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12-Year-Old Goes for Joyride in Evoque

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Dec 16, 2020

front of Range Rover Evoque

A 12-year-old from Queens, New York took the keys to his family's Range Rover Evoque and headed off for a quest to visit his grandparents, taking his 7-year-old cousin along as a copilot.

The story hit New York City area news last week. The 12-year-old driver took the keys to the Evoque while his mother was in the shower, and headed off to visit his grandparents in Florida. The mother, presumably, soon noticed the absence of both her son and her Range Rover, and called the authorities.

The journey was not without challenges, beginning with navigating outer borough New York City traffic, something that many adult, fully-licensed drivers struggle with...never mind those who barely can hit the pedals. They crossed the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, at which point their EZPass toll tag was recorded and the police began tracking the truck's location.

After crossing Staten Island, the kids headed south on the New Jersey Turnpike, making a beeline down the storied highway. New Jersey State Troopers tracked them down and tried to get them to slow down by following them with lights and sirens, leading the boy to speed off and outrun police, a bold show of true gumption and bravado. The cops backed off for the kids' safety and continued tracking them.

After five hours on the road, the kids ended up at the Clara Barton Rest Area on the Turnpike, near the Delaware Memorial Bridge across the Delaware River and the border with Delaware. Having driven on some of the nation's more stressful roads for a while, they got hungry, went to buy a bag of cookies in the rest area store with the driver's dad's credit card, and found out that the card had been flagged. Over 100 miles into their grand journey, the adventure ended, and kids and Evoque were both returned to Queens by authorities.

It's possible the adventure was driven by a social media challenge, the clearly-named "Drive Until You Run Out of Gas Challenge."

Nobody seemed particularly worse for wear, and in fact the 7-year-old cousin seemed rather charmed by the entire experience; a few reporters got a few words out of her, and she said of the experience, "yeah, it was good. I wish I was driving.”

While Land Rovers are endearing vehicles that appeal to people of all ages, we do not recommend allowing your underage children to drive them on public roads. However, if you've got kids who can't wait to get behind the wheel of a Rover, the Land Rover Experience does offer a teen driving experience for kids over 14 in a dual-controlled Discovery Sport or Range Rover Evoque.


  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II.
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