The highlights and pitfalls of living with a thoroughbred supercar.
It's the dream of every young boy and some girls, to get behind the wheel of a true supercar. To know you're in one of the finest machines on the road, that no-one else near you has anything better and that in a race you wouldn't even break a sweat.
Sadly though there are things you never take into consideration with the actual ownership of these machines, so lets take a look at what it's like to live with a supercar...
Let's park up..
First you have to realise that you have to solve a pressing but mundane problem: parking. It’s not as much of an issue in the country county of Yorkshire, but in London you have no way around it. Cars are basically foreign objects that the city has been designed to combat and expel. The vast increase in "street furniture", speed bumps, congestion zones etc. are all there to make you think twice before heading into the city.
Street parking should never even enter the conversation, because just imagine a parked van inadvertently (or intentionally) using the wedge-like front end as a ramp. Garage or NCP parking in London, York or Manchester on the one hand, provides some measure of security — but also evokes the valet joyride scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The peace of mind costs £20 per day however.
Of course, £20-per-day parking isn’t a great long-term solution. The fact is, there’s no great long-term solution for keeping such a car in the city. Many garages offer monthly rates ranging from £200 to £400 or more, but you’ll usually pay several hundred extra as an "exotic surcharge" — presumably to cover the garage’s liability in the event your Veyron meets an untimely demise.
"It must be that guy from TV!", "Who is it?" There are going to be gawkers but it's going to be worse than you think. Men holding up iPhones taking selfies with the car, having their picture taken in a pose that suggests they've just got out of the car.
The cars colour also doesn’t help its own cause. There's a reason lambos are in vulgar orange, it's for people who want you to know they've arrived. Also expect a couple of people to ask for rides; one will get angry when you decline, guaranteed. Putting the top up and closing the windows won't afford any sanctuary. It’s briefly entertaining, but at some point, you'll just want to disappear into the anonymity of the cabs and delivery trucks around you.
Other Drivers Are Nice to You!
I, like many, have a preconception about supercar drivers in that they are not people I'd want to have dinner with. They think they’re better than you, they have considerably more money than they know what to do with, and — let’s be honest — much of it probably came from illicit sources. They’ll cut you off in traffic, wave their Amex Black Card around at the restaurants, and leave a massive tip. They’re inappropriately over- or underdressed at all times. I always imagined that it was Jeremy Clarkson behind the wheel.
This isn’t a fair stereotype, inasmuch as no stereotype is ever fair. It’s a common stereotype nonetheless.
You won't experience any of this hatred. If anything, there's an almost surreal deference to your cars presence on the road. Even in hellish traffic heading out into the city, you could just start to drift into another lane (with or without indicating) and gawking drivers will get the hell out of the way. And on the every-man-for-himself streets where everyone makes multiple errors — blocking the box, getting confused in Trafalgar Square, blocking an exit in rush-hour traffic — without a single horn blast at you.
While this may seem wonderful as the driver, please, don’t afford supercars any special treatment. I would’ve honked!
Everything Will Be Terrifying
Heart racing, clenched buttocks: there is no moment in or around a supercar where you won't be analysing the pavement ahead, calculating the routes of the drivers nearby, looking around for ill-meaning people, and planning an escape route should something start to go bad.
Driving a supercar is not a relaxing experience. There isn’t really an opportunity to kick back and cruise along, enjoying the feel and sounds of the machine. If anything, the stress level on par with, driving a little tikes red car down an icy hill. The factors are different, but the knot in the stomach is the same.
By our reasoning, the only way to drive a supercar stress-free is to be so wealthy that a bump in the rear, a break-in, or a collision with a white van will relieve you of an imperceptibly small percentage of your bank balance.