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The Pass Plus Scheme and how it affects car insurance premiums

Introduced in November 1995 to give new drivers invaluable experience in unfamiliar driving situations, the Pass Plus has often been seen as a fast track to cheap car insurance

So just what is the Pass Plus scheme and how does it affect car insurance?

How does the Pass Plus scheme work?

The Pass Plus is devised by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and is meant to build on a new driverís existing skills and knowledge. It is offered to drivers who have successfully completed their practical driving test and can help boost confidence in a number of situations.

The Pass Plus is split into six modules:

- Town driving: Helping you deal with rush hour traffic, complicated junctions and traffic systems.

- Driving out of town: To gain experience of the unique hazards of country roads such as potholes and sharp bends.

- Driving on dual carriageways: Helping you gain the concentration and anticipation needed for fast multi-lane driving.

- Driving on motorways: Motorways are unique so it is important to learn how to drive on them safely.

- Night driving: Learn how to judge distances, speed and deal with dazzling at night.

- All-weather driving: Rain, fog, ice and snow can all hamper driving.

When you complete the Pass Plus course you will normally qualify for a substantial car insurance discount.

How completing the course affects car insurance premiums

Several UK car insurers offer sizeable discounts for drivers that complete the Pass Plus course Ė up to 35 per cent. However, crucially not all providers offer discounts.

According to research by a comparison website in 2008, only 15 providers offered a discount on their policy for completing the course Ėthe discount averages 12 per cent. As the Pass Plus course itself typically costs around £171, new drivers are well advised to weigh up the cost against the savings available.

Whatís important to remember about the Pass Plus is that it is not just a way of earning cheap insurance Ė it should also make you a safer driver. As such it is well worth taking the course regardless of whether you will benefit significantly on your car insurance or not. Around 181,000 drivers take the course every year.

Which car insurance company should you choose?

Itís important for drivers not to simply sign up for a car insurance policy because there is a Pass Plus discount available. The companies offering the discount may not be the most competitive.

Therefore itís best to use a comparison website to compare car insurance quotes and find the cheapest deal that provides the level of cover you need. Compare that to the cheapest deal available from a provider that offers a Pass Plus discount to discover which insurer offers the most value for money after all discounts are taken into account.

Many of the providers that offer Pass Plus discounts have other incentives for young drivers too. These can include: rapid bonus schemes; limited mileage bonuses; reductions for enhanced security; and discounts for adding a parent as a named driver on a policy.

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