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Driving Lessons for 16 yr Olds? Dunsfold or Mercedes Benz World?

(27 Posts)
ishouldcocoa Sun 23-Nov-14 09:02:19

I though we might give DS a few driving lessons for Christmas prior to him turning 17 next year.

We could go to Dunsfold, or to Mercedes Benz World who both run lessons on private land.

Anyone have any experiences of either place?

Arlagirl Sun 23-Nov-14 09:06:51

Friends have used MB and rate it very highly

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 09:31:18

DS1 (15) did the Mercedes one at Silverstone this summer and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Planning on doing the off road one at MB World next year,but never been there.

marmaladegranny Sun 23-Nov-14 09:34:38

My son had a fantastic time at MB World and rated it highly - despite having been a bit wary when given the day as a gift.

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 09:35:32

Is there anything to do at MB World marmalade? There was nothing at Silverstone so we stood about while DS1 did his hour.

whatsinaname01 Sun 23-Nov-14 10:37:10

DS did one at Brands Hatch which he loved.
Cafe so could get food/drinks etc as well as watching some of the driving.

Lot's of racing going on on a different track which was excellent to watch as well.

Three in the car (new BMW Series one) with instructor, took it in turns to drive - all loved it.

PeaStalks Sun 23-Nov-14 11:10:06

I have booked a session for DS2 with a local driving school at a nearby airfield. One to one for 75 minutes £35.
DS1 did it when he was 16. Not really useful from a learning to drive point of view but a fun gift idea.

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 13:09:34

That's a good price Pea.

PeaStalks Sun 23-Nov-14 13:14:43

Price of living in the back of beyond Sparkling.

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 13:16:23


mummytime Sun 23-Nov-14 13:34:30

Mercedes Benz world has a cafe and a museum attached. I did a winter driving lesson there and it was very well designed, and the instructors are good. they also have a skid pan if you get to that stage.

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 13:35:31

Cafe? <ears prick up>

ishouldcocoa Sun 23-Nov-14 17:07:27

DS did the off road one a MB World a few years ago, so I know it well. It's a bit more expensive than the one at Dunsfold, so was wondering what you get.

Apart from a swish cafe...

Sparklingbrook Sun 23-Nov-14 17:09:58

What was the off road one like ishould?

Muskey Sun 23-Nov-14 17:18:30

Dd (11) had an hours driving lesson at mb world. It was half an hour normal driving and half hour off road. DH was able to be inthe car with her. She had a whale of time

ishouldcocoa Sun 23-Nov-14 20:47:24

Oh, DS loved his hour off road. It was a couple of years ago, so he was probably 13 or 14 at the time. As it was a present from my parents, I suggested that they went with him in the car! I watched. Not much in the way of spectator spots on the 4x4 course, though.

DS was pretty tired at the end, but on a real high.

BeckAndCall Mon 24-Nov-14 07:32:15

If its in preparation for actual driving lessons, id say Dunsfold. All 3 of mine have done Dunsfold before they went on the real roads and my youngest also did MB world as a birthday party guest (in the little cars on the track out the back)

At Dunsfold you have to find your own driving instructor (google) and book in with them and then meet them there. There is nothing for you to do there (except a little cafe which isnt open long hours, IME) but its good, proper driving on roads with real road signs.

mummytime Mon 24-Nov-14 09:19:15

Birthday parties at MB are very different to the driving experience, especially the pre-test experience.

ishouldcocoa Mon 24-Nov-14 22:55:15

Thanks Beck. It is in preparation for 'real' driving lessons in the late spring, so maybe Dunsfold would be better.

I will google instructors.

homebythesea Tue 25-Nov-14 12:27:01

MB World does a formal pre-driving course called Head Start for 16year olds, covers driving (esp maneuvers - sp?) and some theory prep. £300 for 4 hours

Sparklingbrook Tue 25-Nov-14 12:29:17

i get a lot of emails from this company but in idea about them at all.

Sparklingbrook Tue 25-Nov-14 12:29:28

* no idea

PeaStalks Tue 25-Nov-14 12:39:02

£300 for 4 hours? Okay for a gift but not worthwhile as a learning to drive tool.

I'm not sure these truly make much difference to learning to drive. Look at some of the recent threads on young / inexperienced drivers. IMO they need as many hours as possible proper road experience before taking the test and going solo. Avoid at all costs the intensive courses where they learn to drive in a week.
DS1 did a 2 hour driving experience off road when he was 16. He started lessons at 17 and passed his test 6 months later. I think he had about 20 hours of lessons (at £22 per hour) plus at least another 60 hours driving practice with me.
In DS1's cohort I know of 4 boys who had nasty accidents within weeks of passing their test. Thankfully none like the one with 4 fatalities last week.

homebythesea Tue 25-Nov-14 12:55:06

PeaStalks I really disagree - my DS is now far more confident and ready to hit the road next month when he turns 17, is competent in the various manoevres and now can concentrate on road / risk awareness etc instead of learning those skills from scratch. And I and Dh will feel more confident going out with him to practice knowing that he has had this basic training. Yes its expensive but in a limited market I guess they can charge what they think people will pay

mummytime Tue 25-Nov-14 17:28:05

MB is having a Christmas offer on at present. (But don't all book).

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