How to Save Money on Your Insurance With Pass Plus

Pass Plus is a six-hour practical driving training course, designed to increase the confidence and safety of newly qualified drivers. It was developed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in conjunction with the insurance industry to incentivise new drivers to beef up their motoring skills, learning skills such as motorway and nighttime driving not covered by standard driving test.

The lessons are available through Pass Plus registered approved driving instructors (ADIs). The course costs around £180, although this can vary based on the instructor you choose and area you live in. Some councils offer discounts for local residents.

Some auto insurers will trim premiums for drivers who have passed the course, providing a valuable discount for young and newly qualified motorists who may otherwise face very high insurance costs.

However, this discount varies between insurers and may only be available to drivers who have passed their driving test within the last year. If you’re looking only for a discount, you may want to compare car insurance quotes before signing up for a Pass Plus course. But Pass Plus has other benefits and even if it doesn’t lead to lower insurance premiums, it can be an investment in your safety and lifelong driving skills.

Skills Covered by Pass Plus

Pass Plus covers crucial driving skills that likely won’t have been covered—or fully covered—in the driving lessons you took in preparation for your driving test. The exact skills taught vary between driving schools and instructors but the modules remain the same:

  1. Town driving: Pupils are taught to navigate complex junctions and traffic systems; to share the road with others users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and buses; to park in city centres and to understand the need for space around their vehicle.
  2. All-weather driving: Drivers are taught how various weather conditions, from rain to snow to fog, effect how a car performs and behaves on the road. Drivers are taught how reduced visibility and increased stopping distances mean you should drive more slowly and leave greater distance between cars during adverse weather conditions. Drivers are also taught how to avoid skidding and how to recover from a skid.
  3. Out-of-town and rural roads: Drivers are taught how to deal with the unique features of rural roads, including blind curves, difficult overtaking, and slow moving animals and farm equipment.
  4. Night driving: Freshly qualified motorists are taught to confidently manoeuvre and judge distance in the dark, drive with headlights, and cope with nighttime glare.
  5. Dual carriageway driving: Students will learn how to maintain sufficient following distances, use the correct lane, and use slip roads.
  6. Motorway driving: As of June 2018 learner drivers are allowed on UK motorways with an instructor in the passenger seat but Pass Plus will give you more experience, particularly with merging, overtaking, and using the correct lane. You’ll also learn what to do in the event of a breakdown.

Savings

The Pass Plus scheme was developed by the government in the hopes that insurers would offer successful students insurance discounts of up to 35%.

However, the adoption of Pass Plus discounts hasn’t been widespread. Insurance companies base their premiums on complex assessments of risk, backed up by years of accident and claims statistics, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been proven that Pass Plus curbs the high rates of collisions among newly qualified drivers.

While some insurers do offer a discount, it’s often nowhere near 35%. And it’s often reserved only for drivers who have passed their tests within the last year. However, reportedly Co-operative Insurance offers up to 40% off premiums with the presentation of a Pass Plus certificate. Aviva, Churchill, Direct Line, and Young Marmalade also offer discounts, generally around 5% off premiums.

However, discounts don’t always mean cheaper premiums and you should always compare car insurance quotes, preferably using a comparison site, before committing to a policy, even one advertised with savings.

Should You Do Pass Plus?

Pass Plus can earn you discounts on your car insurance premiums—but it might not. If you can afford the course, however, there are worse ways to spend six hours than boning up on your driving skills. One in five drivers will be involved in an accident within a year of passing their driving test, a statistic that concerns insurers but will also concern novice drivers and their families. If you’re not feeling confident driving on motorways or after dark following your test, sign up for a Pass Plus course. Even if you earn a discount on your insurance, you’ll learn skills that will keep you safe, and maybe, when recorded by a black box with a telematics policy, can cut your insurance premiums that way.