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The evidence that shows why new drivers shouldn't bother with 'Pass Plus'

Sam Barker
Research shows motorists might be better off without the qualification - PA
Research shows motorists might be better off without the qualification - PA

Every year thousands of eager young drivers take the "Pass Plus" qualification in the hope it will lower their insurance premiums which, for teenagers, often exceed the value of their cars.

Unfortunately for these prudent teens, new research shows most insurers ignore Pass Plus entirely. 

The top-up course can be taken after passing the driving test, and gives experience on areas the normal test does not, such as motorway use.

The test costs up to £200, and many new motorists take it in a bid to save money on their insurance by proving they are better, safer drivers. Car insurance premiums for those aged 18 to 25 average £1,474 a year, and can be even higher

But the typical driver with Pass Plus pays the same premiums as those without, according to Moneysupermarket, the price comparison website.

Moneysupermarket analysed 50,000 quotes for car insurance and found that the average insurer did not charge different prices if a customer had completed the Pass Plus course.

Mystery shopping by Telegraph Money backed up the findings, and actually found that a new driver without Pass Plus got a slightly cheaper basket of quotes than one without it.

The cheapest four quotes were identical for a driver with the Pass Plus or without it. But the fifth-best quote was £1,328 for a driver without the Pass Plus and £1,347 for a motorist with the qualification.

A Moneysupermarket spokesman said: “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.”

The Government's website on Pass Plus even promotes the idea that the exam means cheaper cover, claiming: “It may help you get a car insurance discount if you successfully complete the course.”

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency, which runs Pass Plus, said it could not comment because of "purdah" rules which govern governmental departments' communications during general election campaigns.