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Further Courses...

A guide to the DSA Pass Plus course

Designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in association with the driving instruction industry and car insurers, the Pass Plus scheme gives new motorists experience in unfamiliar driving situations and can also help young drivers reduce their car insurance premiums.

Here we look at what`s involved with the Pass Plus course and how it could help you save money.

What does the Pass Plus course involve?

The Pass Plus, which was established in 1995, focuses on giving new drivers experience in six practical modules so they can become familiar with various hazards and be more confident on the road.

The modules are:

- All-weather driving: Focuses on the correct speed and stopping distances in weather conditions including rain, bright sunshine, mist, fog, snow and ice. It also looks at skidding including aquaplaning and braking on poor surfaces.

- Driving out of town: This module is taken on country roads and includes awareness of slow moving vehicles, farm entrances, as well as bends, hills and uneven roads.

- Driving on dual carriageways: Looks at the skills involved in driving on these high speed roads including overtaking, lane discipline and planning ahead.

- Driving on motorways: Focuses on driving on motorways and the unique skills involved including: joining and leaving a motorway; safe speeds in different circumstances; motorway fatigue; and courtesy to other road users.

- Night driving: Examines driving in the dark as well as at dawn and at dusk. Aspects include the correct use of headlights; judging speed and distance; dealing with dazzle; and road users who are hard to see.

- Town driving: Looks at the different features of driving in town including observation, consideration for other road users and keeping space around the car.

How can the Pass Plus course help you save on car insurance?

Research by a comparison website shows that 15 providers offer a discount for completing the Pass Plus course at an average rate of 12 per cent. However, discounts can be higher if you shop around - and could be worth as much as 35 per cent off your premiums. The AA offers 35 per cent off for new drivers that complete the course; while both 17-40 Car Insurance and Endsleigh, the only insurer approved by the National Union of Students, offer 20 per cent reductions.

Prices for the course itself vary, but are typically in the region of 171. To help cover the cost of the course, several borough, town, city and county councils sponsor Pass Plus tuition with discounts available to cover up to 50 per cent of the total costs. As such, it`s well worth contacting your local authority to see if there is any help available to you.

Even without financial assistance to cover the course`s costs, the savings from taking the tuition can quickly outweigh its expense. According to the AA British Insurance Premium Index, premiums for third party, fire and theft cover now average 1,059 a year, so with savings up to 35 per cent, drivers could save more than 350 during their first year of motoring.

Other ways for young drivers to save on car insurance

In addition to taking the Pass Plus, new drivers can look for policies that offer rapid bonus schemes - that is a full year`s no-claims discount in less than 12 months. Some insurers also offer discounts to young drivers that agree to mileage limits, fit approved security devices and add parents to their policies as named drivers.

Whether you`ve just passed your test or you`re looking for learner drivers car insurance use a comparison website, like gocompare.com, to compare deals and find a competitive policy.

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