Which is heavier a ton of coal or a ton of feathers?

Joining the IAM and The Costs Involved

Application Form

I've heard that it's expensive to take the Advanced Driving Test!

Don't believe what people tell you.
The full maximum costs are detailed below and they give the truth of the matter. You could have passed the Advanced Test and be an Advanced Motorist and a Member of the IAM for as little as 149.00.

Yes - no more than 149 (CARS) 149 (MOTORCYCLES)

Compare that to the cost of your Insurance No Claims Bonus or even your Insurance Voluntary Excess (the amount you pay for any claim you make - usually about 100, irrespective of the size of the Claim) and you can see what a bargain passing the Advanced Test is. In fact, it's so cheap . .

. . . . can you afford NOT to do it?

Can I do a try before I buy?
Yes, of course you can. For Motorbikes click here, all other sections contact Mervyn Thomas 01291 672880, your nearest IAM Local Group and ask for a Demonstration Drive.* A Qualified Observer will go out with you in your car for a FREE Assessment Drive.** This will give you a flavour of what it is about. You can also talk to them without any obligation because they will not be "hard sell" salesmen.

* A Demonstration Drive - An existing IAM Member will take you out in their car (for about 10 to 15 minutes) and let you see what's involved and give you an explanation of what Advanced Driving is about.

** An Assessment Drive - The same IAM Member will go out with you in your car with yourself driving (once again for about 10 to 15 minutes) and sensible and practical advice will be given on what bad habits have built up or where improvements could be made.

Ok, you're convinced.

The best way to take the IAM test (and with the greatest degree of success) is to go to us your local IAM Group. This is an ideal way to prepare for the Test because we have charitable aims, we know precisely what the examiner is expecting and can prepare you for it. The people who help you are all unpaid volunteers who want to improve road safety and, once you have joined through the Skill For Life package, there is no further charge for the defined period. Last of all, details of what is expected from the Examiner during the Advanced Test is given elsewhere on this Web site.

As highlighted above;

The Skill For Life package costs no more than 149.00 for cars and 149 for motorcycles.
This fee covers:

Note: If you are a Motorcyclist, some IAM Local Groups expect a nominal contribution to the Observer's petrol cost.
This covers the cost to the person who is helping you raise your riding to the IAM's standard because he/she will be following you on their own motorbike.

Last of all, the IAM have recently extended their widely acclaimed discount scheme for the younger driver (or rider) If you are aged 25 or under when you apply for your Skill For Life package, you can qualify for a 10 discount voucher.
Ask IAM Head Office or at your Local IAM Group for further details before submitting any application forms or paying any money.


Useful Links on this Web Site about the Advanced Test


What the Examiner expects on Test?

Download a Skill for Life Application Form




Costs to Join the IAM



The MAXIMUM all-inclusive cost to take the Test through a local IAM Group under the Skill for Life Scheme.

149 (including VAT) For Cars

149 (including VAT) For Motorcycles


A Skill for Life Enrolment Form for you to download, print, and send to the IAM (a FREEPOST Address).

Car Enrolment Form or a Bike Enrolment Form

Cost to continue as an IAM Member in subsequent Years



To maintain your IAM Membership the annual Membership fee is:

35.50 (including VAT) per annum


OR, if paying by
then there is a discount and the fee becomes only:

32.00 (including VAT) per annum


To maintain your Group membership.

Single Member

1 year - 8.00
2 years - 15.00



Two Members

from the same family at the same address

1 year - 14.00
2 years - 25.00


Two years payment saves on costs and we recommend and encourage members to take this option.

Note: The IAM Membership Fee quoted above does not, as an IAM member, include any membership of a local IAM Group. They are separate organisations (though they are affiliated to the IAM as the National organisation) and so have their own Membership Fees.

Membership fees may change without notice.




The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) was founded in 1956 with the aim to make roads safer and improve driving standards by offering an Advanced Driving Test. Well over 250,000 drivers have now passed the Advanced Test, and research has shown that advanced motorists are some 75% less likely to be involved in road accidents than the average motorist. In addition, Advanced Motorists can benefit from lower insurance premiums - and take advantage of discounts offered by many motoring related organisations.
As a non-profit making charity the IAM represents a wide body of responsible motorists. Besides administering the Advanced Driving Test the IAM produces a magazine for members "Advanced Driving" three times a year and supports over 200 local groups whose aims and objectives are to further the cause of safer driving.

The local groups of which Gwent Advanced Motorists is one, operate on a voluntary non-profit making basis and provide assessment drives for people who join as Associate Members of the Institute to prepare for the Advanced Driving test. The groups also arrange regular meetings and events where Associates are made welcome.


Based upon the system of car control used by the Police and as described in the Institute's manual "Pass your Advanced Driving Test", the test lasts about 90 minutes. You will be driving your own vehicle accompanied by an Examiner who holds the Police Class One driving licence, the highest grade possible in the Police Force.


Gwent Advanced Motorists are affiliated to the Institute with around 300 full and associate members in the Gwent area. The group caters for both four-wheeled drivers and motorcyclists.
The group aims to make its name synonymous with road safety and better driving by people of all ages and both sexes.

Gwent Advanced Motorists provide a full calendar of monthly social events including talks and presentations from guest speakers covering a whole host of motoring and non-motoring subjects. These are held on an "ad hoc" basis (see future events). All members, their families and others wishing to explore the Institute further are welcome to attend. In addition, Gwent Advanced Motorists also aim to participate in and organise events that are of interest and involve the whole family.


As an Associate member, you will receive informal, yet structured advice and guidance provided by the group's fully trained voluntary Observers. They will accompany you in your vehicle during a series of one-hour, free, assessment drives. These usually take place in the morning at a weekend, although special arrangements can sometimes be made if you find it impossible to make the normal time.
During the course of the assessment runs the Observers will be assisting you to develop your driving skills to make good safe progress. As part of this you will also understand the systematic approach to driving hazards; sympathetic car handling; better observation and good planning technique. In the period between runs you will need to put into practice the advice you have been given - we can advise, but the improvement has to come from you! Generally it only takes six months of assessment runs and practice to reach the standard needed to pass the test.


If you are unsure about joining immediately as an Associate Member, then why not try a "taster" session first? The group offers a FREE "no obligation" assessment of your driving skills that usually convinces drivers to join as Associate Members and begin preparation for the Advanced Driving Test.

The Test

What The Examiner Expects

The Test takes about 90 minutes, over all types of roads and using your own car. The four essential qualities are Concentration, Observation, Anticipation and Planning. The Examiner is the holder of a Police Advanced Driving Certificate. A full understanding of what is expected can be found in the IAM publication "Pass Your Advanced Driving Test" or "Pass Your Advanced Motorcycling Test" as appropriate. A number of important points are mentioned here:


Do you concentrate properly and avoid distractions?

Can you read the road and anticipate potential hazards in good time?

Are hazards dealt with in a planned and systematic way?

Do you use your mirrors before changing your speed or position and do you always give a signal to other road users if they will benefit or appreciate one?

Can you drive with reasonable restraint, but not indecision?

Is your judgement of speed and distance accurate?

Do you drive with courtesy and consideration for other road users, including pedestrians?

Are you always in the right place on the road, travelling at the right speed with the right gear engaged and able to stop safely in the distance you can see to be clear?


Are steering actions safe, smooth and accurate, and do you pass the wheel through your hands?

Are gears smoothly and correctly selected?

Do you make full use of automatic transmission, if your car is fitted with it?

Is your braking smooth and progressive?

Do you use "acceleration sense"?


Do you keep up a reasonable pace and maintain good progress if conditions permit?

Do you anticipate and react correctly to the situations developing ahead?

Is the correct road position chosen and signals given in good time for the next manoeuvre?

Are all signals, signs and road markings observed, obeyed and approached correctly?

Are overtaking manoeuvres carried out smoothly, decisively and safely?

Do you drive with proper restraint and proper sensitivity of control when the roads are slippery or visibility is reduced?

Are manoeuvres such as parking, reversing, carried out smoothly and competently with effective all-round observations?

Advanced Drivers are expected to control the risks, despite the incorrect actions of others. Every journey can have its unexpected moments.

However, even successful candidates have made minor mistakes which did not prevent them from passing the Advanced Driving Test.