But some insurers will still offer a discount for those who have completed the course.
The Pass Plus advanced driving qualification makes “no difference” to car insurance quotes, according to new research.
A study by consumer website MoneySuperMarket analysed 50,000 insurance quotes between May and July this year and found that, on average, premiums did not fall for those with Pass Plus qualifications. For the most part, the company claims, customers who changed their licence type from ‘Full UK Car Licence’ to ‘Full UK Car Licence with Pass Plus’ saw no impact on their premium.
The Pass Plus qualification was introduced as a short skills course for motorists who have already passed their tests. Covering six key areas of motoring, including motorways, night driving and adverse weather conditions, the course is intended to help new drivers gain skills and confidence behind the wheel.
According to the RAC, the course typically costs something in the region of £150 to £200, including the time with an instructor, which must be at least six hours. However, some local authorities incentivise the course, offering discounts. In Wales, for example, the RAC says the Pass Plus course costs just £20.
On the government website, the authorities describe the Pass Plus course as “a practical training course” that should be “most useful to new drivers” - those who passed their test in the past 12 months or so. The site also says passing the course “may help” drivers get a discount on car insurance.
However, MoneySuperMarket’s research suggests that although some drivers may see discounts for taking the course, it does not apply across the board. Rachel Wait, consumer affairs spokesperson at MoneySuperMarket, said young and inexperienced drivers are most likely to benefit from taking the Pass Plus course.
“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,” she said. “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.
“The best way to save on car insurance is to shop around and compare quotes from different providers. You’ll be able to see all the options available to you and if you find an insurer who does offer a discount for Pass Plus drivers, you’ll be able to take advantage.”