Borders Group of Advanced Motorists


Advanced Motoring

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How good a motorist are you?

Very expert perhaps, but are you sure? You may have passed the government test first time - and with ease - but this is a very basic examination. Passing it is merely the beginning of your career on the road and marks the starting point in the acquisition of mature roadcraft.  Many motorists realise this, and want to reassure themselves that their skills are developing on the right lines.

This is what our parent organisation, the IAM, is all about.  Founded in June 1956, it is a non-profit making organisation registered as a charity and founded to promote road safety. It provides a means by which motorists can measure the progress they have made since taking off their L-plates.

Why become an Advanced Motorist?

Statistics indicate your chance of having an accident is cut by two-thirds if you pass the Advanced Test. Because of this you may benefit from lower insurance and motoring costs, plus the many other advantages of membership. Advanced Motorists are experts who set an example to others, are courteous, and enjoy their motoring more. If every road user passed the IAM Test and practised its standards at all times, there would be a dramatic fall in the figure of the 183,670 road casualties reported to the police in Great Britain in 2013.

How to become an Advanced Motorist

By joining your local Group - the Borders Group - as an "Associate" Member, you will be entitled to free guidance to enable you to reach the Advanced Test standard, at the heart of which is our Advanced Motoring Course.  In the weeks following the course you will be expected to meet regularly with your Observer, who will help you reach the Advanced Test standard in a series of observed drives.  The ultimate goal is to sit and pass the Test!

Having passed the Test, and been elected a "Full" Member of the IAM, you might want to consider further training with a view to becoming an Observer yourself, helping to pass on the vital skills of safer motoring to others - and keeping your own motoring up to a very high standard!

If you would like a "flavour" of what advanced motoring is about before committing yourself to join, you can ask for a "demonstration" drive or "assessment" drive.

In a "demonstration" drive one of our experienced Observers will give you a run in his/her car, let you see what's involved, and give you an explanation of what Advanced Motoring is about.  In an "assessment" drive, one of our Observers will accompany you in your car, offer practical advice on on your performance, and explain how going for the Advanced Test could help you.

You can also purchase a Skill for Life Car Voucher for a friend or family member.

Our Advanced Motoring Course

Our courses take place on a Saturday or Sunday at a convenient central location in the Scottish Borders.  The course consists of a series of multi-media presentations covering topics such as "Observation",  the "Planned System of Driving", "Cornering", and "Overtaking", which link in with the handbook you receive as part of the course.  After the course you will be assigned to an experienced member of the Group who has been trained as an "Observer".  The Observer will accompany you on a series of runs in your vehicle at mutually agreed times, during which you will receive advice and constructive comments based on the theory taught in the introductory course.  You will have an opportunity to discuss any matters arising out of each drive, and receive a thorough debriefing.  The aim of these observed runs is to bring your driving up to the standard required by the Advanced Driving Test.

What is the Advanced Test?

The Test lasts roughly 90 minutes and usually covers about 35 miles.  It is of a level such as any motorist of reasonable experience and skill should pass without difficulty, and is based on the principles given in the handbook you receive as part of your Associate Membership.  The Test covers all types of traffic conditions including busy urban areas, main roads, narrow country roads, residential streets, and motorways/dual carriageways where circumstances allow.  The Examiner will accompany you in your car.  Route instructions will be given by the Examiner, and there may be checks on your powers of observation during the drive.  The Examiner likes to see candidates observe all speed limits and drive/ride with due regard to road, traffic, and weather conditions. But he/she also wants to see you making good progress, driving up to the legal speed limit when circumstances permit.

Whatever the outcome at the end of the Test, you will learn much from the comprehensive debrief given by the Examiner, who will hold the highest police qualification in driving.


What does it cost?

Our Skill for Life package normally costs £149 but currently is on offer at £134 if purchased by contacting Borders Group, and includes the following:                 

To find out more, please contact the Membership Secretary


You can purchase a Skill for Life package online.



Other options include ...

Momentum - Young Driver Assessment, an assessment in two parts: online, and on-road, with a qualified IAM examiner.  Details here.

DriveCheck, a relaxed one-to-one session with a qualified IAM examiner which has been developed to help remind you of some good driving procedures, identify a few bad habits and give you a reassured feeling of confidence on our increasingly busy roads.  Details here.

Mature Driver's Assessment - A 60-minute driving assessment to give you – or a loved one – a trusted second opinion and the means to decide if it’s still safe to drive.  Details here.

IAM F1RST Register, which recognises excellence during the IAM advanced driving test in candidates attaining a score of '1' in every category.  Details here.

Masters - Open to all accomplished advanced drivers and riders, the IAM Masters programme provides true one to one mentoring support and guidance that will help you attain the highest level of civilian driving standard in the country.  Details here.

Gift Vouchers and Goodies.  Details here.


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Page last updated on 22nd December 2015