Why Experiences are soo much better than things!

Are you searching for a gift for someone special aged under 17?

Physical gifts are great, but there are many reasons why experience gifts are much better for that young person and here are a few reasons why…

Experiences result in greater happiness. According to research from Cornell University, experiences result in longer-lasting happiness than material possessions. Humans quickly adapt to their external surroundings and as a result, the happiness provided by new material possessions is short-lived.

Over time, people’s satisfaction with ‘things’ decreases, whereas their satisfaction with experiences over time increases.

???? Experiences give us something to look forward to and anticipation about the events is exciting!

???? Experiences give us amazing memories, and we aim to deliver unforgettable ones

???? Experiences bring us more happiness than material things

???? Experiences result in less comparison with others, they are truly unique

???? Experiences help us live in the moment

???? Experiences help us avoid clutter, after all, toys do get left around the house

Treat someone to a Pre-17 Driving Experience that they’ll never forget!

August Birthdays

August seems to be a popular time for birthdays but for those of you who are born then you may know some of the problems it presents, mainly the fact that your the last to drive in your year group.

Well fear not, we’re here to help and give you that head start to learn quickly and maybe even pass before your friends.

How we hear you ask? Easy…Pre-17 Driving.

At WrightStart Experiences we specialise in educating, teaching and training youngsters in the art of driving and all the skills that come with it. We’re into our fourth year now at our original training ground and over the years we’ve begun to notice a trend.
Some of our customers, mainly 15 and 16 year olds have been attending regular sessions over the years and now that they’ve turned 17 have been able to get onto the roads instantly and drive to a decent and safe standard.

We conducted a little experiment with one of our teenage drivers, Jon. Over the course of a year we showed him all of the manoeuvres and the processes and routines for junctions on our off-road venue. We encouraged him to learn his theory well in advance of his 17th birthday and to get it taken as soon as he’d turned 17.
Sure enough he passed straight away and moved onto his practical test within a couple of weeks. That to was passed promptly and was then one of the first in his friendship group to be driving around despite being the youngest of them all.

Here’s what he had to say:

“By opting to do my pre 17 experience with Wrightstart, it enabled the instructors to provide me with the sufficient amount of experience and knowledge I needed; in preparation of my 17th birthday (when I was able to drive on the road). The instructors got me to master my observations and bearings of the car. My manoeuvres were also perfected in this period. This allowed me to focus on my driving rather than wasting time on manoeuvres. This saved me lots of time; I passed my test within 9 weeks of my 17th birthday. Before a lot of my friends that were nearly a year older than me. Wrightstart are highly recommended by me, it’s a no brainier.”

If you fancy being like Jon and leapfrogging ahead then what are you waiting for, book in your first pre-17 drive now!

Pre-17 Driver to Full Licence Holder

With only a couple of weeks to our next Pre-17 event we thought we’d let a former Pre-17 driver, now full licence holder, share their views on learning to drive. Here’s what Lydia had to say…

Why did you want to do Pre-17 Driving?

I have always been interested in driving and wanted to pass my test as quickly as possible. I felt the pre17 sessions would enable me to know the basics before going onto the road to enable me to start straight away and give me a head start before I was 17.

How did it help you?

I feel like it gave me a head start knowing all the controls prior to going on the road. This made me very confidence that I knew what I was doing so I could concentrate on the other distractions of the road which we didn’t come across on the pre17 sessions e.g other cars.

Would you recommend, if so why?

Yes I would strongly recommend. I felt that it made me a lot more confident knowing that I knew what was I was doing before going on the road. I feel like I could go straight into the more difficult areas of driving more quickly as I already had the basics.

How could it have been improved?

I think that the online portal of the car could be more clear and tell you how to do things more. E.g how to change the lights.

Did you feel prepared for real life driving?

Yes I feel prepared for driving on my own now. I feel like we covered a lot of situations and so I’m prepared for them.

Why WrightStart instead of other driving schools?

Because I wanted to pass my driving test quickly and I felt I picked driving up quickly in the pre17 driving sessions and wanted to carrying on progressing at that same rate. I feel like the online portal helped me pass my theory and practical test quicker as I had all the information I needed to revise before the test.


We’d love you to share your views and experiences of learning with WrightStart…

Young Driver Statistics

Young drivers

Young drivers (17-24 years old) are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers. Drivers aged 17-19 only make up 1.5% of UK licence holders, but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes where they are the driver.

Data on British drivers shows that:

  • Drivers aged 16-19 are a third more likely to die in a crash than drivers aged 40-49.
  • One in four 18-24 year olds (23%) crash within two years of passing their driving test.
  • Young male drivers are involved in many more crashes than young female drivers.

