YOUNG drivers in the area can begin driving early thanks to a country-wide challenge.

Until the end of July instructors at Cotswold's Fire Service College in London Road, Moreton are hunting for drivers to put through to the national final at the NEC in Birmingham on September 30.

Drivers have to be between ten and 16 to enter the Young Driver Challenge run by Young Driver which offers pre-17 driving tuition.

Kim Stanton, who heads up Young Driver, said: "In previous years our judges, which include ex-police drivers and advanced instructors, have been stunned to see how good these youngsters are, and the level of responsibility they show behind the wheel.

"The aim of Young Driver has always been to create a safer next generation of drivers, and the way to do that is to start teaching youngsters over a longer period of time and from a younger age.

"Research shows this can half the accident rate when it comes to them passing their test.."

Forty finalists will compete in two categories, from ten to 13 years and from 14 to 16.

The challenge aims to encourage youngsters to consider responsible and safe driving.

Entrants drive a real, dual-control car, with a qualified driving instructor, and are marked on driving skills and manoeuvres.

Prizes on offer include both pre and post-17 driving lessons and £500 off an Admiral car insurance policy.

For more information on Young Driver, about entering, visit or call 0844 371 9010.