Once you've passed your practical and theory tests, you may think you’re an expert driver.
However, there are lots of things you can do after passing your driving test, or to improve years after passing.
Advanced driving courses can help to refine your road skills, making you a safer and more competent driver.
The course does exactly what it says on the tin, giving you advanced feedback and guidance on your driving habits. The series of lessons provide the driver with the opportunity to learn additional skills that will help to anticipate hazards on the road and become a more systematic and disciplined road user.
Each available course differs in structure depending on the company that you choose to use, however, they all have the same goal. As well as producing safer drivers, the advanced driving course may help reduce your fuel consumption and keep your car in better shape for longer.
There are a few different advanced driving course you can choose from, depending on which driving skills you need to work on.
Once you have purchased the course, the company will match you with a local expert who will observe your driving habits over a series of lessons. The instructor will then give you personalised feedback which will help ensure that you are driving in the safest way possible.
IAM Roadsmart offer a number of different advanced packages, including courses intended for the use of both cars and motorcycles. Widely recognised as the most reputable course on the market, it has seen over half a million people enrol since it began.
A spokesperson for IAM Roadsmart said: “The real heroes of the road are those who show that skill, precision and flair on everyday roads while doing it for the safety of themselves and those around them.
“Taking the advanced driver or rider course turns good drivers into great drivers. Those who have chosen to take their skills to the next level show they have commitment and staying power. They are the real champions.”
Cost: £149 (at time of publication)
This four-day course is a great way to refresh your driving skills. Focusing on “developing a systematic and defensive approach to hazard management and risk reduction”, after completion you will be eligible to apply for an advanced driving test. Accomplishing this qualification will mean that you have achieved the highest civilian driving standard available, giving you the confidence that you are being the safest that you can be on the roads.
Cost: Course prices vary – call the RoSPA for more information.
The AA offer a wide range of specialist courses suitable for every type of driver. If there are certain elements of road use that you find particularly challenging such as driving at night or using rural roads, you will be able to find a course that is tailored to suit you. The AA also offer a course intended to help improve confidence for more general road use.
Cost: Prices vary depending on how many hours you wish to undertake and what you wish to practice, so it's best to contact the AA directly for more information.
Pass Plus is a great way to gain more experience on the roads once you have passed your test. A short, optional course which is most useful for drivers who have passed their practical test in the previous 12 months, the Pass Plus can help if you are apprehensive about driving on motorways, dual carriageways, driving at night and more. It may also mean that you are eligible for cheaper car insurance, but this is not always guaranteed.
There is no test for the Pass Plus, but your instructor will assess your performance as you are driving. The course takes six hours to complete, and is usually done across one or two days. Check with your driving instructor to find out if he or she is Pass Plus registered approved (ADI).
Cost: Prices vary depending on examiner
No, undertaking the qualification does not affect your licence, and can only be completed once you have a passed both elements of your test.
The courses are available to anyone with a full licence - whether you passed your test recently and wish to improve on the skills you have recently learnt, or if you are a driving veteran wanting to refresh your knowledge.
There are a number of organisations that deliver advanced driving courses. However, the offering from IAM Roadsmart is considered to be the most popular and well-established. RoSPA and the AA also have recognised qualifications which might suit you.
Want to find out more? For additional information, read our guide for options to explore after you’ve passed your test.