Fancy try­ing some­thing grown-up? Fas­ci­nated by cars? You’re not too young to get…

The Week - Junior - - Do Something -

You can’t drive un­til you’re 17, right? Wrong! In fact, you can start learn­ing to drive right now, mak­ing it safer, eas­ier and lots more fun when you take your driv­ing test in a few years’ time.

How­ever, you can’t just hop in your par­ents’ car and give it a go. What you can do, though, is try nationwide schemes and ex­pe­ri­ences of­fered by or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Young Driver and the AA, which offer driv­ing les­sons for kids from five years old and up­wards.

If you’re aged be­tween 10 and 17, you’ll get to learn the magic of driv­ing in a proper car with a spe­cially trained in­struc­tor. The les­sons are very sim­i­lar to those you’d have when you’re 17, but these are on pri­vate prop­erty not pub­lic roads, so you don’t need to worry about pedes­tri­ans or other driv­ers – and you don’t need a driv­ing li­cence to do it. If you’re be­tween five and 10, Young Driver of­fers les­sons in an elec­tric car de­signed spe­cially for your age group.

Learn­ing to drive is not just a cool skill to talk about in the play­ground. Re­search has shown that learn­ing to drive while you’re younger can make you a much safer driver and re­duce the risk of ac­ci­dents once you get your li­cence. “For 10 to 17-year-olds, a whole road sys­tem is cre­ated on pri­vate land to help the driv­ers learn ev­ery­thing from chang­ing gears and park­ing to us­ing round­abouts and ma­noeu­vring a slalom,” says Young Driver’s Laura White. “In the first les­son, young­sters learn the ba­sics of gears and the clutch and steer­ing, but many peo­ple are sur­prised that by the end of that first try be­hind the wheel, they’re prob­a­bly also try­ing re­verse park­ing. If you’re aged be­tween five and 10, les­sons are sim­i­lar but on a smaller scale.”

You can drive around

a course.

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