My little un is fast approaching 17. 17!!!! How the flipping eck did that happen so damn quick! It’s quite shocking that not only have I got a 17-year-old grown up child but also that I’ve managed to keep something alive for that long. Like, she’s fared much better than any plants I’ve ever owned.
But hitting 17 also means that the dreaded prospect of learning to drive rears its head. My child. In a car. Driving it. On the roads. It’s possibly more frightening than the first day at school or the first time they left the house, alone, without you, even just to pop to the local shop. It’s really, really scary. And there’s no damn way she’s driving my car!
So the lovely people at Young Driver felt my pain and reached out to me asking if I’d like to bring the teen along to have a go in one of their Vauxhall Corsa’s in a really big car park with a qualified instructor in the car with her so she couldn’t do any damage. Well, of course, I said yes!
So on a chilly Sunday afternoon in December we made our way to the massive car park at the back of the DW Stadium in Wigan for her first lesson. Young Driver specialise in putting kids in cars and teaching them the basics. They cater for ages 5 right through to 17 and there’s even a lesson where you can have a go in a Bentley. I wonder if I’d pass for 17 for that one?
For the younger kids, 5-10 year olds, they have what’s called a Firefly, which is a two-seater car, small, like kid size but has all the basic features of a car so kids can learn about steering and breaking but at a top speed of 10mph.
For the bigger kids, 10-17 year olds, it’s a full size Corsa.
The kids are taught just the same as an adult would be out on the roads, but obviously in a much safer environment. As this was her first lesson I wasn’t expecting much. I certainly wasn’t expecting her to be mirror, signal, manoeuvre within a few minutes of jumping in the car! I then held my breath for a really long time whilst I watched the car slowly set off, a bit of oversteering being corrected and then navigating through the cones. I knew that she’d been really nervous about the whole thing but afterwards she told me that the instructor was really patient and helpful and explained things to her in a way that she understood (having never paid that much attention to me driving her around).
The first lesson covers the very basics; stopping, starting, changing gears and steering. After that they move on to learn about turning, reverse parking, bay parking and roundabouts. Personally, I know a few adults that could probably do with this!
Lessons are either 30 or 60 minutes and prices start from £34.95 for 30 minutes. I was sort of hoping that 30 minutes behind the wheel might have scared the teen off driving for a few years, but sadly no, she’s now asking for more lessons. I’m still insisting it will not be in my car though!
The instructor was great that we had and helped her a lot. They do also cover lessons for kids with a range of disabilities which can be a real help to build confidence.
Young Driver has venues across the UK (really big car parks) so chances are there will be one near you. Take a look at their website or click below to book your first lesson.
** I wasn’t paid for this review but my daughter did receive a free 30 minute lesson. However the opinion in this post is my own
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