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What is an advanced driving course?
Advanced driver training is there to help you improve your driving skills and boost your confidence. Although courses differ according to the provider, you can expect to cover areas that will help you to improve your:
- General car handling skills
- Observational skills.
- Ability to drive in poor weather and visibility (for example, in heavy rain, on ice or on snow).
Who can take an advanced driving course?
Courses are designed for people who already have a full driving licence. So, if you’re a learner driver, there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait until you pass your practical test, before you can start an advanced course.
If you haven’t driven in a while, you can also find refresher courses which are specifically designed to help you brush up on your driving skills. Courses can also help you address particular needs, for example motorway or rural driving.
If you’ve had your licence taken away, there are also special courses you can do that can cut the length of time you’re disqualified for.
What advanced driving courses are there?
Some driving schools offer their own advanced driver training (for example, BSM) but some of the more well-known courses include:
Pass Plus is aimed at new drivers who have recently passed their test, although you can take it at any time. The course is made up of six modules which each focus on a different type of driving (for example, driving in towns, at night, on dual carriageways and on motorways). There’s no test at the end of the course but you’ll be assessed by your instructor.
You can only take the Pass Plus course if you book it with a Pass Plus registered approved driving instructor (ADI). When you’ve successfully completed the course, you should apply for a certificate that shows this.
In terms of cost, this will depend on the ADI you choose, or the driving school rates where you are. To find an approved driving instructor that can help you with Pass Plus, take a look at GOV.UK, find driving schools, lessons and instructors.
IAM Roadsmart is recognised as the UK’s largest independent road safety charity which is run as a network of smaller groups. If you decide to enrol in one of these courses, you’ll be contacted by one of IAM Roadsmart’s local groups and paired with a qualified instructor.
The course is designed according to IAM Roadsmart’s IPSGA framework which focuses on vehicle control and stands for:
The course takes place between six and 12 sessions and is followed by a test. It currently costs £175. Find out more at IAM Roadsmart.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a charity that works across all aspects of life including home and education safety as well as occupational health. Their RoSPA advanced drivers and riders network focuses on improving driving safety standards and helping boost people’s knowledge and skills.
RoSPA offer a range of courses, both online and in person so you’ll be able to choose what’s most suitable for your needs. Courses currently available include:
- Defensive driver development training
- Trailer training
- 4x4 driver training
- Level one and level 2 in advanced driving
Course structure, length and cost varies depending on what you choose. You can find out more and book a course at RoSPA, driver training.
The Aspire course is one of several other drink drive rehabilitation courses specifically for drivers convicted and banned because of drink driving. This particular course is run by a not-for-profit organisation (Aspire Driver Development) and is a government approved provider of the drink drive rehabilitation scheme.
Completing an Aspire course could help reduce your driving disqualification by as much as 25% so it could be worth considering if you need to get back on the road.
Courses are 16 hours and usually take place over a few days for a few weeks. You can book to do an online or in-person course with costs currently ranging between £150 to £162. All in-person groups are in venues close to bus or train stations.
There’s no formal exam but you’ll be expected to take a mini quiz at the end of each day to recap what you’ve learnt. Find out more or book your course at Aspire Driver Development or for other rehabilitation courses, go to GOV.UK.
Does taking an advanced driving course lead to cheaper car insurance?
It can but it depends on the course you do. Insurers work to their own guidelines so particular courses may carry more weight with some insurers compared to others.
If your only intention of doing the course is to lower your car insurance, it’s worth checking which courses are recognised by your insurer.
Is it worth taking an advanced driving course?
Aside from the potential reduction in your car insurance, advanced driving courses can give you valuable practical skills that can help improve your confidence and competence behind the wheel. Courses can also help you increase your awareness for what’s going on around you, enabling you to be a more considerate driver.
If you’re not sure about taking an advanced driving course but want to make sure you get a good deal on your car insurance, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from a wide range of insurers – which you can do right here. To give you the best experience, we’ve teamed up with Quotezone so that you can compare car insurance from leading UK insurers.