Itching to get behind the wheel? Not yet 17? You can still start learning to drive with an under-17 driving lesson.
Although you can’t legally drive on public roads until you’re 17, on private land you can drive at any age. In recent years there’s been an explosion in under-17 driving opportunities. By starting young you’ll have a better feel for how a car works when you reach 17. This will help you with your first few on-road lessons as you’ll already have a feel for the basics.
The biggest under-17 driving scheme is Young Driver (youngdriver.eu), available at around 60 sites spread across the UK. Marketing manager, Laura White, says: “We’re teaching those who are not legally able to be on the road yet, but they get a massive boost when they control a car safely and can tackle a manoeuvre that even parents might struggle with.”
Young Driver may be the biggest scheme for under 17 drivers, but they’re not the only ones. Search online and you should find a school near you.
What can I expect from an under-17 driving lesson?
In your first lesson, you’ll learn how to start and stop the car, as well as changing gear and steering. You’ll be amazed how fast 10 or 20mph feels when you’re the one driving rather than mum or dad! The first lesson usually lasts 30 minutes or an hour.
If you really get a taste for driving and want to progress further, later lessons will move on to trickier skills. You’ll learn about junctions, driving in two-way traffic, and maybe even how to understand traffic lights. If you progress well, bay parking and reverse parking could be on the agenda.
It’s great fun learning to drive that little bit early. And because you’re not on the public road there’s less pressure than you might feel when you take your first lesson on the road.