There’s no doubting that an advanced driving course will equip you with some valuable skills, but, after splashing out on your driving lessons, are they really worth the extra cash?
What is an advanced driving course?
Advanced driving courses are available to anyone who wants to improve their driving skills and gain more confidence on the road. They can be perfect for new drivers who want to develop and build upon the skills that they’ve learnt in their driving lessons, whilst improving their awareness of other road users.
You might also need to complete an advanced driving course if you’re looking to begin a career in a sector which requires it. Driving instructors, for example, must complete 3 stages in order to qualify as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). The second stage – the test of driving ability – is very similar to an advanced driving course.
Who can I take an advanced driving course with?
There are a number of motoring organisations who you can take your advanced driving course with. The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), for example, offer a range of courses designed to increase confidence on the road and improve your driving skills.
The IAM’s Skill For Life course concentrates on giving drivers a greater awareness of what’s going on around them as well as improving their general driving ability. The Skill for Life course costs £139 and will see you through a number of stages before you complete your advanced driving test.
There are also a number of other road safety organisations who offer advanced driving courses. RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Preventing of Accidents), for example, provide a range of advanced driving courses designed to improve road accident statistics by encouraging drivers to take an interest in improving their road safety knowledge and skills behind the wheel.
The cost of a RoSPA advanced driving course varies depending on which course you opt for so it’s worth giving them a ring to find out which advanced driving course would best suit your needs.
How does an advanced training course differ to Pass Plus?
Whilst Pass Plus is a great way to develop skills like driving at night, in adverse weather conditions and on motorways, you do not have a test to take at the end.
Unlike Pass Plus, passing an advanced driving test earns you a qualification which can be used to lower your insurance premium and to make your CV more appealing to prospective employers.
How do I get a discount on my insurance premium?
Once you’ve proved yourself to be an advanced driver, car insurance companies may well reward you with a discount. From an insurers point of view, having completed an advanced driving course, you’re less likely to be in a collision and are, therefore, less of a risk to them.
If getting a discount on your car insurance is one of the main reasons you plan to take an advanced driving course, it might be worth doing a bit of research into which insurance companies offer discounts for advanced drivers first, because a cheaper price isn’t an automatic guarantee.
Benefits for road safety
Road safety organisations see advanced driving courses as hugely beneficial to, not only the individual, but also to society as a whole. Advanced driving skills reduce your chances of being involved in a collision, meaning, theoretically, the more advanced drivers there are, the fewer people will be killed and injured on our roads each year.