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Advanced driving courses

An advanced driving course is a great way to improve your confidence and driving skills. Taking one could even lower the cost of your car insurance.

An advanced driving course is a great way to improve your confidence and driving skills. Taking one could even lower the cost of your car insurance.

Written by
Rory Reid
Car and technology expert
Last Updated
11 JUNE 2024
4 min read
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What is an advanced driving course?

Advanced driving courses are taken after you’ve passed your driving test to sharpen your road skills, and make you a safer and more competent driver.

Whether you’re scared of driving on motorways or simply want to brush up on your technique, advanced driver training is designed to boost your confidence and driving ability.

Who can take an advanced driving course?

Anyone with a full licence can take an advanced driving course. Whether you’re a young driver who’s recently passed your test or a seasoned driver over 70 who wants to refresh your knowledge, taking advanced driving lessons can help you hone your behind-the-wheel expertise. Different courses concentrate on different aspects of driving, so shop around for one that suits your needs.

What advanced driver training courses are available?

There are advanced driving lessons to tackle a range of areas, depending on what you want to improve. Here’s our round-up of advanced driving courses available in the UK.

IAM RoadSmart

IAM RoadSmart is a registered UK charity that provides advanced driving courses to help drivers and motorbike riders improve their skills.

It offers a range of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Quality Assured advanced driving courses. These include:

  • Advanced Driver Course – comprehensive advanced driver training, divided into 6-12 sessions. The course costs £200 and covers the ‘IPSGA’ framework – information, position, speed, gear and acceleration – across different on-road scenarios. Once you’ve taken your advanced driving test, you’ll receive full IAM membership, which could reduce your car insurance premium.
  • Young Driver Assessment – for drivers aged 17-26, this one-hour advanced driver course should give you greater confidence and road skills. The £70 course includes an on-road assessment in your own car and one-to-one advice tailored to you. Great for young drivers who lack experience.
  • Mature Driver Review – this £85 one-hour session serves as a relaxed refresher for mature drivers who’ve lost confidence or simply want to sharpen their skills. A qualified IAM expert gives you an honest, unbiased review of your driving in your own car, on roads familiar to you. They then support you to make improvements.

Pass Plus advanced driver training

The Pass Plus Scheme is ideal for new drivers who’ve recently passed their test. This short course, recognised by the DVSA, takes about six hours. It covers a range of conditions such as night driving, and urban and rural driving. 

A Pass Plus-certified instructor will guide you through the modules and help you reach the required ‘pass’ standard. There’s no test at the end. Once you’ve completed all the modules to the minimum passable standard, you can apply for a Pass Plus advanced driving certificate from the DVSA.

You’ll need this certificate to see if you can qualify for a discount on your car insurance.

Prices vary, depending on where you live, the instructor, and length of training. Some local councils offer discounts – for details, visit GOV.UK.

RoSPA Advanced Driving Course

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) runs Advanced Drivers and Riders courses through local volunteer groups. You’ll be assigned a tutor, who’ll take you through advanced driver training on evenings and weekends – free of charge. You can do as many training sessions as you feel you need to take your Advanced Driving Test.

There’s a small membership fee, and the test costs £77. Once you’ve taken the test, you’ll be awarded either a bronze, silver or gold level, and receive a test report and certificate.

There’s also an RoSPA Level 2 Award in Advanced Driving, which costs £1,125. It includes enhanced handling skills, situational awareness, positive driving behaviours and RoSPA advanced car test guidelines.

AA Advanced Driving Courses

The AA runs a range of driver safety courses, with specialist training from AA-qualified instructors. Courses include:

  • AA Pass Plus – a six-hour course to enhance driving skills and develop new ones.
  • Refresher driving lessons – ideal for drivers who are out of practice or want to expand their skills. You can have as many sessions as you like, practising skills like urban and rural driving, night driving and all-weather driving.
  • Motorway driving lessons – if you’re nervous about driving on motorways, this course could increase your confidence on multi-lane roads.

Prices vary depending on where you live, but you can get a discount on your first booking via the AA website.

How are advanced driving courses different from ordinary driving lessons?

Advanced driving courses assume you’ve passed your test and already have basic driving skills. Passing an advanced driving test will help you build on these, as well as focusing on areas where you want to improve your confidence.

These can include:

  • Motorway driving
  • Night driving
  • Rural driving
  • Speed awareness
  • Handling
  • Road positioning 
  • Defensive driving skills 
  • Driving in adverse weather
  • Efficient gear use.

Why take an advanced driving course?

According to data from IAM RoadSmart, 80% of people sign up to take an advanced driving course to improve their general standard of driving. 73% take a course to become a safer driver and – believe it or not – 58% simply fancy a challenge. But there are all sorts of reasons to take an advanced driving qualification.

Advanced driver training can make you a highly skilled driver, which means you’re less likely to be involved in an accident. It can help you cope with the demands of the road – for example, driving in wet or icy weather, motorway driving or negotiating complex junctions. You’ll also learn to anticipate other drivers’ actions more effectively.

What’s more, with advanced driver training, you can learn how to use your car more efficiently, which may reduce your fuel costs and make your tyres last longer.

Will taking an advanced driving course reduce my car insurance?

Taking an advanced driving course may lower your car insurance premiums, but this isn’t guaranteed. You’ll also want to weigh up the cost of your insurance premiums as a non-advanced driver versus the cost of taking an advanced driving course.

However, becoming an advanced driver who’s less likely to have an accident will help you build up your no claims bonus.

Another way to save on your car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes. Comparing with us can help you find a cheaper deal.

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Rory Reid - car and technology expert

Rory Reid is a car and technology expert. He serves as the main presenter on Auto Trader’s YouTube channel and was previously a host on BBC Top Gear and its sister show Extra Gear. He is also a presenter on Fifth Gear. Previously, he hosted Sky TV’s Gadget Geeks, CNET’s Car Tech channel, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition and on the YouTube channel Fast, Furious & Funny.

Learn more about Rory