending on the instructor, but some local councils offer a Pass Plus discount – so it’s worth seeing if you can benefit from this. You may also be able to recoup the cost of the course by using your Pass Plus certificate to get a discount on your car insurance, especially if you are a young driver with little experience on the road.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) accredited IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) RoadSmart advanced driving course involves between six and 12 sessions and covers control, observation, timing, positioning, and the ability to deal with unpredictable roads, among other things.
Facilitated by an Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) expert, it is taken in your own vehicle and ends with an advanced driving test. Once finished, you’ll become a full IAM member and may well qualify for a discount on your car insurance.
The charity behind the course also offer a fast-track version that is more expensive but takes just two days, as well as shorter courses for both young and mature drivers.
Alternative advanced driving courses
RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Advanced Drivers and Rides scheme focuses on road safety and is based on the same roadcraft principles as the IAM advanced driving course. It’s a cost-effective way to improve your driving, but RoSPA is not widely recognised by car insurance providers, so it’s best to not rely on it to help you cut your car insurance costs.
The AA Advanced Driving courses
You can take advanced driving lessons with an AA driving school instructor. The minimum lesson time is two hours, during which you will cover skills such as urban and motorway driving. However, while lessons of this kind can help to make you a better driver, they are less likely to lead to car insurance discount – unless you take your Pass Plus with the AA.
Compare car insurance
Taking an advanced driving course is just one of the ways you can save money on your car insurance. With MoneySuperMarket, it’s easy to find and compare car insurance deals so you can find the right policy for your needs at a great price. Just tell us a bit about yourself, the car you’re insuring, and your driving history, and we’ll put together a list of quotes tailored to your needs.