An eight-year-old Ohio boy craving a cheeseburger put his YouTube knowledge to test by getting behind the wheel of his father's van and driving to the local McDonald's with his four-year-old sister while their parents were asleep at home.

Witnesses, who reported the incident to police, praised the young driver's skills and said he obeyed the rules of the road.

Employees at the McDonald's outlet in the East Palestine village in eastern Columbiana County, Ohio, thought it was a prank when the boy halted the car at the drive-through window.

"The workers thought that the parents were in the back, but obviously they weren't," East Palestine Patrolman Jacob Koehler told The Weirton Daily Times.

Koehler responded to the restaurant outlet after the police department received reports about the young driver.

The boy, in tears at the sight of a policeman, told Koehler that he really wanted a cheeseburger so he drove to McDonald's with his sister. The boy also told him he learnt to drive by watching YouTube videos and he grabbed the van keys by standing up on his tip-toes to reach the place where they were hanging from.

Quoting some of the witnesses, the officer said the boy obeyed all traffic laws, stopped properly at red lights and waited for traffic to pass before making a left turn into the restaurant's parking lot.

He too was impressed with the boy's driving skills, Koehler said. He told the paper that initially he expected calls from residents complaining about damage to their mailboxes or garbage bins from a wayward vehicle, but "he didn't hit a single thing on the way there. It was unreal," the officer noted.

"I think there is a good teaching point here. With the way technology will learn how to do anything and everything. This kid learned how to drive on YouTube. He probably looked it up for five minutes and then said it was time to go," he added.

A family friend had informed the children's grandparents about the incident, who alerted the parents. The parents picked the children from the police station later that evening. No charges were pressed against the parents as police said it was not a case of neglect.