Good thing my 14-year-old and so-eager-to-drive grandson didn’t know about England’s Young Driver program or he might have moved across the pond years ago.
“10-year-olds can have their first driving lesson behind the wheel of the all-new Vauxhall Corsa SE Premium” was the headline on a news release from the UK’s largest provider of pre-17 driving instruction as it took delivery of its new vehicle fleet, “which it will use to teach the next generation of drivers.”
Young Driver’s new fleet includes 170 of the new Corsas, each outfitted with dual controls for driver and instructor. In the past decade, more than 750,000 students ages 10-17 have taking driver training at 70 locations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“The scheme uses fully qualified driving instructors to teach youngsters at private venues, creating realistic road systems which include traffic lights, roundabouts and junctions,” the school notes.
“Drivers get to learn all about gear changing, clutch control, braking, steering and parking in a stress-free and fun environment, helping to extend the learning period and create safer future drivers.”
The new 5th-generation Corsas are available with gasoline or diesel engines or with fully electric propulsion. They also have numerous driver-assistance technologies as standard equipment, including lane-departure warning, lane assist, forward collision alert and drowsy driver alert.
“They are a perfect car for a new driver,” said Sue Waterfield, heading of marketing for Young Driver, “with a high level of standard safety and easy to handle – and they look great.
“Our pupils take learning to drive very seriously but it’s also a lot of fun to have the opportunity to do something they wouldn’t usually be able to do – so having a great new car to have a lesson in definitely adds to the sense of excitement.”