STUDENTS are being offered the chance to get a feel for driving - without getting into a car.

Driving school BSM has launched a £500,000 motoring simulator, which will be touring schools next week.

Young drivers, many under 17, will be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a car's controls before starting lessons.

BSM roadshow manager Andy Brown said: "Learning to drive is a number one priority for most young people.

"The roadshow gives students the chance to drive a car in a safe and controlled environment and have some fun."

Schools taking part in the initiative next week include Darlington's Eastbourne School, Woodham Community Technology College near Newton Aycliffe, Teesdale School in Barnard Castle, and Hurworth School.

The simulator is based on a Vauxhall Corsa.