During half term the boys were invited by Admiral Young Driver to Manchester for a Junior Driving Experience. Prior to the invite I had never even heard of junior driving experiences before so I did a little research.
What is a Junior Driving Experience?
A junior driving experience is a driving lesson for those aged 11-17 or a firefly car for those aged 6-10. I’m not talking about a go kart lesson or a car that is on rails but an actual lesson in a car that the children control themselves.
Now I knew what the boys had been invited to I was equal parts excited for them and nervous for us but I knew this was an experience they would treasure for ever and so off we went to Manchester.
Our review of the Junior Driving Experience
When we arrived at the Etihad stadium we were greeted by a great big promotional bus, lots of learner driver cars, a Bentley and a separate course set up with two firefly cars on it. There were lots of exited youngsters and anxious looking parents dotted about the place and as our boys were beside themselves and desperate to get driving, we fitted right in.
Both boys were introduced to separate instructors and had private one to one driving lessons. This consisted on them sitting in the car with the instructor who explained how to use the key, the accelerator and the brake and then they drove the instructor round the course. Now this in itself would have been wonderful enough but as the instructor was taking the boys round the course he was explaining road safety to them, showing them the stop signs and where to give way. They even had a mini roundabout set up and were shown how to go round this the correct way and how to give way to the right. It was ridiculously cute and also a flash to the future!
Once the instructor was confident the boys had listened and understood what was expected of them we were asked if we would like to be DRIVEN BY OUR BOYS! This is definitely something I will never forget. I went with the big’un and it was such a surreal experience, not only was he having a blast and driving sensibly but he was talking me through what he was doing and why he had to go a certain way and why he had to stop at certain signs and check for traffic. I was amazed he had managed to listen and retain so much information, especially as he was practically bouncing with excitement before he got in the car.
Our overall thoughts of the Junior Driving Experience
It is fair to say that as experiences go the junior driving experience was a winner for both our boys. Being given an actual drivers licence that they had to sign at the end was simply the icing on the cake for them. However it did take a while to convince the tiddler that he couldn’t actually drive us home down the M6!
If you have children aged 5-10 then I would highly recommend you check out these firefly driving lessons. They cost £19.95 for 20 minutes and not only give a great experience but also teach the basics of road safety. They also offer driving parties which I am currently eyeing up fort the big’un and his mates for his next birthday.
If you have a child aged 10 or over then check out the driving lessons they offer in real cars. Don’t panic, they are dual controlled and on a car park or secured area but teaching children the fundamentals of driving and instilling the basic road safety and giving them confidence will only benefit them in the long run.
Admiral young driver travel up and down the country offering these sessions so check out the dates for when they are next near you and book a special treat for your little learner driver.
If you are visiting Manchester specifically for this driving experience then why not make a full day or even a weekend of it as there are loads of things to do in Manchester with kids.