The Fixer: Is Pass Plus worth it?
Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?
It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a large, faceless organisation alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.
I recently passed my driving test and am keen to get on the roads. However, I cannot afford to insure myself on the Vauxhall Corsa that I bought while I was learning to drive.
The car itself is only worth about £500, but the cheapest insurance policy I have found so far costs more than £2,000 a year.
A friend of mine has decided to take a Pass Plus course with his driving instructor because he thinks that this will reduce the amount he has to pay for his car insurance. Is he right? And how much is the course likely to knock off my insurance costs?
I need to decide whether it is worth paying the extra £100 or so to take the course, or whether I should just cut my losses and sell my car. Can you help?
H Carter, Durham
Dear Mr Carter,
Statistics show that new drivers are more likely to have an accident in the first two years after passing their test.
That's why insurers charge drivers in this category more for their car cover as a result. There are steps you can take to reduce your insurance premiums, though. And one of them is taking the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) Pass Plus course.
The aim of the course, which takes at least six hours and involves six modules such as motorway and rural driving, is to enhance the driving skills of newly qualified motorists.
To pass, you will need to reach a satisfactory standard in all the course modules – according to your registered Pass Plus instructor.
The cost of the Pass Plus course will depend on where you live and the instructor or driving school you choose.
However, most people pay between £100 and £150. You may also find that your local authority offers help with Pass Plus course fees, cutting the cost by up to 50%.
Either way, it is worth doing as it could help to slash your premiums by a massive 35% - or £700 based on an annual cost of £2,000.
Not all companies offer discounts to Pass Plus certificate holders, however, so you will need to shop around for the best "Pass Plus" deal.
Whatever your financial problem, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.
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