The idea of an Advanced Driving Test was first floated at a National Road Safety Congress held in November 1954. It was inspired by a report showing how effective advanced driver training had been in cutting accident rates for the Metropolitan Police (since the Hendon driving school had been founded in 1934, Police road accidents had fallen from, on average, one every 9,000 miles to one every 72,500 miles!).

A group of people from that Road Safety Congress subsequently decided to form what we now know as the IAM. To ensure its independence, all the running costs are recovered through the Advanced Test Fee and through the annual Membership Fee. The IAM is, therefore, responsible only to its own members and can represent driving and road safety with a truly independent voice.
The standard L-test is only an elementary examination of your driving. It has remained largely unchanged since 1934 (reverse parking was added recently, and the theory test is a very new idea) and you can pass it without demonstrating more than the most basic grasp of driving skills, and without ever driving on a motorway or at night. The real learning starts when you throw away your L-plates and begin the process of acquiring mature driving skills. Many people realise this, and there comes a time when they want to reassure themselves that their driving is developing along the right lines. This is why the IAM exists. By taking the IAM’s Advanced Driving Test, you can measure the progress you have made since passing the basic L-test.

Because of it’s 40 year history, it has become a recognised authority on advanced driving and is involved with many consultations on road safety related matters because of this. A long line of Transport Ministers have taken the Advanced Test while in office, speaking volumes for the regard in which the IAM is held.