As a parent of teenagers one thing I worry over is when they start driving/having lessons. I know it’s great for their independence but the roads are not always the safest, even with an instructor.
Recently I was introduced to Young Driver’s which is basically driving lessons for children aged 10-17 year old’s. The YOUNG DRIVER™ training programme mirrors what you would learn when driving on the road. The only difference is you will learn to drive in a safe environment on a specially constructed road course.
Whether you have a 30 or 60 minute junior driving lesson, you’ll spend the whole time in the car. Your first lesson will deal with starting and stopping the car, moving away, changing gears and steering. In further lessons you’ll progress to other activities such as:
• Driving in two-way traffic
• Dealing with junctions
• Turning / slalom
• Dealing with roundabouts (at selected venues)
• Dealing with traffic lights (at selected venues)
• Bay parking and reverse parking
When we arrived the first thing we did was to check in. The kids were given a booklet. The booklet is a record of their achievements. Every time they go out in the car, the instructor marks their progress until it is completed.
The booklet covers 6 steps. Both teens completed step 1 and a little of step 2 (teen son even did a little in step 3). The kids can take their booklet home to see how they did and they can take it back each time until it’s completed.
They were both super excited to get started. They both went into separate cars and sat for about 5 minutes with their instructor, getting to know the car a little.
I didn’t get a huge range of photo’s because they both got into a car in different places (and no one can be in two places at once) and I didn’t want to put them off in any way. they were both excited but also nervous and I didn’t want to make it worse.
After 5 minutes they both set off. I was lucky that teen daughter started and then just behind her was teen son so I got see both of them together. All of the cars are the same so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to see them but all cars have a number on so you just have to take a note of their numbered car and you can watch them.
One thing that surprised us was the amount of cars that went out together, I didn’t count but I would estimate around 20 cars. I think this is a great idea because it gives them a taste of being on a real road with lots of cars.
Because the track is so massive there is no way you can watch them the whole time, which I also think is a good idea. They do go past the area the parents stand about three times so we do get to watch them in action and see how much more confident they are the more you see them.
I asked both teens to tell me what they thought and this is what they said….
This was such a good experience. I have been so nervous about starting my real driving lessons next year but now I’ve done this, I feel a lot more confident.
I found this experience both fun and useful. I can’t wait to go again!
My daughter is 17 in January and were going to book her a birthday party here so they can both experience it again but with a few friends too.
YoungDriver have courses all over the county so you’re sure to have one near you. Lessons start from £34.95 and you can choose to purchase an in car filming of your child on a USB stick for £14.99. I definitely recommend this course.
*We were given a 30 minute lesson each free of charge in exchange for a review but all words and opinions are honest and my own.