Do you remember the first time that you got behind the wheel of a car?
I remember it like it was yesterday, but when thinking about it was 16 years ago! WOW that was a long time ago. Learning to drive was quite a scary thing really and it still is for some people. We have joked that it won’t be that long before my eldest will be learning drive, well it is 3 years but that will go by in a flash.
Having heard about Young Driver who offer lessons for 10 to 17 year olds we thought it would be a great experience for my 14-year-old to have a go at. Young Driver have over 60 different locations to choose from across the Uk and Northern Ireland. It was great that there was a location just 15 minutes from where we live. Young Driver will put you behind the wheel of a dual control car with one of their driving instructors who teach you how to start, drive, brake, corner, change gear, stop and even reverse all on your first lesson!
When I told L about the lesson she was rather excited, but on the morning of the lesson she was rather nervous and started asking me random car related questions. Not sure if you can see how nervous she is in this picture.
When we arrived, it was a rather wet and windy day we were greeted by very friendly staff who got us registered and talked to L about what she was going to be doing and gave her a booklet that she would need to hand to her instructor. In the driver diary it has 6 levels that you can achieve each time you have a lesson, it’s a great way to see the progress and for the instructors to see what you have already covered.
We stood watching others who were on their lessons and L was pretty impressed at how they were doing. I could tell she was nervous and even more so when her instructor came over to say hi and get her lesson under way… I to was feeling a little bit nervous for her as she walked to her car and got in the driver’s side!!!
Her instructor put her at ease and told her there was nothing to worry about, and that it would be a fun experience. It didn’t seem long before the engine was started, he must have been impressed with her knowledge of Clutch, Break and Accelerator. Those questions she was asking mush have paid off.
Now seeing your 14-year-old behind a wheel was a bit if a shock especially as she started to pull away.. She was off DRIVING A CAR!
Now having spoken to L after her lesson she said her instructor was fab, they put her at ease and talked about gears, indicators, wipers etc before they set off, she said it was really weird being in the driving seat and in control of the car.
Here are a couple of clips of her driving around the course
They had a course set out that involved all different elements of driving and at one point I saw L reversing and the getting out to look at the width of the car and moving cones to a similar width and driving through. There were times she seemed to be getting to some speed and each time she went around the course I could she the confidence she was gaining.
The more lessons they have the competent they will be, I saw some people parallel parking and 3 point turns. Working through the levels that are in your driver diary, Young Driver follow the Driving Standards Agency curriculum which means they are learning all the skills they would do at the age of 17 on the road. I like the fact that even though it’s a fun experience its it teaching them to drive safely and by doing this it gives them a head start for when they get on the real roads.
After her lesson was over she got some feedback on how she did and what she needs to work on to progress, I even got to ask her instructor how she did and he was really impressed with her.
L loved the whole experience and from seeing how nervous she was before she got in the car it was great to see her with a big smile after.
It’s clear to say that I think she has the driving bug now and wants to give it another go, I’m sure more lessons are going to be on future birthday and Christmas lists.
*I was gifted a lesson for an honest review of our experience*