Tank Driving Experience & Military Vehicle Fun Days across the UK
Tank driving experiences. Be the all-action military hero for a day and drive genuine ex-Army tanks and military vehicles on tough terrain at centres throughout the UK. Many instructors are ex-serving soldiers and they’ll teach you how to drive full-tracked vehicles and regale you will army day anecdotes too! Tank driving experience FAQs...
• Drive an FV432 15-tonne tank near Newcastle • When not driving, be a passenger in the crew cabin • Both standard & advanced tank drives are available • Visit the amazing collection of military vehicles
• Miliary vehicles, Tigers & Dragon Rapides combined at Duxford • Tiger Moth lesson, Dragon sightseeing & APC drive • Short hosted tour to a behind the scenes IWM area • Briefing & closing reception in the control tower
Driving a tank is the stuff of childhood dreams for many. It’s one of those activities that is on many people’s bucket list. After all, it’s not everyday you get to trundle around in a mega powerful fully-tracked vehicle is it? This is one of our most popular driving activities, loved by those from all walks of life - and it’s a great spectator activity too! We say go for it!
Who it's not for
If you really don’t like confined spaces you might want to be selective about which tanks you choose to drive. You may prefer some of the heavy-duty military vehicles instead, as you’re in more of a traditional lorry cab for some of these.
Well despite being big and robust on the outside, conditions for the driver inside a tank are often cramped and pretty dark - especially when the hatch is closed! Take the FV432 Armoured Personnel Carrier for example. Climb in and you'll find your knees are pretty much up against the two main control levers (yep, it's levers rather than a steering wheel!) and the speedo is mounted next to you at thigh height. As for the seat, well there's no back rest on it and it's more like a little leather stool you perch on. Still, comfort probably wasn't high on the list of priorities when such battle zone machines were designed...
How do you actually drive a tank?
We thought you’d ask this! It’s totally different to any other vehicle you will have driven, which is why we put together this handy little video to explain just how you drive a tank and how these full-tracked beasts move and steer. Just remember, there’s no steering wheel on a tank, it’s all levers!
Can you drive a tank on the road?
Again, lots of people ponder this question. The short answer is ‘yes - sometimes’ and you can read all about how and when you can drive a tank on the public roads in our in-depth blog article. So yes, in theory you can jump in your Chieftain and drive your tank down to your local McDonalds…
Are the tanks genuine?
Yes. The tanks and military vehicles are usually Army surplus, so once decommissioned, they get sold off. Many of the tanks have served in front-line battle zones, so you can’t get much more authentic when it comes to genuine military tank driving experiences.
Will I be driving with the hatch closed?
Normally for these experiences you’ll be at the controls of the tank with the hatch open, so you can see where you’re going. It feels a bit weird, as you’re using your hands on the levers inside the tank, but looking out above the hatch to see where you are. On some experiences, you may get to try driving the tank with the hatch closed - please see each individual experience page for the full details of what each experiences entails.
What should I wear to go tank driving?
You need to wear comfortable clothes for being outdoors. Most tank driving operators provide overalls and helmets. As for what you wear on your feet, prepare for it to be muddy out there, so wellies or sturdy boots are best.
Can I drive a Chieftain tank?
Yes! This is by far the most talked about tank when it comes to driving these military monsters. It’s also the biggest one we have on the books, so little wonder it attracts so much interest. We have several suppliers offering Chieftain tank driving experiences.
Can I crush a car on these tank driving experiences?
Yes! For some of our experiences driving the tank over a poor, innocent family hatchback is the reward for the best driver of the day. Other suppliers offer specific tank driving sessions, where the whole aim of your session is to drive over the car. Make sure you check each page for the details, or get in touch with us for more info by email, on-line chat or 01959 578100.
What sort of tanks can I drive?
We’ve got FV432s, the renowned Armoured Personnel Carrier tanks, we’ve got rare Russian tanks and we’ve got the behemoth that is the Chieftain tank. As well as all these fully-tracked tanks, there's also an impressive collection of military vehicles for you to drive, from 6x6 DAF Army Trucks, to special edition Army Landys and go-anywhere ArgoCats.
Do you offer tank driving for juniors?
Yes we do. These are all listed on our Junior Tank Driving pages. You can even buy experiences for little kids and big kids (i.e. Mums and Dads) to all go tank driving together.
Will I be driving the tank on an obstacle course?
All tank driving venues are off-road and most have purpose-built tank and military vehicle driving courses, which include things likes bumps, drops and hills for you to tackle. As those tracks churn up the earth, expect it to be pretty dirty and muddy out there, so dress appropriately.
Will I get to drive the tank in water?
Some venues do have water splashes that you may be able to drive your tank or military vehicle through. Make sure you have a read of the itinerary for the tank driving day you’re interested in to see just what you’ll be doing.
Can I be a passenger in the tank?
Quite often you’ll be a passenger in the tank or vehicle when you’re not driving. This is especially the case in the Armoured Personnel Carrier, as the rear of the tank has a purpose built cabin for transporting troops. Same for the Army trucks, there may be room up front in the cabin or on the rear platform for passengers. Some venues offer passenger rides for friends and family who are there to spectate as well.
Can I combine tank driving with shooting activities?
Yes. We have a brilliant experience that combines tank driving with a madcap game of paintball, so you’ll be trundling along trying to splat the enemy as you go! We have to say, tank driving and paintballing combined is a great choice for hen and stag group outings.
Are there any restrictions for tank driving?
Height and weight limits vary according to the vehicles and at each location, but in general, for the adult tank driving sessions you need to be at least 16 years old. Minimum height varies from 4ft to 5ft, with maximum height 6ft 4”. Maximum weight is 20 stone. For the military vehicles the lower age limit is often 17 years. Passengers can be as young as 8 in most cases.
Do I need a driving licence to drive a tank?
Nope. It’s very different to driving your average car, so there’s no advantage in knowing how to drive! If you opt for the military vehicle drives you don’t need a licence as you’re on private land, but you will need to know how to drive as these are like big trucks with the usual gears and pedals.
Where can I go tank driving near me?
We have tank driving and military driving experiences at centres around the country. Our current locations include the likes of: