Review: Young Driver
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“It was fantastic to see how helpful the instructors were in ensuring that she was gaining the skills and was comfortable at all times...” - 4 Stars
X Factor's Nicholas McDonald taking part in his own Young Driver lesson.
Being sixteen years old, the idea of having a driving lesson one year before I was expecting to be was somewhat daunting, albeit also exciting.
The formality before your lesson is very simple and the staff are extremely friendly. One brilliant idea is that you are given a “Drive Diary” to track progress during your lessons. Each date as a list of skills you should know by the end of it and how competent you should be at them – this makes it very straight forwards for you to know where you need improving as well.
Ideas such as the “Drive Diary” also prove that Young Driver is fully set-up for people to move from their lessons to an on-road driving instructor once they are 17 – something tells me that any driving instructor would be delighted to learn that their pupil already has many of the skills needed to drive!
All of the driving is done in an adequately prepared, controlled environment with roughly four lessons taking place at the same time. The fact that other learners are driving at the same time as you does allow the experience to somewhat resemble driving on the road, but a fault with Young Driver is that, alone, you are not going to pass your Practical Driving Test with just these lessons, as nothing replicates driving on the real road as driving on the real road!
The lessons are split into 6 different levels, each increasing in skill set and difficulty. In my 30 minute lesson I nearly completed Level 1 (which included starting the car competently, moving and stopping and steering) – so I can only imagine how much you would get through in a 1 hour lesson.
The driving instructors are polite and have the patience of a saint. As well as taking my lesson, I also got the opportunity to observe a lesson being taken by someone much young than I – and it was fantastic to see how helpful the instructors were in ensuring that she was gaining the skills and was comfortable at all times.
As far as preparing minors for on-road driving lessons go, the Young Driver experience is absolutely flawless. However, don’t expect to leave your first lesson in a Merc! This won’t be enough to pass.
For more details and to test the road at Young Driver, click here.
By James Gilmore