The Pass Plus Scheme and how it could affect your car insurance

Every year, new drivers all over the UK take Pass Plus courses in the effort to become safer drivers. But can the Pass Plus Scheme bring down the cost of your car insurance? Read our guide to find out more.

Every year, new drivers all over the UK take Pass Plus courses in the effort to become safer drivers. But can the Pass Plus Scheme bring down the cost of your car insurance? Read our guide to find out more.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
5
minute read
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Posted 8 APRIL 2021

What is the Pass Plus Scheme?

Pass Plus is an extra driving qualification, over and above the driving test that gets you your full licence. The course, set up by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), can be taken at any time, although it’s likely to be most beneficial to new drivers in the year after passing their test. It can be taken with a qualified driving instructor in your local area.

During the training, you’ll gain new skills and practical experience by dealing with situations that you may not have covered in standard driving lessons.

The idea behind taking a Pass Plus course is that you’ll be less likely to be involved an accident on the road. This will not only keep you safe, but could mean you’re less of a risk in the eyes of your insurance provider. And if your insurance provider sees you as less of a risk, that could result in lower premiums (the amount you pay for your car insurance).

What does the Pass Plus Scheme cover?

The Pass Plus course takes at least six hours to complete and covers:

  • driving in town – even though this is covered in standard driving lessons, the Pass Plus course handles it in more detail. The majority of us will do most of our driving in town, so this should help build confidence in this area and help make you a safer driver
  • driving on smaller, rural roads – if you do a lot of driving in the countryside, you already know just how narrow these roads can be (and how fast people like to drive on them). Accidents on rural roads are quite common, so this part of the course is worth taking as it teaches you how to avoid them
  • motorway driving – again, most young drivers should have had some experience of this, but with more than 6,600 motorway casualties in 2019, accident statistics show that most UK drivers can still benefit from additional skills. By spending more time learning on the motorway, Pass Plus can help you sharpen your skills and handle busy roads better
  • dual carriageway driving – this is less likely to be covered in detail by a basic driving instructor. Like motorways, dual carriageways have some of the highest speed limits in the UK, so a little bit of extra training can make all the difference
  • driving in poor weather conditions – most young drivers are told to avoid driving in bad conditions. Good advice when you’re new to the road, but what happens when you don’t have a choice? Gaining these skills in a formal setting is much safer than through trial and error
  • driving at night – night-time driving requires more than just a good set of headlights. Reduced visibility can be a challenge to new drivers both in the city and the countryside

Ideally, all these modules should be practical sessions, but local conditions may mean some are theory based.

Is there a test for Pass Plus?

No, don’t worry – you won’t have to put yourself through another test at the end of the Pass Plus course. You’ll be continually assessed throughout your training and will have to reach a required standard in each module to pass.

You’ll either have ‘achieved’ the standard required or ‘exceeded’ it. If a module is completed without a practical session, you can only get an Achieved grade.

To potentially get a discount on your car insurance, you’ll need a Pass Plus certificate, which you’ll have to apply for yourself.

What are the pros and cons of Pass Plus?

There are many benefits to taking the Pass Plus course, but it shouldn’t be viewed as an automatic route to cheaper car insurance.

Pros

  • Build confidence behind the wheel – if you’re nervous about driving on your own after passing your test, the Pass Plus Scheme can give you extra hours on the road with an instructor by your side.
  • Boost road safety skills – gaining extra experience can improve your driving ability in a variety of road settings, helping to make you a safer all-round driver.

Cons

  • Cost – the cost of the Pass Plus course can often be more than the amount you can save on your insurance.
  • No insurance savings for most – A Pass Plus certificate won’t necessarily be recognised by your insurance provider, so it might not always result in a discount.

How much does Pass Plus cost?

That all depends on which instructor you use and where you take the training. Generally, Pass Plus courses cost between £150 and £200. In Wales, the Pass Plus Cymru scheme costs £20.

Some local councils may also offer discounts off the full Pass Plus training costs. Contact your borough, town, city or county council if they’re listed on the government’s website to see if they can help you with the cost of your training.

What kind of discounts can Pass Plus drivers get?

Not all insurance providers offer Pass Plus discounts. Check with your insurance provider to see if they do. And don’t forget, you’ll need your Pass Plus certificate to be eligible for any discount.

You can also compare car insurance, with and without a Pass Plus certificate, to see if you could save. For young drivers, taking out black box insurance might be a better way to save

So, is it worth taking the Pass Plus course?

That depends. You could say that being a safer driver is definitely worth a couple of hundred pounds. But the question you want answered is whether it makes financial sense.

The answer is that if your chosen insurance provider offers a substantial Pass Plus discount, you may save the money you spent on the course. That’s especially true when you consider that you could accumulate a good no claims bonus sooner if you have the skills to avoid accidents. But, if your insurance provider doesn’t offer a discount, you won’t save any money just for being certified.

So, if you’d like to see if you can save money, you can compare car insurance quotes and providers now.

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