Hot driving for youngsters

Young Driver has launched a ‘hot’ new driving experience which allows anyone aged from 10 to 100 to drive a fire engine. 

Young Driver is the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school and has delivered over 900,000 lessons to 10-17 year olds. Usually delivered in the latest state-of-the-art Vauxhall Corsas, now the scheme has added something a little larger to the fleet – an ex-service fire engine, complete with sirens, flashing lights, pumps and hoses. 

The fire engine is a Dennis Sabre model designed to carry 1,800 litres of water and six fire fighters in full kit. Originally deployed with the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, it was decommissioned last year and has been adapted by Young Driver for learner drivers.

Anyone over the age of 10, whether inspired by Fireman Sam or Chicago Fire, can now get behind the wheel and drive, manoeuvre, reverse and park the fire engine, accompanied by a fully qualified instructor. 

The experience will initially be available at the NEC, Birmingham and British Motor Museum in Warwickshire on selected weekends this year and throughout 2021, with further nationwide venues to be announced shortly. The first event, held on October 4th, sold out in two hours.

Sue Waterfield, head of marketing for Young Driver, said: “Who hasn’t seen a fire engine drive past and thought it would be good to have a go at driving one?

Obviously we normally provide lessons for those under the legal driving age, but on our test day so many mums and dads wanted to drive the fire engine that we thought it made sense to open it up to kids of all ages, from 10 to 100!”

Motoring expert and Young Driver Patron, Quentin Willson, added: “Whatever your age it is great fun to drive on ‘blues and twos’. But for those just starting out on their driving journey, driving a large vehicle teaches the craft of driving, builds confidence, improves spatial awareness and shows youngsters what drivers of large vehicles can – and can’t – see from the cab. Being able to successfully reverse a fire engine is a special skill that will benefit any driver – young or old.”

A 20-minute driving experience in Young Driver’s fire engine costs £49. To find out more or to book visit http://www.youngdriver.com 

Young Driver also recently launched driving experiences in three classic cars – a 1963 Vauxhall VX490 HB, a 1959 Morris Minor and a 1934 Austin 7 Ulster Replica.

Young Driver was established in 2009 with the aim of revolutionising the learning to drive journey, helping to reduce the high accident rate for newly qualified drivers by extending the learning period. Research shows that early driver tuition can halve the likelihood of an accident in those dangerous first six months after passing their test.

Young Driver was established in 2009 with the aim of helping to teach youngsters to drive over a longer period, therefore encouraging a safer generation of new drivers at 17. The scheme is sponsored by Vauxhall and is the only driving school in the UK to offer carbon negative driving lessons.

Anyone aged 10 and over and above 1.42 metres tall can get behind the wheel of a brand new dual controlled Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium car with a fully qualified ADI driving instructor. Lessons take place on private property which has been developed into a realistic road system complete with road signs, junctions and car parks. A free 36 page Drive Diary helps each pupil to monitor progress. More than 900,000 lessons have now been delivered and there are more than 70 venues to choose from across the UK.

All Drive Diaries and leaflets are printed on carbon capture paper and Young Driver’s office only uses Woodland Trust FSC paper.

Young Driver Motor Cars Ltd, a subsidiary of Young Driver, launched Firefly, the world’s first electric cars developed specially for 5-10 year olds, in September 2016. These cars are available to drive throughout the year at selected venues.

Driving experiences for 10-17s (and adults) are also available in three classic cars – a Vauxhall VX490, Morris Minor or Austin 7, along with a genuine ex-service fire engine.

For more information log on to www.youngdriver.com or call 0333 577 9010

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