Why are young drivers more at risk?

Research shows that the combination of youth and inexperience puts younger drivers at high risk. Their inexperience means they have less ability to spot hazards, and their youth means they are particularly likely to take risks. In this way, crash risk not only reduces over time with experience but also is higher for drivers who start driving at a younger age.

Below are some of the specific characteristics of young drivers that put them at high risk of crashes.


Young people quickly pick up the physical skills of driving and, as a result, feel they have mastered it and are often over-confident about their driving ability. However, while the practical skills of driving can be mastered quickly, some (less obvious) skills such as hazard perception require more experience. This means young drivers may think they are in control when they are actually driving unsafely, and become more likely to take risks as they believe their skills are improving. Research has found that young drivers who show overconfidence in self-assessment of their skills are more likely to crash in their first two years of driving than those who are insecure about their driving skills.

Poor assessment of hazards

Although some hazards on the road are easy to identify, there are some situations where hazards are not immediately obvious. It often takes experience to notice these hidden hazards, so inexperienced young drivers may not notice them and react in time. Research has shown young drivers show poorer attention, visual awareness, hazard recognition and avoidance, and are less able to judge appropriate speed for circumstances.

Driving requires constantly balancing the attention needed for practical tasks such as steering and changing gears, and more cognitively demanding tasks such as hazard identification. Because of their inexperience young drivers need to concentrate more on practical tasks, so are slower to switch between tasks and slower to react to hazards.

Prevalent risk-taking

Brake research has found that young drivers are more likely to take many of the most serious risks, including speeding, overtaking blind, driving on drugs, and not wearing seat belts. This may be because the frontal lobe, the part of the brain that helps control impulses and emotions and assesses risk, is not fully developed until your mid-20s.

Young people also underestimate certain high-risk behaviours. For example, research has shown that young drivers are less likely than older drivers to rate speeding as high risk.

Common risky behaviours


Excessive or inappropriate speed is known to be a key contributory factor in crashes involving young drivers in the UK and elsewhere. Research has found that a third of fatal young driver crashes in the USA are speed-related.

Learn more: Read the fact pages on the risks of speeding.

Drink and drug driving

Drivers in their 20s have the highest rates of both drink and drug driving crashes. Young drivers who crash are twice as likely to be impaired by alcohol as older drivers who crash, and this is far more common among young men than young women. The prevalence of drug driving is harder to measure due to inconsistent reporting, but one study found that almost one in 10 (9%) of 17-24 year olds in the UK admit having driven on drugs.

Learn more: Read the fact pages on drink driving and drug driving.

Not wearing seat belts

Young drivers and passengers are less likely to always wear seat belts, and may not belt up when in a car with friends due to peer pressure. American research has found that seat belt use by young drivers decreases as the number of young passengers they carry increases.

Learn more: Read the fact page on seat belts and crash protection.

Mobile phones

Young drivers need to concentrate more on driving than more experienced drivers, which makes them more susceptible to distraction, for example from mobile phones. Despite this, evidence suggests young drivers are more likely than older drivers to use their mobile phones at the wheel: a Brake survey found that 19% of young drivers admitted texting at the wheel at least once a month, compared with 11% of older drivers taking this risk. American research has found that 80% of young drivers make or receive phone calls while driving and 72% text.

Learn more: Read the fact page on the risks of distraction.

Other risk factors

Carrying passengers

Research shows that peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in drivers ‘showing off’ to their passengers and taking more risks. 16-17 year-old drivers are up to four times more likely to die in a crash when carrying young passengers than when driving alone, but 62% less likely when carrying older adult passengers, indicating it is peer pressure rather than simply the presence of passengers that raises the risk. Young passengers can also cause distraction: teenage drivers are six times more likely to have a serious incident when there is loud conversation in the vehicle.

Driving at night

Young drivers have a higher proportion of crashes in the evenings and early mornings. This is particularly true for young male drivers: in the UK, male drivers aged 17-20 are seven times more likely to crash than all male drivers, but between the hours of 2am and 5am their risk is 17 times higher. Young drivers’ high risk at night is thought to be because they are most likely to be driving for recreational purposes, and more likely to be drunk or drugged, or taking risks such as speeding due to peer pressure. It may also be because drivers at night are more likely to be driving tired.

Driving at night also requires extreme care. Young drivers may be under the impression that because roads are quieter at night it is safer for them to speed or pay less attention. In fact, driving at night takes more care due to poorer visibility, and greater likelihood of drink drivers or drunk pedestrians on the roads.

