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Driving Newsletter - Tips and Advice on Passing your Driving Test

Pass Plus Course

The Ins and outs of the Pass Plus

  • Pass Plus course and benefits

Pass Plus courses are the best known of all post-qualification driving courses. Popular primarily for their ability to reduce your insurance premium, Pass Plus courses are mainly aimed at young drivers in the first year after they qualify.

The Pass Plus course focuses on driving in 6 different situations: in town, in the countryside, at night, on motorways, in adverse weather and on dual carriageways.

It’s probable that you’ll have encountered at least one of these, if not more, during your standard driving lessons. The Pass Plus simply aims to get you used to driving in these situations, with an emphasis on those that you may not encounter during your day-to-day driving experience.

Town-centre driving

Looks at your position on the road, knowing when it is safe to move out around parked cars, and practises the control of clutch, brakes and accelerator that is needed for the constant, low-speed stop-start routine of city driving.

Country driving

Gives you practice in coping with narrow, single track roads, encountering oncoming vehicles and how to deal with slow-moving vehicles like tractors (usually by overtaking at the first safe opportunity). It also explains what to do when you’re presented with unusual situations such as cows crossing the road (believe us, it does happen!).

Night-time driving

Is fairly self-explanatory, and focuses on your use of side, dipped and main beam lights, as well as getting you used to coping with the glare from oncoming vehicles. Night-time Pass Plus driving also deals with adjusting your speed, braking distances and gear use appropriately.

Motorway driving

Looks at the complicated manoeuvres involved in driving, overtaking, joining and leaving high-speed multiple-lane roads. A motorway can be as small as 2 lanes wide, or up to 5 lanes, with traffic generally moving at a minimum of 60mph, so you need to have your wits about you.

Adverse weather conditions

Can make driving a nightmare. Wind, rain, ice and even sun can pose a danger: reduced traction, greater stopping distances, strong winds blowing you to one side, the glare from the sun reflecting off the road and creating a heat haze… All these things are potentially hazardous to drivers. This Pass Plus section aims to teach you what you should do in these situations.

Dual carriageway driving

Will form a large part of your driving experience, as bypasses now criss-cross the country like a giant vehicular lattice pie. Knowing the speed limits, how to overtake and how to join dual carriageways without causing an accident are all key parts to this section of the Pass Plus.

The Pass Plus course is offered through numerous driving schools and instructors. The course takes a minimum of 6 hours (one hour per section) but you can get extra tuition if you think you want it. Costs vary depending on the school or instructor you go with, and how many hours you need. In rare situations you’ll have to depend on theoretical tuition rather than practical (for instance, if the nearest motorway to you is 60 miles away and is therefore rather tricky to get to) but most of the time you’ll get practical experience in all 6 of the situations.

At the end of the course you’ll get a certificate that you can then send off to your insurers to reduce your premium.

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