A 13-YEAR-OLD boy from Royton has made the final of a national driving competition – despite being four years younger than the age needed to get a licence.

Josh Campbell, who goes to The Blue Coat School in Oldham, has achieved a place in the final of the Young Driver Challenge 2021 after beating competition from hundreds of other entries.

The competition is run by the UK’s largest pre-17 driving school, Young Driver, and all entrants are aged from 10 to 16.

After lessons at Young Driver’s Manchester venues, Josh was put forward by his instructor, who was impressed by his skills at a lesson this year.

Twenty finalists in each of two age categories – 10-13 and 14-16 – will now attend the final which is being held on Saturday, October 2 at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Josh said: “Young Driver has been great and the instructors are really friendly and helpful.

"I can’t wait to drive on the road when I’m 17 and I’m sure what I’ve learnt from Young Driver will be really helpful.

"I really love the lessons there.”

In the final, the young drivers will be put through their paces in a number of challenges, including safely handling a steering slalom, tackling junctions and roundabouts, confident use of the gears and clutch control and performing manoeuvres such as parking and an emergency stop.

This year marks the seventh time the challenge has taken place. The final will be hosted by motoring expert and former presenter of Top Gear Quentin Willson.

The winner will receive £200 and Young Driver lessons worth £750, while other prizes up for grabs include vouchers and signed copies of Quentin Willson’s book – "Learn to Drive Without Tears and Tantrums".

Head of marketing for Young Driver, Sue Waterfield, said: “The pandemic put the brakes on the Challenge last year, so we are delighted it’s now back and we’re very much looking forward to it.

"Congratulations to Josh for making the final – it’s a real achievement.

"The skill of the talented drivers in the final surprises us every year, even though they’re all under 17. The whole purpose of Young Driver is to create safer newly qualified drivers and it is great to be able to celebrate the achievements of those youngsters who are taking that responsibility very seriously – as well as having some fun.

"We can’t wait to see what talent the final brings this year and wish all our contestants the best of luck.”