By: Sam Bisby
Drivers go through many stages in order to achieve the coveted pink driving licence plastic card. These are the driving qualifications motorists can achieve from learner driving to advanced qualifications.
Legally required driving qualifications
Provisional driver’s licence
In the UK, you can get your provisional car driving licence at the age of 17. The provisional driver’s licence allows a learner driver to be supervised in the front passenger seat by a registered instructor or someone who aged over 21 years old and has held a full driving licence for at least three years. A driver who only holds a provisional driver’s licence must display L plates on the front and back of the car to notify other drivers that they are learning; it is also advised that learner drivers are forbidden from driving on motorways.
Currently available in Doncaster and Peterborough, Stoneacre offers free driving lessons to customers who buy a car or to those who recommend a relative or friend that goes on to buy a car.
You need to apply for a provisional driving licence through the government website or via the post office, which comes with a £50 fee. In order to achieve a full driving licence, a learner needs to pass a theory (costs £25) and practical driving test (£62).
Full driving licence
It is a legal requirement in the UK to have a full car driving licence in order to drive solo. At this stage, a driver receives a pink driving licence card and motorists are let loose on the roads.
Advanced driving qualifications
The Pass Plus is a practical course designed to aid drivers to improve their skills after passing the official driving tests. The driver has a minimum of six hours to complete the Pass Plus scheme, which encompasses driving around towns, night-time driving, driving on dual carriageways, driving on motorways as well as different weather conditions. Some insurance companies offer lower premiums to Pass Plus level drivers.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists offers the Skills for Life course that is heavily influenced by the Police’s Roadcraft driving manual. The course can be taken as a fast track or long course. Costing £149, the advanced course improves driving, awareness and provides drivers with the knowledge to avoid car accidents. If you achieve high grades in the assessment, you could be accepted to the join the F1RST register.
The RoSPA Advanced Drivers and Riders (RoADAR) course is designed to encourage road safety and improve driving standards. Generally drivers join a local group which provides an observer to improve your driving through free training in preparation for the advanced test, which costs from £41. The test includes Drivers who pass the test achieve a gold, silver or bronze. Drivers that pass are required to re-test every three years.
The High Performance Club course takes place over two and a half days and involves one-to-one coaching mainly on public roads, with some training being conducted at off-road facilities to improve high speed manoeuvres and car control skills. Many HPC prospective members have already undertaken the IAM or RoADAR courses.
DIAmond offers the DIAmond advanced test. DIAmond recommends drivers take lessons with a DIAmond advanced instructor before committing to taking the exams. The DIAmond advanced test lasts for 60 minutes and assesses the driver’s ability to drive eco-safely as well as manoeuvres.
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