First Car

Course Aims & Objectives

Our aim is to prepare new drivers for putting a car on the highway.

Our objectives are that students will be able to demonstrate:-

• Knowledge of documentation required.
• Knowledge of what to look for when buying a car.
• The ability to carry out safety checks and basic maintenance on a four wheeled vehicle.
• What to do in the event of a breakdown.
• Greater awareness of road safety.

Teaching Aids

Teaching Aids

  • A professionally equipped motor vehicle workshop.
  • Small hatchbacks.
  • Student's vehicle (optional).

Safety Clothing

Overalls, gloves and safety boots – all provided by The Wheels Project.


4 x 2 1/2 hour sessions - normally over 3 weeks.

Week 1/Session 1 (Classroom based) : Explanation

  • Induction - Rules, Initial Assessment and ILP.
  • Health and Safety in the workshop.
  • Documentation required for putting a vehicle on the highway.
  • Tips when purchasing a vehicle (assessing the vehicle, valuation, methods of payment).
  • Planning and preparing for a journey.
  • Breakdown contingencies and what to do (safety procedures, equipment, assistance).

Week 2/Session 2 (Workshop based) : Demonstration

Vehicle Assessment - practical, using MOT check sheet.

  • Tyres and pressures - use of tyre gauges and depth gauge.  How to change a wheel.
  • Wipers and washers – how to change, why use screen wash etc.
  • Lights and bulbs – how to check and change, different types of bulbs. legal requirements.
  • Engine checks – oil, brake fluid, radiator, power steering.
  • Pre MOT check.
  • Bodywork checklist.

Week 3/Session 3 (Workshop based) : Imitation

  • Students carry out all the above checks on Project vehicles.  (New drivers have the option to carry out these checks under supervision on their own vehicles.)
  • Question and answer session.

Week 3/Session 4 : Driving

The group has the choice of either:

  • Driver training under supervision in the Project's dual controlled car (currently a Ford Ka) on private ground.
  • Karting session at an approved track.



  • No alcohol or illegal drugs are allowed and anyone suspected of being under the influence will be excluded for that session.
  • Students who repeatedly break the rules agreed in week 1 will be warned by our Supervisors, their referring supervisor(s) notified and may be excluded from the group permanently if that behaviour continues.
  • Violent behaviour will result in immediate removal from the course.
  • Students will be warned against bullying behaviour and will be removed from the course if this behaviour persists.


• Transport of students is not provided by the Project.


  • In-house certificate of completion.


  • Group referral as a rule.
  • Group size is restricted to a maximum of 8 students.
  • Wheels does not have more than one group at its centre at any one time.
  • A Risk Assessment on pupils must be completed by Key Workers before start of course – those with history of violent behaviour are excluded from Wheels programmes. Failure to submit a formal assessment could lead to delay and forfeit of sessions.

Criteria for Selection

Students’ behaviour should be causing concern to group leaders and exhibit at least three of the following factors:

• Aged between 16 - 24.
• New or prospective drivers.


The Wheels Project Ltd
31-32 Bonville Road
Bristol BS4 5QH

Tel : 0117 971 1711   
Contact : David Glossop, General Manager
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


  • 2 Workshop Supervisors from The Wheels Project
  • 1 Teacher/Youth Leader
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