by Stephen Tasker

Since the first days of motoring, cars and driving have always been a fascination for the young, from stories of Noddy in his little yellow car to the antics of the reckless Mr Toad. So many eagerly await their 17th birthday and their first chance to get behind the wheel and begin a lifetime of learning about driving which continues to grow with experience.

Building experience is exactly what learning to drive is as the driver learns to anticipate the actions and maybe errors of other drivers responding before an incident occurs. Taking the wheel for the first time many new drivers are surprised at how much they have to learn. Coordinating clutch and accelerator and anticipating to brake, all of which are automatic reactions to the experienced driver.

Insurance premiums reflect the amount of risk to the insurer and facts prove that young drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident due to them making an error or failing to allow for the mistakes of others.

What every new driver requires is practice and experience of different driving conditions from quiet rural roads to busy city traffic including driving at night, in heavy rain and in other conditions when driving is more difficult.

The Under 17 Motor Club North West are delighted to be able to offer young drivers the chance to start to learn to drive and to build experience from the age of 14. Obviously driving off road on a private track with a trained and experienced instructor young drivers can learn the basics of driving such as clutch control, judging speed and distance and the surprisingly difficult but essential skill of parallel parking.

Young drivers are also taught to learn and most importantly to understand The Highway Code so they fully understand all road signs which exist to help drivers and make motoring as safe as possible. Driving off road on a safe track young drivers can learn how easily a skid can occur in wet conditions if an inexperienced driver accelerates of brakes at the wrong time. This is something most new drivers never have the opportunity to experience in a controlled situation. Our trained instructors not only show the young driver how this can occur but also how to avoid and correct.

Young drivers are also taught how to correctly care for their vehicle with attention to things which improve safety such as correct tyre pressures and windscreen washers filled with anti-freeze solution in winter – a dirty windscreen with a low sun ahead is an experience a new driver has to experience to understand how important this is to avoid.

We also teach young drivers the importance of correct vehicle maintenance and how this reduces costs and improves safety.

It is important that the young drivers appreciate that a badly maintained vehicle is more difficult and less enjoyable to drive and significantly increases the risk of an accident.

The Under 17 Motor Club North West also allows young drivers the opportunity to participate in motorsport events including both driving and the many other essential activities such as scrutineering and marshalling which is essential to a successful event.

Young Driver Training starts for drivers aged 14 at The Under 17 Motor Club North West – it’s fun but serious and professional, educational and enjoyable and gives our young drivers the experience we believe every new driver should have before they take to the wheel for the first time on their 17th birthday.

Membership of the Under 17 Motor Club North West is not restricted to persons aged under 17 and anyone interested to involve is welcome.
For information about how to participate and become an Accrington Young Driver email or visit our website at

Accrington Motorsport Club and U17MC NW work together to put driving events on at the M65 Junction 4 services four times a year. All are welcome to drive at these events in your own car. For more information please visit