Teen from Rochdale named one of Britain’s Best Young Drivers – four years before he can get a driving licence

Date published: 11 September 2019

A 13-year old from Rochdale has been named one of the best young drivers in the country.

Thomas Braid, who attends Oulder Hill Community School, won second place in his age category in the Young Driver Challenge 2019 held on 7 September at the NEC. The Young Driver Challenge is a national competition to find the UK’s best young driver – where all the contestants must be aged under 17.

Drivers were judged on a range of driving skills including reversing, parking, manoeuvring a slalom, handling junctions and independent driving. As at all Young Driver events, the youngsters were in dual controlled Vauxhall Corsas with a fully qualified instructor, who marked them on their level of skill and control.

Drivers competed in two age categories, 10-13 and 14-16, and Thomas placed second in the 10-13 age group.

For taking second place, Thomas won 5 x 60 minute Young Driver lessons, a £50 restaurant voucher, a trophy and a signed copy of Quentin Willson’s latest book: Learn to Drive without Tears and Tantrums.

Thomas said: “I’m so pleased to have won second place. It’s been a fantastic experience. I was really pleased to have made the final from hundreds of entries and I’m really proud of how I performed on the day.

"The instructors put us to the test with lots of driving challenges, but it was good fun and a great opportunity to polish my skills behind the wheel. It’s definitely going to help make me a safer driver when I do go on to pass my test.”

Vicki Butler-Henderson, who has an impressive motoring track record as a driver, motoring journalist and TV presenter, said: "What a day! It was fantastic to see how well the drivers handled the car - especially when some of them are just 10 years old.

"It was clear to see how seriously they took the responsibility of being behind the wheel and it was an honour to award all of them with their prizes as they were all thoroughly deserved.

"Hopefully all these youngsters having the opportunity to learn at an early age will create a safer next generation of young drivers for our roads, which is a huge benefit to us all."

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