Learn more: Read the fact page on the risks of driving tired.

Unsafe vehicles

Studies have found that young drivers involved in crashes tend to be driving older vehicles. Young drivers often drive older, potentially unsafe vehicles as these are cheaper. This is risky because older vehicles are less safe: they have less advanced crash protection, so crashes involving older vehicles are more likely to be fatal.

Learn more: Read the fact page on vehicle maintenance.

What can be done to improve the safety of young people?

To help young people be safer on our roads, we need a better driver training and testing system, better alternatives to driving for young people, and investment in monitoring technology for young drivers. These recommendations are outlined below.

Graduated driver licensing

Graduated driver licensing (GDL) allows new drivers to build up their driving skills and experience gradually through a more staged and structured approach to learning to drive, including a minimum learning period followed by a post-test novice driver period with licence restrictions. This restricted novice period helps to limit the exposure of new drivers to the dangerous situations highlighted above, including driving at night and carrying passengers. Graduated driver licensing has been shown to be effective in reducing casualties in numerous other countries.

Learn more: Read the fact page on graduated driver licensing.

Provide better alternatives to driving

Because of young people’s propensity for risk-taking, due to the late development of the brain’s frontal lobe (see ‘increased risk-taking’, above), the younger you are when you get a driving licence the greater the risk. A UK study predicted that young people would have 9% fewer crashes in their first year of driving if they delayed learning to drive until 18 years old rather than 17, and a further 8% fewer if they delayed until 19 years old.

Encouraging young people to delay or avoid learning to drive can therefore have a significant impact on safety. Many young people learn to drive as soon as possible because they feel they have little other option for getting around. A Brake and Direct Line survey found almost half of drivers (48%), and three in ten young people (28%), think public transport is not good enough to provide a realistic alternative to driving in their area. Brake believes improving access to and affordability of public transport, and walking and cycling routes to workplaces and colleges, should be a priority for central government and local authorities.

Learn more: Read the fact page on sustainable and active travel.

Monitor and influence young drivers through technology

Some insurers offer ‘black box’ technology to young drivers. These devices monitor their speed and the times they are on the road, and can be used to set curfews so young drivers are not able to drive during high-risk hours, i.e. late at night. Young drivers abiding by these rules can be given discounts on their insurance, which has been shown to be an effective incentive to reduce young driver speeds.

Black boxes can also be used to allow parents to monitor young drivers’ behaviour: as well as providing peace of mind for the parents and guardians of young drivers, parental monitoring has been found to reduce risky driving.

Voluntary codes

In the US, parent/young driver agreements are popular. The new driver is allowed to drive the family car or their own car, unsupervised, if they agree to certain conditions for the first year or two of driving. The conditions include restrictions on carrying passengers and driving at night, similar to formal restrictions imposed under GDL (as above). Although not legally binding, parents could enforce the rules by stating, for example, that their teenager is not allowed to drive for a week if they break any of the rules.

Learn more: Download a sample Safe Driving Agreement produced by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Here at WrightStart we firmly believe that learning to drive before your 17, through our Pre-17 Driving Experiences, will enable you to be better equipped once 17 to deal with driving situation. Read why here…

Pre-17 Driver Review – Jonathan Ball

Feedback is an essential part of running a business and we always want to know if we are doing a good job and keeping our customers happy.

We asked one of our valued Pre-17 Drivers the following questions, here’s what Jonathan had to say…

Why did you want to do Pre-17 Driving?

To gain experience in the car before I was 17 years of age.

How did it help you?

Gave me the basic car skills I needed so I could achieve control of the car for when I was 17 – making the time of passing my driving test reduced.

Did you feel more prepared for the road?

Yes it definitely helped me feel more confident on the road as I already know how to drive the car by the time I got on the road.

How did you find the learn to drive process?

Quick and easy, with polite and helpful staff.

Did you feel prepared for real life driving?

Yes I felt prepared due to the basic skills I had learnt at pre-17 event, it was the foundation of my driving.

Why WrightStart instead of other driving schools?

Offers a variety of extra information on the website to help you in your driving lessons. WrightStart also provides efficient and professional staff who offer their knowledge and experience to help you in your aim of passing the theory and practical tests to come.


We love to hear comments like this, please share with us your Pre-17 Driving Experiences and tell us how you found it…

Pre-17 Driving Competition

Could you be our next Pre-17 Driving Champion?

WrightStart Experiences is offering YOU the opportunity to WIN a driving package worth over £300. Win a *year’s worth of WrightStart Pre-17 Drives and a junior supercar experience plus many other extras.

