Part of parenting is teaching our children life skills; I made sure that both my children could swim for example. So when the opportunity came up to teach my tween to drive, I thought that educating a young driver was a great idea!
Young Driver offers driving lessons for 11-17 year olds and they recently opened a pop-up centre near me in Leeds. We went along on the opening day to give my daughter her first driving lesson and to see what it was all about!
You may wonder what the point in teaching a youngster to drive is, before they are legally able to go out on the roads? Research from other countries suggests that encouraging youngsters to learn over a longer period of time halves the likelihood of them having an accident when they do go on to pass their test, plus if you give your children Young Driver lessons, it helps reduce your insurance premiums when they do pass their test and get insured on a car! Young Driver’s main sponsor is Admiral, so when your young drivers have legally passed their tests and are getting insured, you can get a discount with Admiral by having a track record of Young Driver classes.
Each young driver gets a ‘Drive Diary’ which is a record of their progress. On each lesson the instructor signs it and notes what progress has been achieved and also points for further improvement. During my daughter’s lesson she started with the basic controls, seat and mirror adjustment and being able to pull away and stop easily. She was taught the ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’ sequence that I remember from my driving lesson days, and within her first hour behind the wheel of a car, she successfully completed a turn in the road (formerly known as a ‘three point turn’). The video below shows some of her early lesson and the manoeuvre:
The emphasis of the lessons is very much on safety, they take place on specially designed courses at 41 venues across Britain. Youngsters have lessons in real, dual-control cars, with fully qualified instructors and learn the same skills as they would on the road at 17. You can find a venue near you at the Young Driver website. As they take over car parks for the course, your Young Driver school will ‘pop-up’ on weekends and holidays so you will need to check the dates when sessions are on and book online.
When you have your slot booked (choose from 30 minutes at £34.95 or 1 hour at £64.95) simply arrive 10/15 mins before to register and when they are ready, the instructor will take your child to the car and begin. The lesson is very practical so they get plenty of time driving behind the wheel whilst you watch on from the parent’s viewing area!
I was so proud of my little driver – she looks so young on these photos, I bet they’ll give her a smile when she is 17 and actually starts her driving lessons! She thought it was great fun but was very tired after the lesson and said that her legs ached! It was all that work on the clutch and accelerator – finding the ‘biting point’ and managing the car’s speed. She did very well and I was amazed at what she achieved in just one hour. Young Driver also do birthday parties for something a bit exciting and different.
Thank you to Young Driver for gifting my daughter her first lesson for the purpose of their review. All opinions are my own.