Is Pass Plus worth it?

Passing your driving test should be the first step on the road to a lifetime of stress-free motoring. But the theory and practical elements only ensure you know the basics.

The Pass Plus scheme was introduced to help improve the skills of drivers who had just passed their tests.

But how does Pass Plus work and is it worth the money? Here we look at what the Pass Plus scheme involves and whether it can mean discounted car insurance costs.

Person on an advanced driving course 
 

What is the Pass Plus scheme?

It’s a practical training course that takes at least 6 hours to complete. The aim is to help drivers to improve their skills and become safer on the road.

The 6 modules covers driving:

  • In town

  • In all weathers

  • On rural roads

  • At night

  • On dual carriageways

  • On motorways

You don’t take a test but are assessed throughout. To pass you need to reach the required standard in all modules.

1. Town driving

Chances are you’re likely to be spending a lot of your driving life navigating our busy towns. Improving your observational skills is useful, especially how to keep an eye on buses, cyclists and pedestrians.

2. Different weathers

The experience of driving in pouring rain is obviously different from bright sunshine. Similarly, driving in rain or hailstones for the first time can be unnerving.

3. Rural roads

The countryside offers its own challenges. Narrow lanes, mud on the roads, tractors and animals suddenly appearing make it particularly risky for new drivers.

4. Night-time driving

Statistics show that driving at night - with reduced visibility - can be the most dangerous times of the day to be on the road. Especially for newly qualified drivers.

5. Dual carriageways

Being confident in joining and leaving the carriageway via slip roads is essential. As well as keeping a safe distance and knowing the right way to overtake.

6. Motorways

Learner drivers have been able to take motorway driving lessons with an approved instructor since June 2018. But you probably haven’t spent much time on them – if any at all.

 

When can you take the Pass Plus scheme?

You can take it any time after passing your driving test. However, it’s most useful in the first year of driving as this is when the chance of crashing is at its highest.

 

Who will teach you on the Pass Plus scheme?

You need a Pass Plus-registered driving instructor to teach you. You can check the GOV.UK website to find a driving school near you.

 

Is Pass Plus worth it?

The main draw of the Pass Plus Scheme is the discounted car insurance costs. But insurers don’t always offer a discount for drivers who have completed the Pass Plus scheme.

The Pass Plus Scheme should be seen as a way to improve your driving more than anything else.

It’s a good way to bridge the gap between having an instructor – or supervising driver – in the passenger seat and being in the car on your own.

You get extra time behind the wheel with a qualified instructor who can offer advice. You also practice driving at different times of the day - where you might've only done this a handful of times in your driving lessons.

While Pass Plus isn’t a fast track to cheaper insurance costs, you might feel confident enough after the course to get a black box fitted.

This monitors your driving and shows insurers how and when you drive so you can get a more accurate car insurance price.

 

Pros and cons of the Pass Plus scheme

Pros:

  • May reduce your insurance costs.
  • Helps improve your confidence on the road.
  • Teaches you skills you may have not covered in much detail in your lessons.
  • Practice driving in all conditions so you're prepared for the worst.

Cons:

  • Costs money.
  • Requires more time dedicated towards learning to drive.
  • There's no absolute guarantee the Pass Plus scheme reduces your car insurance costs.
 

How much does the Pass Plus scheme cost?

This varies depending on where you live. However, a broad estimate is between £150 and £200 for the entire course. Some local councils offer discounts so it’s worth asking what’s available.

 

Will I get a discount on my insurance with Pass Plus?

Possibly. It could help reduce your costs but this may vary between providers. Not all insurers offer you a discount on your car insurance.

You also need to check if you still qualify for a reduction if you passed your practical driving test more than a year ago. 

Compare car insurance quotes

 

Applying for a Pass Plus certificate

If you pass, you can apply for your own Pass Plus certificate from the DVSA Pass Plus team at passplus@dvsa.gov.uk.

You also receive a training report from your instructor after reaching the required standard.

 

What other advanced driving courses are available?

If you want to bolster your driving skills even more, you can take an advanced driver course through IAM RoadSmart.

Their instructors assess your driving in your own car and look at what areas of your driving needs improvement.

You practice skills at an advanced level, like control, observation, timing and road positioning. Your instructor also goes through how to deal with unpredictable roads and other road users’ behaviour.

After the test at the end of the course you're likely to be a fully-certified expert driver. The IAM RoadSmart course costs around £149.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) also offer advanced courses. They’re run by retired or serving police officers who volunteer.

The lessons are free, but there’s usually a small fee to join the local group. The test itself costs £67 for drivers over 26.

There's a £40 yearly subscription for the course, and a re-test every 3 years. You can find more information on this type of course on the ROSPA website.