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How to drive 376 different vehicles before you turn 17

Eloise is 18 and she's been driving since she was 11.

No, she's not a very precocious car thief.

She's a member of the Under 17 Car Club, an organisation that teaches young people driving skills on tracks and private sites across the country.

We wanted to know what driving all these crazy vehicles was like at such a young age. So we asked her to write us a Young Driver's Guide post - but we still had questions.

 

How did you have to adapt your driving style when you drove the double decker bus?

"The main thing for me with the double decker bus is that it's very easy to forget how tall it is, which luckily wasn't a problem in the area I was driving.

"Plus the bus is rigid so doesn't bend like a large lorry (which is articulated) so you need to be very aware of the length, where the wheels are and how much bus you have in front and behind them when you're manoeuvring.

"Basically, you really do have to have good spatial awareness and it proves how important your mirrors are in positioning yourself on the road, so you have to take things like roundabouts wider else it could cause some serious damage."

  Eloise drives a bus  

You said in your post that the Reliant Robin was scary to drive - how come?

"I think for me the Reliant Robin was scary to drive because it felt unstable. At any moment I thought I was going to tip over, especially when turning.

"It didn't help that I'd seen Jeremy Clarkson drive it on Top Gear and tip it multiple times!"

  Eloise drives a Reliant Robin  

What were the main differences (or similarities) between driving a normal car and a Ferrari?

"The Ferrari I drove was an automatic and generally the cars I drive are manuals so this was a little different.

"However, I think the main difference is the power behind the vehicle. You have to be aware of how quickly it can get up to speed and also how fast you're going. When a car was made to go that fast, it feels natural so you can be going way faster than you thought.

"Another big difference is that the Ferrari is a rear wheel drive so it handles differently from a normal car, especially in the wet, as most of them are front wheel drive.

"Even though there are these differences, essentially it's a just a car so the controls are familiar - but it does have a far greater performance. Everything happens a lot quicker!"

  Eloise Peabody-Rolf frives a Ferrari  

Which vehicle were you most frightened to drive and why?

"I don't think there were any vehicles that I was actually frightened to drive but I've definitely had a few where I was a little nervous but for different reasons.

"I was a bit nervous about the Reliant Robin because I had heard horror stories about them tipping over. There was an American Peterbilt truck that was slightly worrying because it was huge, left hand drive, and the first big vehicle I had driven.

"I guess other thing that can make you focus a little more is the price range. I've been lucky enough to drive some amazing vehicles but often they have quite a terrifying price tag. The 100th car I drove was a 1987 Aston Martin V8 Vantage and they go for about £250k, so..."


Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .