Last Sunday morning I took Alice for her first driving lesson, words that I never thought I would be saying when she is five years old.
I remember my first driving lesson at age 17 and I felt excited and really nervous at the same time. Being shown how to use the pedals, where the indicator is and of course most importantly how to stop.
What sticks in my mind the most about my first driving lesson is when we returned to my parents house, I parked the car on their drive. Now their drive is pretty narrow and back then had gate posts. Even now when I’m considerably a lot older than 17 and I’ve been driving for a lot longer the thought of doing this brings me out in a cold sweat.
It just shows that when we are younger we are like sponges and we listen to what adults tell us and we learn so much better. We don’t have those doubts that we can’t do, those moments of loss of confidence are not part of our lives yet. Which is why it makes sense for children to start learning the skill to driving as young as possible.
When I went to BlogOn Conference in May and spoke to a lady at Admiral Young Driver, I was with my lovely friend Laura and she was chatting about her son having a lesson with them. He is 13 years old and I just assumed it was for older children. I was excited to learn that they started the driving lessons from 5 years old and with Alice’s 5th birthday coming up she could have her first lesson after August.
Admiral Young Driver are nationwide and run lessons at 50+ venues in the UK. We were lucky to have a venue not to far from us and we booked Alice in.
Young Driver teaches 10 to 17 years in a full size car, because Young Driver believes that when it comes to driving and being safe, it’s down to experience and not age. Did you know that one in five new drivers have an accident in the first six months of them passing their test? This is due to their lack of experience. Young Driver teaches them to drive a car in a safe environment., making them safer on the roads when they pass their test.
Anyway back to last Sunday. Alice was really excited to think she was going to drive a car. Her friend LP had been on a lesson previously and I had shown her the video that Donna had made. This gave Alice a good understanding of what to expect and that she also wasn’t going to be driving a car like mummy’s.
Instead they drive little electric cars, which is the new firefly experience Young Drivers have created for 5-10 year olds. The cars are made to feel just like a real car, with indicators and a speedometer. They can go a maximum of 10 miles an hour, which is certainly enough for me. They are operated with a cut-off switch in the car, but the instructor also wears a remote control around their neck where they can turn it off from there if needed.
When we arrived it was all set up and after I filled in some paperwork it was time for Alice’s lesson to start.
The lesson is 20 minutes long and the lady started off by explaining the road layout to Alice, what the different coloured cones meant and signs. What each of the pedals meant and to look about at all times. She then asked if she wanted to drive Mummy towards the end of the lesson and of course Alice couldn’t wait to do this bit.
As she set off, I could see the concentration in her face and she was taking it all in and listening to the driving instructor. Around the course they had a roundabout and giveaway junctions, everything that would give them a start at what to expect on a real road.
During our lesson there was one other car on the course. This was ideal as it meant that they had plenty of room, but also gave them experience of what to do when two cars approach a roundabout at the same time.
As Alice came back into the car park to take mummy for a spin, the driving instructor commented that she was really good at taking instructions. After quickly telling me that if at any point I need to stop the car, the best thing to do was just turn the key to off. We are all set for Alice to take me for a drive.
Our driving instructor stayed with us, walking close by to make sure we knew where we were going around the course. What I really liked about the experience is that every time we came to a roundabout or a junction, Alice was given the choice as to where to go. The lady said it’s your lesson and your experience. It’s nice to be able to give children that independence when you can and Alice clearly enjoyed it.
After our 20 minutes came to and end, Alice parked the car and turned it off with the key. She was then presented with her very own driving licence, which she had to sign her name at the bottom. This was a lovely touch to the experience and she couldn’t wait to show everyone.
We then quickly headed back to the car as we could feel spots of rain. It’s worth noting that the electric cars do not have roofs and therefore if it does rain you will get wet and the lessons do go ahead.
A 20 minute young drivers lesson for 5-10 year olds in an electric car costs £19.95 and you can find more about the lessons and the venues on the Young Drivers site.
Alice had a lovely time on her Driving Lesson and wanted to drive my car home. Sorry Alice you have a bit more growing to do before that happens!
If you would also like to watch Donna, from What The Redhead Said, video of LP taking her lesson, here it is…
Admiral Young Drivers are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a voucher for 1 Firefly lesson. Which is the same lesson Alice had. It is for children aged 5-10 years old and the lesson is for 20 minutes. To be in with a chance of winning just complete one or more entries below. Good luck!
Disclosure: We were kindly invited to have a lesson in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.