As the name suggests, an advanced driving course is an extra level of training for those who have passed their driving test and wish to further improve their motoring skills.

Advanced driving courses aim to provide experience of challenging or particular driving scenarios - such as on wet, snowy or icy winter road surfaces.

After undertaking such a course, as a driver you are likely to be more confident - and competent - on the road. They may well be more considerate and observant than before.

 

Improved road safety

However, the chief benefit of an advanced driving course is that it should make you a safer driver - that means less chance of an accident for you, your passengers, and other road users. While the standard driving test is rigorous enough, taking an advanced driving course gives you valuable hours of extra training with an experienced instructor.

 

Reduced insurance premiums?

Having passed an advanced driving course, your insurer may offer a reduction in your premium. This is because driving experience is a major factor used in calculating your annual premium.

As such, younger drivers may benefit from taking an advanced driving course, since they tend to lack experience - and therefore often pay much more for their insurance than older, more experienced drivers.

However, it should be noted that your insurer may not offer a reduced premium  - and that if they do, it may be a very modest discount. Insurers take many other factors into consideration when calculating premiums.

But having undertaken such a course, you may be less likely to have an accident, and more able to build up a No Claims Bonus, which could lead to substantial premium reductions over time.

And any course that reduces the chances of injury - or even death - is inherently valuable.

If your sole reason for taking such a course is to reduce your insurance premium, there may be more effective approaches, such as:

 

Black box insurance

This is when your insurer installs a 'black box' that monitors your driving style (braking, acceleration, speed etc.). If you are deemed safe, you may receive a discount on your insurance.

 

Lower mileage

You will pay less for your car insurance if you choose a lower mileage policy. Because you spend less time on the road, the idea is that there's less chance of an accident occurring.

 

Types of advanced driving courses

Pass Plus - a government six-hour course, most useful to drivers you have recently passed their test (often taken a year after passing).

I am Road Smart - this organisation offers a number of driving courses for different purposes.

RoSPA - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents offers a number of advanced driver training courses, including ones aimed at young drivers, chauffeurs and banksmen.