My kids took a Young Driver lesson and absolutely loved getting behind the wheel

Jacob Hunter behind the wheel with Young Driver
Jacob Hunter behind the wheel with Young Driver -Credit:Teesside Live

If your kids are anything like mine, they'll be impatient to hit the roads when they're old enough to legally drive.

The prospect is not too far off for my 16-year-old son, who turns 17 this September, but a few years away for my 14-year-old. So when they heard about Young Driver, they couldn't wait to try it out.

Basically it's a driving school for under 17s - with the youngest participants able to get behind the wheel from the tender age of 10. Other rules are that kids must be at least 1.42m tall and be wearing sensible footwear. If you tick all these boxes then you're good to go.

We headed along to Young Driver's Middlesbrough Riverside Stadium site - they have many others dotted about the country, and some not too far away - including Sedgefield Racecourse, the Metrocentre, in Gateshead, Newcastle Racecourse and Carlisle Racecourse.

The Middlesbrough site is at the back of the Riverside Stadium, off Sheperdson Way, and parking is available.

After signing in at the reception area, the boys were allocated their Vauxhall Corsa cars, number 15 and 16, and met their very friendly instructors who were to be teaching them on their 30-minute lessons. I joined the other parents at the side of the arena, eager to see what was about to happen!

There were about 10 cars on the very large and calm concourse, each driving at different speeds - and a lots of parents with mobile phones recording from the sidelines.

Young Driver, Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
Young Driver, Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough -Credit:Teeside Live

I don't know what I expected (maybe a lot of jerking, stalling and near misses) but my kids actually did a lot of driving, gear changes and even some manoeuvres. It was really strange but pleasant to watch and not once did I feel like they would be in any tricky or dangerous situations.

The driving instructors clearly know what they're doing and how to move around the site safely, staying out of the way of the other vehicles. When their time was up the instructors gave some feedback - apparently both Jacob and Joshua had decent clutch control - and their achievements were recorded in a logbook they were given.

It was a good experience, and something nice for us to go to together - as anyone with teenagers will know you're lucky to get more than a one syllable word out of them some days. The firm even offers an in-car recording, which is a nice touch, so the kids can watch themselves back. It's all about the memories after all!

Depending on age, ability and experience, youngsters can get a chance to do steering, braking, reversing skills and tackle the road course's crossroads, T-junctions, manoeuvre and steering zones, one-way roads and roundabouts.

The price for a 30 minute lesson is £49.99, and can even be split with another child for the same price, while a 60-minute lesson will set you back £89.99. You can get a few quid knocked off if you book an Early Bird lesson - taking the 30-minute session down to £42.99 and the hour-long one down to £82.99.

Joshua Hunter being shown the ropes before setting off at Young Driver, Middlesbrough
Joshua Hunter being shown the ropes before setting off at Young Driver, Middlesbrough -Credit:Teesside Live

There's also a host of other options and prices that can be found on the website here, and 20% discount code valid for Young Driver lessons taken in May with the code YDNE20. Applicable venues are:

  • Middlesbrough FC

  • MetroCentre

  • Sedgefield Racecourse

  • Newcastle Racecourse

  • Carlisle Racecourse

For further information call 0333 577 9010 or email