Is The 'Pass Plus' Worth It?
'Pass Plus' can help new drivers improve areas they're not confident in. Just what exactly does it cover and is it good value for money?
The Government’s Pass Plus driving course can help new drivers overcome some of their concerns or improve areas they're not confident in. What does it cover and is it good value for money?
What is 'Pass Plus'?
Pass Plus, in a nutshell, is a course held over a total of 6 hours, designed to assist newly qualified motorists improve their overall skills and safety behind the wheel.
It can be taken any time after you've passed your test, however it's usually most beneficial within the first 12 months - the period where you're most at risk of an accident.
It must be taken with an improved driving instructor.
It's by no means compulsory, and there's no formal test, but to receive a 'pass plus' certificate you'll have to reach the required standard when you're assessed after each module.
What Do You Learn on 'Pass Plus'
The course is split into the following six modules:-
Town Driving: You’ll learn how to navigate complex junctions, underpasses and tram, bus and cycle lanes.
All-Weather Driving: Preventing and handling skidding is covered in this section, as well as why stopping distances are reduced in bad weather.
Rural Road Driving: This section looks at safe passing places on rural roads, and what to do when you encounter sharp corners, horse riders, cyclists, farm vehicles and debris in the road.
Night Driving: This section deals with the correct use of headlamps, adjusting to different light levels, getting used to being dazzled and judging speeds and distance.
Dual Carriageway Driving: Here you'll focus on joining and leaving the carriageway via slip roads, as well as overtaking, lane discipline and safe distances.
Motorway Driving: You’ll learn how to drive at a safe speed in different conditions, deal with motorway fatigue, handle a breakdown, use lanes correctly and follow signs.
Is 'Pass Plus' an Intensive Driving Course?
The six modules of the Pass Plus course are designed to cover almost every aspect of driving, so there is a lot of information for you to take in.
While you could feasibly fit all the hour-long sessions into a single day or over the course of a weekend, it would be pretty exhausting and may cause you to lose your concentration.
It’s a good idea to spread out your sessions to give yourself time to practise the skills that you’ve picked up during the course.
That way you can build up your skills gradually instead of trying to remember everything you’ve learnt at the same time.
It is recommended that you split the training into three two-hour blocks.
However it’s important to manage them properly around any other commitments you may have to ensure you are not stressed during the course, which could hinder your driving and your learning.
Finally, because weather conditions are obviously down to chance, it's most likely some elements will be given as theory sessions.
Is 'Pass Plus' Expensive?
The price can vary depending on where you live, the driving instructor involved and how long your training takes but, generally speaking, you can expect to pay in the region of £150-£200 for the entire course.
Is it Worth it?
While a few insurance companies will offer you a discount on your premium if you have a Pass Plus certificate, most no longer do, so taking the course shouldn’t be seen as a way to reduce your car insurance costs.
If you want to bring down your premium, taking out black box insurance might be a better way to go about it.
However, Pass Plus is worth taking if you don’t feel confident behind the wheel after passing your test and want to gain more experience.