Is Pass Plus Necessary?< Back to blog
The Pass Plus training course is designed to improve your driving skills after you’ve passed your practical test. It’s considered most useful and worthwhile for new drivers within the first year of passing their driving test, but is it for you?
What is Pass Plus?
Pass Plus is an optional training course for anyone who is over the age of 17. It aims to give drivers a better understanding of how to drive safely in different weather and road conditions.
Is Pass Plus for me?
Pass Plus has been around since 1999, but it’s still questioned today whether it’s a necessity for new and experienced drivers. Read on to find out the pros and cons of the course.
Confidence for new drivers
It boils down to the preference of the individual. If you have passed your test, but don’t end up getting your first car for a year (or even longer), Pass Plus can be a good way to ease your way back into driving. It’s ideal if you’re lacking in confidence.
The six modules that make up the course are naturally designed to give you extra experience of driving in a multitude of situations – most of which reflect how you would use a car in real life.
The course is broken down into practice and assessment in these areas and conditions:
- Rural roads
- Night time
- Dual carriageways
Lower insurance premiums
Pass Plus comes with the added incentive of giving some drivers a cheaper insurance quote when they show their certificate. If you’re a first-time driver then the chances are that you’re looking to save on that first motor. Because insurance is one of the biggest spends on a car for new drivers, it’s worthwhile comparing insurance provider quotes for your vehicle when you specify you have the qualification.
Another perk of the discount is that you may be able to put it on hold for up to two years if you don’t already have a car.
Remember: Not all insurance providers will offer Pass Plus discounts or allow you the option to put it on hold, so be sure to check this with them.
There’s no set fee for Pass Plus. It entirely depends on the instructor or driving school you choose to do it with. Also, your location plays a big part in the price.
Roughly, the entire course costs about £180. While this isn’t a lot of money for some, it can be a big ask for someone who’s just passed their test and spent hundreds of pounds on lessons, test fees and car hire for these tests.
On the other hand, your local council may offer discounts that you can take advantage of, which is also worth considering if you’re in two minds of whether to take it because of finances. Not all of them will do this, so it’s worth checking with your borough, town, city or county council to see if they can help you out.
Technically you’re already road legal
Pass Plus isn’t a course everyone has to take in order to be a safe driver.
If you’ve passed your test, then you’re still qualified to drive in areas that you wouldn’t have been tested or had lessons on. Take motorways and country lanes, for example. While venturing onto roads not travelled can be a scary thought, it’s important to remember that the principles you learn throughout your driving lessons prepare you for all types of driving.
Go back to the motorway example. The dual carriageways which you practice on come up in a lot of test routes and essentially teach you the fundamental principles of motorway driving. Both are national speed limit roads and require you to perform all mirror and blind-spot checks before changing lanes. Granted, there’s an extra lane on the motorway, it’s longer and there are some service stations on there. But is it enough to warrant six hours of your time and a couple hundred pounds?
So, if it’s a lack of confidence that’s ultimately driving your decision, why not allow one of your more-experienced peers to be a passenger as a way of building your confidence? Free of charge.
Pass Plus: Everything you need to know
You’re required to meet the pass standard of all six modules in order to complete the course. The good news is there’s no test for Pass Plus – winner! You do need to demonstrate that you can meet the required standard in each module, though.
In order to apply for Pass Plus, you must find an instructor who’s registered with the training scheme, which you can check by contacting the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency).
After completing Pass Plus, you then need to obtain your certificate. To do this, you and your registered instructor sign the training report, which you then send to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
The agency then sends you your certificate in the post. This certificate can be used to get Pass Plus discount on certain insurance plans. Note: not all providers offer this.
Start your engines! You’re now ready to hit the open road confidently and safely.
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