The Under 17 Car Club is split into 3 organisations. The Club itself, the Pathfinder Project which aims to provide a Car Club experience for 15-17 year olds focused on driving safety, and The Under 17 Car Club Charitable Trust which manages the operations of the organisation.
The Under 17 Car Club was founded by children's author Sandy Barrie and racing driver Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams in 1976 to offer a safe, organised environment in which children with an interest in driving, cars and motorsport could learn to drive and practice their skills.
Nearly four decades later the club continues to offer parents or guardians ("associates") safe venues where they can bring their children ("driving members") to learn to drive, following a graduated curriculum over a number of years between the ages of 11 and 17. It is designed to develop driving competence equivalent to IAM or RoSPA Gold standard
Instructors: A team of dedicated individuals who return week in, week out to instruct our Members. They are normally Associates who have Driving Members in the Club that have reached Grade2 or above. Many of our Instructors return year after year having had Members in the Club decades ago and continue to support us. We also have a broad range of additional support from the Police, RoSPA, IAM and other advanced driving groups. We find that most of our Associates attain an IAM or RoSPA driving certification during the process of their Members reaching Grade 2.
Venue Controllers: More volunteers from the pool of Associates who want to put something back into the Club by helping out. Our Venue Controllers are responsible for the day’s activities, setting up and closing down. They work with the rest of the team to ensure attendees have a fantastic day out driving.
Marshals: These are ex-Members who, having reached Grade 1 or Grade X, have passed their driving test and return to help out with marshalling duties. They are the Club’s active ‘police’ force during all events.
Specialists and Event Organisers: People with additional skills also assist with particular activities and these include those with contacts or good organisational skills to coordinate and maintain contact with external bodies for special events, such as 4 x 4 Driving, Caterham Experience, Rally Day, Skid Pan, etc.
Trustees: These are the Governors of both The Under 17 Car Club Limited and Under 17 Drivers Pathfinder Limited – our two trading organisations. They look after the long term well being of both. The Trustees are heavily involved with day-to-day activities during Club meetings and Pathfinder events including acting as instructors, venue controllers, special activity organisers as well as leading research and actively engaging with government, other road safety organisations and the media.
Committee: The Driving Members of the Car Club (children) together with their Associates (adults) elect a Committee which conducts the Club’s day-to-day activities and has the responsibility to ensure that the Club is run to deliver the Charity’s objectives for the benefit of Members.
These are all volunteers, who have or have had Driving Members in the Club. Many continued to be actively involved with the day-to-day tasks of the Club and who are dedicated to providing continued value to the upkeep and smooth operation of all aspects of their involvement. These people are invited back by the Trustees & Committee to continue their involvement as they see fit. All of these people are ex-Associates or ex-Members who understand and embrace the Club’s ethos and methodology.