Advanced driving courses

An advanced driving course is a great way to improve your confidence and driving skills. Taking one may even reduce your car insurance costs. 

An advanced driving course is a great way to improve your confidence and driving skills. Taking one may even reduce your car insurance costs. 

Daniel Hutson
Motor insurance expert
minute read
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Posted 14 JANUARY 2020 Last Updated 7 SEPTEMBER 2021

What is an advanced driving course?

An advanced driving course is designed to hone your road skills and awareness, with the aim of making you a safer and more competent driver.

Whether the thought of driving on motorways makes you break out in a cold sweat or you just want to brush up on your all-round skills, you can benefit from expert teaching to boost your confidence behind the wheel.

Courses are available to anyone with a full licence, from young drivers who’ve recently passed their test to over-70s who want to refresh their knowledge.

What advanced driving courses are available?

If you want to improve your driving skills, here’s our round-up of some of the advanced driving courses available in the UK.

IAM RoadSmart

IAM RoadSmart is a registered charity dedicated to improving road safety, by helping drivers and motorbike riders improve their skills.

IAM RoadSmart offers a range of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Quality Assured advanced driving courses, including:

  • Advanced Driver Course – this comprehensive course conducted by qualified experts is divided into two-hour sessions and takes three to six months to complete. You’ll focus on specific skills like control, observation, timing and dealing with unpredictable road situations. On successful completion of the course, you’ll be offered a full IAM membership, which may help to reduce your car insurance premium.
  • Younger Driver Assessment – available for drivers under the age of 26, this course should help you gain greater confidence and skills on the road. The course includes an on-road assessment in your own car and one-to-one advice tailored to suit you. Great for young drivers who lack experience.
  • Mature Driver Review – this could be a useful course for older drivers who may have lost confidence over the years, or for those who simply want to sharpen their driving skills. The informal review is conducted by a qualified expert and takes place in your own car.

Pass Plus

The Pass Plus Scheme is especially beneficial to new drivers who’ve recently passed their driving test. The short course, recognised by the DVSA, takes about six hours and covers a whole range of driving conditions and environments, like night driving and urban and rural driving. It can be taken with an approved driving instructor in your local area.

There’s no test at the end, but your instructor will assess your performance as you’re driving and you’ll have to reach the required standard in all modules to complete the course. You can then apply for a Pass Plus certificate from the DVSA.

Prices depend on where you live, the driving instructor and how long your training takes. Some local councils offer discounts.

RoSPA Advanced Driving Course

The RoSPA Advanced Driving Course is a four-day course based on the Police Driver Handbook, and is typically run by serving or retired police officers. It prepares drivers for the Advanced Driving Test and is ideal for company car drivers, commercial van drivers and immediate response drivers.

The course focuses on enhancing handling skills, anticipating changes and becoming more observant. The Advanced Driving Test needs to be retaken every three years to keep your driving skills up to date.

AA Advanced Driving Courses

The AA runs a range of driver safety courses, with specialist training conducted by AA-qualified instructors. These include:

  • Pass Plus
  • Refresher driving lessons – these are ideal for drivers who’ve lost their confidence following an accident or because they haven’t driven for a long time.
  • Motorway driving lessons – if you feel nervous about driving on motorways, this course could increase your confidence on multi-lane roads.

Prices vary, but you can get a discount on your first booking.

Why take an advanced driving course?

The main benefit of advanced driver training is that you should become a more highly skilled driver, making you less of an accident risk.

If you find certain aspects of driving particularly challenging, for example driving in bad weather or on motorways, the courses could ease some of your anxieties and help you cope better with the demands of the road.

Not only should you become more competent and self-assured behind the wheel, you might also see a reduction in your fuel costs and give your tyres a longer lifespan, as you learn to handle your car more efficiently.

Will taking an advanced driving course mean cheaper car insurance?

It might help to lower your car insurance costs because insurers typically view advanced drivers as being less likely to have an accident.

And if you can build up a track record of driving without accidents, this could also help you build up a no-claims bonus.

Another way you could save on your car insurance is by shopping around and comparing quotes. Comparing with us may be the ideal way to find a cheaper deal.

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