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Advanced Driving Tests

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derekpara | 19:19 Sun 08th Jan 2006 | Motoring
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Any of you out there taken the IAM or RoSPA driving tests and would like to share their experiences and offer me a few tips ?


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Hi derek. Firstly well done for even considering it. Even if you just do take a course but don't ever take or pass the test, you'll be a better and safer driver because of it (and be able to drive properly!).

These are two very different organisations to start with but the test is very similar (except for the results). Both last about 90 mins and cover all sorts of driving conditions (urban, suburban, motorway, country roads etc). With the IAM you take the test and you can only pass or fail, no grading. With the RoSPA, you have to resit the test every 3 years, so it's similar to continual assessment (and it means you keep up your high standard of driving). Also the RoSPA one is graded - fail, bronze (pass), silver (very good pass) and gold (superb pass). With both, if you're unfortunate to fail, you get loads of constructive and positive criticism, to help you along next time.

Both tests cost about the same amount and both use similar methods to the advanced driving systems used by the police and other emergency services.

Tips - contact either your local IAM or RoSPA group, join up (it's not dear) and ask for some tuition before you take the test. Tuition in prep for the test is freely given by IAM or RoSPA Observers so please don't waste their time (which I'm sure you won't).

Benefits:- you'll become a much better, safer driver and should get lower motor car insurance. The best bit for me was finding that I was arriving at my destination and could remember the drive (having enjoyed it much more) without thinking, how did I get there ?
Yeah, I did the IAM - but there is much, much more to it than just taking a test. The advanced learning process takes you into a different way of thinking about driving from when you learned to pass the DOT 'driving test'. You learn 'the system' which is the same as the emergency services drivers use. Don't just pay out a fortune for lessons from one individual instructor - that means missing out on some of the best bits. Find and join your local group and they will teach you. You'll also get various 'demo drives' and the opportunity to join in various social driving activities like manoeverability trails (against the police), treasure hunts and maybe the chance to be a passenger in a high speed police exercise. The advantages are many and you'll enjoy driving more because you'll be doing it better. The disadvantage is that if the police stop someone they know to be an advanced driver, then they treat them as one of their own - and they have no tolerance when one of their own 'lets the side down'. Probably one of the best bits is after you pass the advanced test you can become a full IAM member, stay with your local group and start teaching others.
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Two fantastic answers. Thank you, October and kepla.

When I was a PE teacher I took a borough sponsored RoSPA course in order to drive the school minibus and was told by the instructor/examiner that I was up to Silver standard and should consider taking their test. Never did, but have always been very keen to improve my driving skills. Now I'm retired I'll go for it. Thanks again.

try and buy a copy of roadcraft i took my advanced in 1975, roadcraft gives you lots of info, i also joined a group of like minded people some of which had passed thier advanced test and gave thier time freely to promote safe driving on your part if you pass your test they like you to give them some of your time to help other drivers towards thier advanced test


Question Author
Thanks for the interesting reply, jcys. I am now an Associate Member and looking forward to my first observed drive. Just goes to show, you never stop learning - even at 73 !

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