This competition is open to anyone under the age of 16 that has had a Pre-17 Experience with WrightStart and will aim to find the next WrightStart Pre-17 driving champion. Please note drivers will need to be able to reach the clutch pedal in order to enter.

All entrants will receive welcome packs and certificates whilst the winner will also receive the following:

1st place will receive a *year’s worth of Pre-17 Driving Experiences and a junior supercar experience.

The competition will consist of one round and further information will be emailed nearer the time. The price to enter the competition is £20 and can be booked below. When booking, select a teenage drive, choose either the Saturday or Sunday in October and then enter ‘PRE17CHAMPION’ in the discount section.

For more information please call 07976 790749 or to book click here.

* Please note that a year means: 1 x experience each month WrightStart Experiences is running in 2017.

Where did it all start?..

With our first Pre-17 event only round the corner we thought we’d tell you where our story began, especially as so many of you keep asking.

So where to begin…

Our Pre-17 driving experiences all started due to a silly video we created a couple of years ago, you can watch it here

I went to visit my goddaughter in between lessons one week and as I arrived Holly (aged 2 at the time) was playing around in the garden. As usual she ran over to me and said ‘Lewie drive’ As she lived on a private drive her father and I took that to mean she wanted to sit in the drivers seat. We brought out her high chair and placed her in the seat and we decided to let her drive up and down the road.

I obviously moved the vehicle from the passenger side using my dual controls and she did the steering from her side. We assembled a video together and within 4 days we had nearly 15,000 hits.

Our current learner pupils at the time began asking how their brothers and sisters could drive off-road to which we didn’t have an answer. Our search for a suitable venue began here.

We are currently looking to expand our Pre-17 driving programme and add other venues around the city and in particular we are aiming to provide a tailored programme for teenagers to have structured driving lessons on a regular basis preparing them fully for their on-road driving careers.

Well, that’s us. You know where to find us but if not take a look at our Pre-17 site here. We’d love to hear from you and find out your thoughts on our driving experiences and if you haven’t already tried one, what are you waiting for…

Why drive at such a young age…

We often get asked why we encourage driving at such a young age and it is a fair question.
As your probably aware we can take drivers from the age of two, yes we said two. Now this is quite young and we definitely agree. In reality we only get a couple of requests for drivers of this age group and those that we have taken have been for the benefit of parents or grandparents. Their faces when their little one is behind the wheel is priceless and it feels great to be a part of that.

Most of our customers fall into either the junior or teen category which is what we encourage. The benefit for the juniors driving at this age even though they’re not near the age of 17 is to help build confidence.
They learn from an early age that cars can be potentially dangerous and learn how to operate them safely and become accustomed to being in control.

Teenage drivers also benefit from the safe experience our junior drivers do, however we can focus more time on important car control and allow them to develop key core skills prior to be released on the open roads.

Last year (2015) saw our first Pre-17 Driver, Jon Ball aged 16, begin his off-road training and soon became our first driver to complete the programme and obtain his full category B licence shortly after his 17th birthday.
Even though the time between turning 17 and passing his test was short, no skills or knowledge had been compromised due to his off-road training. We managed to give Jon the fundamental skills needed to drive a car safely and also taught him all of the manoeuvres required for a test prior to his first road lesson, this in turn allowed used to pay more time and attention to potential hazards making him more aware and a safer driver all round.

We hope to see you and your little ones soon and as a thank you for reading, if you use the code: XMASBLOG you’ll get a nice 20% discount to use before Christmas.

Under-17 Christmas Ideas

Can you believe it’s only 29 sleeps to go until Christmas? Neither can we, where has the year gone!

Our Pre-17 driving experiences finished only a couple of months ago but we’re already looking forward to next year and it’s full steam ahead planning and prepping for our next event in March, it’s only around the corner.

With the big day fast approaching your probably on the hunt for those special gifts that really make Christmas. If your looking for presents and gifts you may find yourself stuck for ideas, maybe your thinking of buying the same old toys and token gifts. Well worry not, we’re here to help.

Why not buy a Pre-17 driving experience for a young driver this year. Create a memory for a loved one that they can cherish and make their first drive a safe and positive one.

At WrightStart we pride ourselves in providing the very best service and excellent driving experiences for all. A Pre-17 drive is truly unique and will be the talking point this year, change the trend this Christmas.

Click here to find out more and book your experience today. Don’t forget to enter XMASBLOG to get 20% off your booking

We look forward to seeing you next year, have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!