Schemes run across the country are helping young people under the age of 17 get behind the wheel.
Kids and teens as young as ten can take part in young driver courses across the country, happening at 47 venues across the UK such as the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and the NEC Birmingham. As long as the ‘young driver’ is over 4ft 6in tall then they can take part. Initially participants will start off learning the basics, which involves starting and stopping the car, pulling away, changing gears and steering. Further lessons will involve learning more advanced driving skills, such as driving in two-way traffic and bay parking amongst other things.
What The People Behind It Say
Kim Stanton from Young Driver, said: “People would be amazed at the level of skill these young drivers show. The aim of Young Driver has always been to create a safer next generation of youngsters on the roads. At the moment one in five have an accident within six months of passing their test and 400 people are killed each year in the UK in accidents involving young drivers. The current, traditional way of educating youngsters is clearly not working. We strongly believe that by educating young people from a younger age, and over a longer period of time, you create much safer drivers – and the research figures back us up, proving it halves their risk of having an accident.”
Young Driver Challenge
It’s not just learning, Young Driver run an annual competition to find the UK’s best young motorist. ‘Young drivers’ can participate at any of the Young Driver venues across the country. 40 top scoring drivers will be chosen for the Young Driver Challenge Final in September, which takes place at the British Motor Museum near Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon. The team of judges will select a winner for two categories, 10-13 year olds and 14-16 year olds. The champions will receive an array of prizes including 40 free Young Driver lessons and 40 free on road driving lessons. Even the initial 40 won’t go home empty handed, as they will receive medals for reaching the final, and both the winners and runners-up will receive individual trophies for their efforts. Kim Stanton said: “The Young Driver Challenge gives us the opportunity to celebrate the hard work these youngsters put in and to show the world how responsible and safe youngsters can be behind the wheel given the proper tuition and experience.”
What Cars Do The Young Driver Courses Use?
Most ‘Young Drivers’ will use Skoda Citigo cars, which have dual controls installed so the instructors can have full control of the vehicle if needed. Once an hour has been completed young drivers will get the chance to experience driving a Bentley Arnage. The luxury vehicle boasts a 6.75 litre engine, and is limited to only a handful of sites in the Midlands area, including Malvern and the NEC. Those that choose to learn in the Bentley can embrace the full chauffer experience and invite their parents along for the ride. Commenting on the new service, Kim Stanton said: “The Bentley Arnage is a luxurious and powerful car, but this is not about encouraging youngsters to try and get from 0-60mph in 6 seconds – it’s about giving them the experience of what driving a larger car can be like. A lesson in one of our Bentleys is something we imagine will be a special treat, and that someone who has had a couple of Young Driver lessons before might like to get a new perspective on how different cars handle. And it’s probably an experience that very few adults can even say they’ve had."
How Much Does The Young Driver Course Cost?
Normal lessons start from £34.95 for a 30 minute sessions. Those that want to get behind the wheel of a Bentley Arnage will have to pay £15 extra with a 30 minute session in the luxury car priced at £49.95. The Young Driver Challenge is free to enter, but youngsters who wish to take part must express their wish to do so when they register.
Where Can You Do It?
There are centres all over the UK from Wales to Scotland. The Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, Aintree Racecouse in Liverpool, Newbury Showground, Kempton Park in Surrey, Devon Driving Academy in Exeter, Newport Stadium in Wales, and the Falkirk Centre are just some of the 47 venues hosting young driver lessons.
The young driver courses will no doubt help to create a generation of safer drivers, and Think Insurance love to reward young drivers that drive safely. Our telematics insurance uses a black box to record data on how young drivers drive, which can then be viewed by the drivers themselves so they can learn and improve their skills. If you’re over 17 and have just passed or are learning to drive get in touch for a young driver black box insurance quote by clicking Get A Quote below or calling on 0800 221 8077.