However, analysis of thousands of insurance quotes has shown that taking the extra courses, which can cost up to £200, has no impact on premium prices for most people.
The analysis by comparison site MoneySupermarket, looked at 50,000 policy inquiries between May and June 2019 and found that, on average, providers did not change their pricing when customers changed their licence type from ‘Full UK Car Licence’ to ‘Full UK Car Licence with Pass Plus’.
The Pass Plus course is a series of extra lessons designed to give drivers additional experience in situations they might not have faced before sitting their driving test. It features a series of modules and covers driving in town; in all weathers; on rural roads; at night; on dual carriageways and on motorways.
Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket,said: “Although people assume that doing additional driving courses such as Pass Plus can reduce your premiums, our research shows that it actually makes no difference for the average person.
“However, that isn’t to say that it definitely won’t have an impact for some. Pass Plus driving courses can help young or inexperienced drivers get lower premiums. Another option for younger drivers is to consider getting a telematics policy, which monitors your driving habits and adjusts your car insurance premiums based on how you drive.”
Driving instructors have defended the Pass Plus scheme, highlighting that the extra training is about more than simply saving new drivers money.
Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School commented: “Pass Plus courses and bespoke post-test training courses are hugely beneficial for all types of drivers, be it nearly or newly qualified. Courses are tailored to the needs of each individual and focus on a wide range of daunting driving situations that might not have been covered in standard driving lessons such as motorway driving, rural roads, complicated city routes and night-time driving.
“Certain insurance providers look favourably on the Pass Plus qualification and will offer significant discounts for being certified. It’s also important to consider that enhanced knowledge and experience on the roads means it’s possible to accumulate a strong no claims bonus.
“We want all drivers to feel empowered and assured behind the wheel and we encourage anyone looking to enhance their driving skills to take a Pass Plus course. The benefits aren’t solely about saving money, but improving road safety and attitudes towards driving.”