FAQ’s

Q: Are there any ‘hidden costs’?

A: Car Associates are trained in their own vehicle, however, Motorcycle Associates are trained by an Observer who rides his own bike. Consequently, the Observer must pay for his own fuel and as such, IAM RoadSmart policy allows Groups to set a voluntary fee paid by Motorcycle Associates to their Observer, to cover their out of pocket running costs. Please be mindful that Observers are unpaid volunteers and do not receive a penny from IAM RoadSmart for the work they do in preparing Associates for Test. CWCAM sets the Motorcycle Observer out of pocket expenses fee at £10 per session and requests that Associates pay this money to their Observer, each time they go on a Guidance run.

Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TRAIN AS AN ADVANCED DRIVER OR RIDER?

A: It depends on your current knowledge and experience. We can take an ‘average’ driver or rider and bring them to Advanced Test standard in around 15 to 20 hours. This is usually spread out over 7 training sessions.

Q: IS THE TRAINING GIVEN OVER A SET COURSE?

A: Training dates and times are discussed with your Observer and you decide between you, when it best suits to do the training.

Q: IS THE TRAINING CARRIED OUT IN MY OWN CAR?

A: Yes. You drive your own car during the training sessions and the Advanced Test.

Q: DO MANY PEOPLE FAIL THE ADVANCED TEST?

A: You would be surprised how high the pass rate is! It varies from Group to Group and the current pass rate for Carlisle and West Cumbria Advanced Motorists is 100%.

Q: DO I NEED TO DO BIKE SAFE BEFORE I START ADVANCED MOTORCYCLE TRAINING?

A: No. Carlisle and West Cumbria Advanced Motorists assist Cumbria Police in running Bike Safe Courses in our area and whereas it is useful to have taken a Bike Safe Course, it is not a requirement before starting your Advanced training.

Q: CAN I TRAIN AND SIT MY TEST IN AN AUTOMATIC CAR?

A: Yes. Unlike the basic DVSA driving test, where you are restricted to driving automatics if you pass your test in an automatic; if you pass the Advanced Test in an automatic you will be an Advanced Driver irrespective of which type of car you drive.

Q: IS THERE A REDUCTION IN INSURANCE IF I AM AN ADVANCED DRIVER OR RIDER?

A: There usually is, but it depends on your Insurance Company! IAM RoadSmart offer insurance to Advanced Drivers and Riders through Surety Insurance; a Company that understands and appreciates the benefits of being an Advanced Driver or Rider. Surety are normally able to match or better quotes from other Insurance Companies that may not acknowledge the higher competence levels achieved by Advanced qualified drivers and riders.

Q: CAN I TRAIN IN MY CAR WHICH IS ADAPTED FOR MY DISABILITY?

A: Yes. It is the Driver that is being trained and Advanced Driver training is all about teaching the Driver to be more aware of actual and potential hazards and to then take the appropriate action to reduce the risk those hazards present. The type of vehicle being driven is almost irrelevant!

Q: I ONLY HAVE A SMALL CAPACITY MOTORCYCLE / SCOOTER. CAN I TRAIN AND TAKE MY TEST ON IT?

A: Highway Code Rule 253 prohibits motorcycles under 50cc from going on a Motorway. The powered two-wheeler used for the Advanced Test must be capable of achieving and maintaining the National Speed Limit, therefore any powered two-wheeler under 50cc is unsuitable as it could not legally be taken on a motorway. However, if the motorcycle or scooter has an engine capacity of 50cc or over and if it can maintain 70mph on a motorway or un-restricted dual carriageway, then it would be classed as a suitable vehicle on which to train and take an Advanced Motorcycle Test.

Q: ONCE I PASS THE ADVANCED TEST IS THERE FURTHER OPPORTUNITY TO PROGRESS WITH IAM ROADSMART.

A: Yes. IAM RoadSmart has a ‘life time learning’ policy! Having passed the Advanced Test, members often ask: ‘what’s next?’ The highest grade of pass is a ‘First’ and members can re-sit the Advanced Test at any time to achieve a First, if it was not awarded first time round. Within IAM RoadSmart members can also progress beyond the Advance Test and take the Masters Assessment, which is the highest standard advanced driving or riding test available to civilians in the UK. Members may decide to train as Observers, so that they can then help train other Associates obtain the standard of driving or riding required to pass the Advanced Test. It is also possible to become an IAM RoadSmart Examiner, if you are a National Observer with a Masters qualification and show that you have the qualities required, during an interview with Senior IAM RoadSmart Head Office Officials.

Q: CAN I START ADVANCED TRAINING STRAIGHT AFTER TAKING MY DVSA DRIVING / RIDING TEST?

A: Yes. Advanced training progresses by achieving specified Driver / Rider Competencies. If the trainee achieves the Competencies, they will be eligible to sit the Advanced Test, irrespective of what driving / riding experience they may have.

Q: I have not driven a car for over 10 years; would the Advanced Driver Course be a good way for me to get back into driving?

A: No. Training is carried out in your own vehicle on which you must be insured; and it is unlikely that you will have insurance to drive, if you have not driven for 10 years.  Insurance issues aside, if you have not been a regular driver for such a long period, the Advanced Course will not offer the help you need. You are therefore advised to contact an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and ask for a driving assessment. ADIs are professional Driving Instructors and they will be able assess your current driving competence and offer constructive help to bring you up to speed by improving your confidence and competence as a road user. Once those skills are regained, by all means come and see us and we can look at taking you competence to the next level, through Advanced Training.