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Advanced Driving Courses Before Driving Abroad

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 28 Nov 2019 | comments*Discuss
Advanced Driving Courses Before Driving Abroad

Travelling overseas, while exciting, can be stressful for many drivers who often find themselves feeling unprepared and uneducated on the best way of driving abroad. Regardless of which country you’re going to, learning about the road rules there and local driving customs is only one small part of being a confident, successful driver overseas. For many people, it’s a good idea to take part in an advanced driving course before leaving the UK, then you are able to improve your driving skills overall and undertake strong defensive driving abroad.

What is an Advanced Driving Course?

There are a multitude of advanced driving courses throughout the UK, but there are two main governing bodies of advanced driving course – IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) or RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents). Both of these institutions work in conjunction with the DSA in their agreement of what constitutes advanced driving. Primarily it is the ability to:

“control the position and speed of the vehicle safely, systematically and smoothly, using road and traffic conditions to make reasonable progress unobtrusively, with skill and responsibility”.

Learning this level of driving skills is not only beneficial to you and your passengers, but also to any other road user, from pedestrian to lorry driver. In a situation abroad where you’re on unfamiliar roads and are trying to pay attention to the local road rules, this level of skill can be essential.

Advanced Driving Courses in the UK

There are plenty of choices when it comes to advanced driving courses in the UK. No matter which part of the country you live in, you should be able to find a local trainer who is able to teach you advanced driving skills. You can find them in the Yellow Pages, or contact a local driving teacher to see if they can advise you further. You can also search online and many companies have detailed web sites that explain their prices and procedures. The test is based on something known as the Roadcraft system. This is a system that is used by the Home Office Approved Driving Schools, so it’s quality if guaranteed.

What You Need to Take a Course

If you do want to take an advanced driving course before heading off on your trip abroad, you should be aware of the requirements of taking part in one. You will need a full UK driving licence and should normally have held your licence for around 12 months. On top of this, you must have less than 9 penalty points on your licence. If you have more than 9 points, you will be required to get special permission from the Chief Examiner at the organisation where you’ll undertake the test. You must also make sure that your car is fully taxed and insured, which is mandatory for travelling abroad anyway.

Test Essentials for Advanced Drivers

The advanced driving course usually takes around 6-8 weeks to complete, so book early if you’re planning on driving abroad. Usually you will be assessed at your current level and receive a demonstration drive from a tutor. Then you’ll undergo several weeks of tuition which is the core of the advanced driving course. Most people study for around 1 hour a week, but you can do more if you’re in a rush. After the 6-8 weeks, you’ll need to take a check test, which is essentially a pre-test check to ensure you’re ready to progress to the final test. If this is acceptable, you’ll then take your final practical test. At this stage, it’ll be a 1.5 hour test with a Police Driver and you’ll be given a grade at the end to say whether you’ve passed.

Benefits of Advanced Driving Courses

It is thought that passing an advanced driving course means you have around a 2/3 less chance of being involved in an accident. This in itself is enough of a reason for most people to get involved in an advanced driving course, but there are a number of other important benefits from completing the course.

  • Your skill level will improve dramatically
  • You can keep your No Claims Bonus longer
  • While travelling abroad, you’ll be far more aware of the road conditions and how to best drive them
  • You’ll learn skills that mean you can drive more economically, great for long trips.

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Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I want to drive abroad, but don’t feel confident.
Ducky - 28-Nov-19 @ 7:38 PM
To whom it concerns... I have a problem with my left hand side off my body which means i can not use my leg and hand as it is not safe. If i would like to be able to drive i need a a left hand drive automatic which would mean left hand drive driving lessons and test. Is this something you can help me with. Thankyou
Joliejo - 10-Mar-19 @ 9:38 AM
Hloo sir i want to learn driving from abroad and get driving licence also it is possible bt i am indian.
gdeep - 7-Mar-16 @ 8:34 AM
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