Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Driving Academy for children

Does teaching children to drive make them better drivers as adults? Mercedes-Benz thinks so. This summer saw the launch of its Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy in the UK, which teaches anyone over 10 years and 1.5 metres tall the basics of manoeuvring a car.

With packages tailored to different age groups, the Academy aims to show young people the ins and outs of driving, rather than the minimum needed to pass a test. Children aged 10–14 are taught the basics of road safety and car handling, taking an A Class out for a half-hour spin for GBP 40. The 'Pre-Road Sessions', meanwhile, are targeted at 15–17 year-olds and delve a little deeper into the theory of driving, the traffic code and dealing with emergency situations. Prices start at GBP 75 for a one-hour track session. A 3-hour, GBP 205 'Parent-Partner Package' is designed to improve parents' confidence and patience when teaching their child how to drive, no matter how hair raising the experience may be. Last but not least, those over 17 are also catered for: there's a full driving test package available to assist with passing the theory and practical test.

Mercedes-Benz isn't alone in offering a service like this: we spotted BMW and Audi offering driving lessons a while back as part of the status skills trend. However, the Mercedes scheme adds a clever twist by engaging kids with its aspirational brand. With a bit of luck, they'll lust after MB cars throughout their teens and twenties, purchasing one when they can afford to do so. Or else cajole their parents into buying so they can happily travel in a Merc back seat.

Website: www.mbdrivingacademy.com

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