Does the Pass Plus Scheme bring down the cost of your car insurance?

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

Julie Daniels
Insurance expert
5
minute read
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Last Updated 8 AUGUST 2022

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. It’s not mandatory but it could make you a better driver and may lower your insurance costs.

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 and does not require an extra test to complete. 

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. 

Pass Plus should make you less likely to be involved in an accident on the road, and therefore less of a risk in the eyes of insurance providers. 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).

However, you do need to pay for the scheme, so it’s worth factoring this into your budget.

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. Most of us will do lots 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). Believe it or not, rural roads are the most dangerous for all road users, so this part of the course is well worth taking.
  • Motorway driving – again, most young drivers should have had some experience of this, but with more than 2,581 motorway casualties in 2020, accident statistics show that a lot of UK drivers could still benefit from additional motorway lessons. 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 unlikely 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. Learning how to use your headlights and adapt to poor visibility should make a huge difference in lowering your risk of accidents on the road.

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. What it can do is improve your driving, which is always a win, but it’s not a guarantee of a cheap insurance policy – especially for those in high-risk groups like young drivers.

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. Pass Plus courses usually cost around £200. In Wales, the Pass Plus Cymru scheme costs £20.
Some local councils may also offer discounts on 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.

Does Pass Plus make car insurance cheaper?

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.

Is Pass Plus worth it?

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 discount 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.

There are lots of other ways you can lower your premiums. To start with, you can see if you can save by comparing car insurance quotes and providers now.

How else can you lower the cost of car insurance for young drivers?

There are a few other ways you could lower the cost of your car insurance, including:

  • Choosing a cheaper car to insure - the make and model of your car is a factor in the price of your insurance. Powerful, expensive cars are likely to cost more to insure.
  • Black box insurance can earn you a discount on your insurance if you can show you’re consistently driving well.
  • Sharing your car with an experienced driver - adding a more experienced driver to your policy as a named driver can bring down the cost of your insurance. But you need to be certain that the person identified as the main driver really is the person driving the car most of the time. Not being honest about this is a type of insurance fraud called fronting
  • Parking your car securely - where your car is parked overnight can affect the cost of your insurance. If you have to park on a public road, fitting it with an alarm, immobiliser or other security device could help lower the cost of your premium. 

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