Passing your driving test is a great achievement and you’ll likely be itching to get out on the open road. Along with the excitement, it’s also totally normal to feel a bit daunted by the prospect of driving without an instructor by your side. After many hours of teaching, you might be nervous about being trusted to navigate the road alone. It is a lot of responsibility! If this sounds like you, there are further available steps that will enhance your driving knowledge and skills. The best option: a Pass Plus course.
You’ve Passed—What Next?
If you’ve successfully completed a theory and practical driving test, chances are you’re a confident driver with knowledge of a range of driving conditions. However, like everything in life, there’s always more to learn. Pass Plus courses provide a more well-rounded driving experience, by expanding on important topics that are only touched upon when you’re a learner. You can take one at any time, but they are most common (and useful) just after passing.
What is a Pass Plus Course?
Think of Pass Plus as a kind of extra credit course that compliments everything you’ve learnt during the L-plate phase. It’s predominantly (if not all) practice-based and lasts for at least 6 hours. Only instructors registered to be Pass Plus teachers can carry out the courses, so if you’re hoping to continue with your own instructor, check that they are verified.
So, what does this course actually cover? Well, it’s split into the following 6 modules:
Driving in Towns
Complex junctions, unpredictable pedestrian behaviour, public transport lanes and congestion—there’s a whole host of potential hazards when driving in towns! It’s also unlikely that you’ll be able to avoid having to tackle this kind of driving. Focusing specifically on these areas and gaining first-hand experience of them is incredibly useful.
Warm months (hopefully) bring sunshine that can affect visibility when driving. In winter you’ll probably learn the joys of driving in ice and snow. No matter the time of year you learn drive, there’ll be weather conditions you are not accustomed to in a driving context. Your instructor will teach you about the adverse effects of such climates on your car—like the potential for skidding.
As you’ll know from our city vs country driving article, rural roads are very different from their urban counterparts. Surfaces may not be as smooth and you could be joined by a variety of road companions—from hikers to horses! Learning how to master these unusual roads and predict possible hazards is imperative if you plan on making any significant journeys.
You may have experienced driving at night already as a learner, but many people don’t. There’s a lot of factors to consider: headlights, observation, dazzling, adjusting speed… etc. Exploring different roads at night can be tricky, so it’s nice to have an instructor with you the first few times.
This is probably the closest you came to driving on the motorway during your lessons. Carriageways involve similar skills like overtaking and judging distances. Even if you’ve covered them before, it is vital that you are comfortable with carriageways, as they are a common feature of Britain’s roads.
One of the key parts of a Pass Plus course is that it provides a solid introduction to motorway driving. While easy when you get used to it, driving on the motorway for the first time can be intimidating. You need to adjust to a much higher speed and there is very little room for error. You also need to adapt to so-called ‘smart motorways’, a somewhat recent development where slightly different rules apply. Again, learning this with an instructor at your side is going to make you a safe, confident driver.
Who is a Pass Plus Course Suitable For?
Pass Plus courses are suitable for any drivers, but particularly those who have recently passed. It’s an extension of the learning period, which will iron out any bad habits or gaps in your driving know-how. Everyone has their weak points, and Pass Plus provides a great opportunity to work on areas you don’t feel as strong on.
Often, as part of the process, the instructor will ask you to plan the route for whichever journey you are taking. Their instructions will also be more vague and casual. For instance, they may say “head towards the city centre“, rather than “take the third exit on the roundabout“. At this point you are a qualified driver and so should trust your abilities and sense of direction. It’s a great confidence builder! Everyone could do with this boost, especially if you’re still rocking the P plates.
What Are the Benefits of a Pass Plus Course?
You should get the idea by now, but to sum up:
✓ It provides a solid introduction to important driving skills not covered when you’re a learner—e.g., driving on motorways.
✓ Completing a Pass Plus course will increase your confidence as a driver and ensure you approach the road in a safe, informed manner.
✓ You could save some money! A number of insurance companies will reduce their prices if you have a Pass Plus certificate. On top of that, some councils also offer discounts on the course itself. Both recognise the value of Pass Plus.
✓ The course doesn’t carry the same stress as a driving test. You are casually assessed throughout the process and different sections are considered completed when you reach a certain standard. This is not half as nerve-wracking as everything building up to one important test!
The only downside to a Pass Plus course is that it’s an extra payment to make once you’ve got your licence. Courses are usually under £200—here at PassMeFast we can book you one for £175. When you consider that this is for 6 hours of intensive teaching and could save you money in the long run, it’s a great deal. We say: if you can afford it, go for it!
Want to talk to someone about your Pass Plus options, or maybe even take the first step towards getting your licence? Contact PassMeFast today on 0333 123 4949 and ring in the new year as a super confident driver!
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