What is an advanced driving course?
Advanced driving courses are designed to improve your driving skills, giving you extra knowledge and experience beyond what’s taught in normal driving lessons.
Taking an advanced course can make you safer on the road, boost your confidence and may help to reduce the cost of your car insurance.
The training is provided by independent companies with different options depending on your needs.
But not all courses will reduce your insurance premiums, so it’s best to do your research before signing up.
What will I learn on an advanced driving course?
There are several advanced driving courses you can choose from and what they cover will vary, but your course might include:
- How to have better road awareness and vehicle control
- Night-time driving skills
- How to deal with complex junctions
- Increasing your powers of anticipation and planning
- Driving in all weather conditions
- Motorway and dual carriageway driving
- Driving on country roads
- Driving in busy urban areas
- Speed awareness
- Dealing with the behaviour of other road users
- More efficient use of gears and brakes
- Switching from manual to automatic and vice versa
Who can take an advanced driving course?
Anyone with a full UK driver’s licence can take an advanced driving course - whether you’re a teenager who’s just passed your test or you’ve been a qualified driver for a long time.
Taking a course can be ideal if you want to build up your confidence or drive to a higher standard.
Which course is best will depend on your needs, availability and budget, so you might find some courses are better suited to you than others.
What types of advanced driving course are there?
There are several advanced driving courses you can choose from, so it’s worth doing your research:
This training is for new drivers and expands on what you learned in your driving lessons. As a qualified driver, you can do the Pass Plus course at any time, but it’s most useful when it’s taken the year after you passed your test.
Successfully completing the course may also help you get a discount on your car insurance.
You’ll need to use an approved driving instructor and you can contact the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to check an instructor is officially registered with Pass Plus.
The Pass Plus training takes at least six hours with modules that cover driving:
- In town
- In all weather conditions
- On rural roads
- At night
- On dual carriageways
- On motorways
There’s no formal test to take at the end, but to qualify for your Pass Plus certificate you need to have reached the required standard for each module.
IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) RoadSmart
A long-established road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart is the most recognised provider of advanced motorist training and offers the only course accredited by the DVSA.
IAM RoadSmart offers drivers a number of courses providing tailored, one-to-one advice:
Advanced Driver Course
This training provides additional on-road knowledge and advanced skills, helping you to be safer on the road and get more out of driving.
You’ll be paired with a skilled advanced-driver observer and, over a series of observed drives, you’ll work together and receive useful verbal and written feedback.
This helps you develop enhanced observation and planning skills and have better control of your car. The course lasts for between six and 12 sessions, with a test to sit at the end.
Young Driver Assessment
Specifically designed for qualified drivers aged under 26, the Young Driver Assessment is a one-hour session designed to give you additional driving knowledge and skills.
Going out in your own car with a trainer, you’ll receive useful feedback and can choose to focus on skills you’d particularly like help with, like parking or motorway driving.
The course can help develop your driving experience and give you more confidence on the road.
Mature Driver Review
This is a one-hour session designed for older drivers, to give you guidance, help you refresh your skills and boost your confidence.
You’ll be assessed in your own car and will drive on familiar roads, with no undue pressure or tests to complete.
You’ll receive verbal and written feedback that you can use to continue refining your skills after the session.
RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is a UK charity that provides advanced driver training to improve road safety and help reduce accidents.
It has around 60 groups in the UK that offer free DVSA-approved training. You can have as many sessions as you need, but you’ll need to pay a membership fee and pay for the test.
The RoSPA test is based on ‘Roadcraft:The Police Driver’s Handbook’ and the Highway Code. All examiners have a UK Police Advanced Driving qualification, too.
As a RoSPA member, you’re asked to re-take your test every three years to maintain your advanced driving skills. This cost is included in your annual subscription fee.
The AA Advanced Driving courses
The AA driving school offers three different advanced driving courses to enhance your skills:
- Pass Plus - As a DVSA registered instructor, the AA Driving School can provide Pass Plus training to help new drivers gain confidence after they pass their test
- Refresher driving lessons - Tailoring tuition around your needs, AA driving instructors can provide as many lessons as you need to boost your skills and experience
- Motorway driving lessons - The AA can provide tailored lessons to help you grow in confidence when driving on motorways and dual carriageways
How much do advanced driving courses cost?
This will depend on the course and provider.
Pass Plus fees will depend on where you live, how long your training takes and which instructor you use. You may be able to get a Pass Plus discount through your local council.
The IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driving course costs £175. The Mature Driver Review and the Young Driver Assessment each cost £65.
For RoSPA training, you’ll need to pay an annual fee to join your local group as an associate member - this can cost as little as £10. The advanced driving test is £77 and, once you’ve passed, you’ll become a full RoSPA member with your first year’s membership fee included.
The cost of AA advanced driving lessons varies depending on where you live. A minimum booking of two hours is required, with typical costs around £35 an hour. You can usually get a discount for block booking lessons.
Will taking an advanced course make my car insurance cheaper?
This depends on the course you take and your insurer, so it’s best to check before you sign up to any training.
Some insurers may reduce your premiums if you’ve taken a recognised course, as this can help make you a safer driver and less likely to have an accident.
The discount you receive (if any) will depend on the insurance company.
Even if you don’t get a reduction, the course can help you avoid accidents, so you can build up your no-claims bonus.
Whether you decide to have advanced training or not, to get the best price for your car insurance you should always shop around and compare quotes.
What are the other benefits of taking an advanced driving course?
As well as improving and enhancing your driving skills, taking an advanced driving course can have other benefits, including:
- Building your confidence and helping you to enjoy driving more
- Reducing your crash risk through better decision making and coping with others’ mistakes
- Improving your fuel consumption with smoother driving and improved use of gears
- Less wear and tear on your car
- Creating a safer and more comfortable experience for your passengers