South-east supercar owners, how do you use your car?

South-east supercar owners, how do you use your car?

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Discussion

px1980

Original Poster:

121 posts

18 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
I live in north London, I don't have a supercar but have toyed with the idea of purchasing one several times. Each time I decided that where I live and how little time for long trips I have were the 2 reasons not to get one. Just wondering how people who live in or around London actually use their cars?

I went for a Sunday drive in an MX-5 on some of my favourite roads in Essex (Finchingfield area) and in a narrow passing place, an octogenarian driver clipped my mirror, then basically drove off. I shrugged it off as the weather was too nice for me to ruin my day by worrying about something so trivial, but had it been a Ferrari I'd not be happy at all. About 2 weeks ago a boy racer misjudged a blind corner and I had to swerve into some bushes. He also drove off. Again, I wasn't too bothered about some scratches on a Mazda worth £10k, but I would have been on something 10x or 20x more expensive! There have been many more close calls like this, the roads are just too narrow, too busy and the visibility generally isn't great. Basically, the roads around London are no good for expensive and/or wide cars IMO. There are some I'm aware of north of Bedford, but even the best stretches are like 4/10 compared to best roads in e.g. Wales which are 8 or 9/10.

Driving around London is obviously even worse, speed bumps, width restrictions, traffic etc. I enjoy the commute in a Porsche but I'm not sure I would in a Lambo/McLaren/Ferrari.

The way I see it, the only way to actually drive the car as it's designed to be would be to make trips to Wales/Scotland/etc. But for most people with full-time jobs that's something you do a few times a year max. How do you guys actually enjoy your cars for the rest of the year, staying more locally?






Edited by px1980 on Tuesday 2nd March 10:28

davek_964

7,461 posts

140 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
I don't live or drive in London, but am in the South East - about 15 miles down the M3 from the M25.

I bought my current car with the intention of using it as a semi-daily driver - although it's actually been a 90% daily and is clocking up miles very fast even in lockdown.
Mine is fine for daily driving - comfortable, it has lift for speed bumps - but I'm always selective in where I park it. And if I get out on country roads, it is a lot of fun - I don't really tend to drive down narrow roads so don't think I've ever really had a problem with people driving into me. If I did - then although I'd be upset, that's what insurance is for.

There is too much traffic around - although that's been less of a problem in the last year - but I still get a lot of enjoyment using the car.

dazmanultra

321 posts

57 months

Monday 1st March
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You have to accept that whatever you're driving, it's just a car. Everything is fixable, replaceable etc - obviously to an extent you have to be sensible (i.e. I personally avoid single track farm roads, and park miles away from everyone in the supermarket) but if you worry too much the car ends up owning you and you'll never drive it through worry of something happening.

Trev450

6,045 posts

137 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
Sounds like you maybe should experience some trackdays.

I consider myself to be fortunate enough to be around an hour's drive from some of the best roads in Wales, but to fully enjoy a high performance car on the road, you are asking for trouble.

px1980

Original Poster:

121 posts

18 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
Trev450 said:
Sounds like you maybe should experience some trackdays.

I consider myself to be fortunate enough to be around an hour's drive from some of the best roads in Wales, but to fully enjoy a high performance car on the road, you are asking for trouble.
Yes exactly. But then lots of people on here have said supercars aren't really suitable for trackdays (due to high cost of consumables, mostly). I see on mclarenlife that folks in the US do track theirs 570s' and 720s', but that doesn't seem to be the recommendation I got here.
I was even asking a few months ago which supercar I could get with a view to track it once a month or so, I was told to forget it. So I placed an order for Cayman 4.0, which I hope to track every once in a while. I would have liked a 570s or 488 or Huracan probably more, but if I can't use the car's full potential, why put up with the extra expense and inconvenience.



MDL111

5,387 posts

142 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
When i still lived in London i used my car to commute to work and on weekends usually tried to drive somewhere outside of London for the day. It was not great but better than no driving at all

Trev450

6,045 posts

137 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
px1980 said:
Trev450 said:
Sounds like you maybe should experience some trackdays.

I consider myself to be fortunate enough to be around an hour's drive from some of the best roads in Wales, but to fully enjoy a high performance car on the road, you are asking for trouble.
Yes exactly. But then lots of people on here have said supercars aren't really suitable for trackdays (due to high cost of consumables, mostly). I see on mclarenlife that folks in the US do track theirs 570s' and 720s', but that doesn't seem to be the recommendation I got here.
I was even asking a few months ago which supercar I could get with a view to track it once a month or so, I was told to forget it. So I placed an order for Cayman 4.0, which I hope to track every once in a while. I would have liked a 570s or 488 or Huracan probably more, but if I can't use the car's full potential, why put up with the extra expense and inconvenience.
If you are looking at doing a trackday every month or so then I would have to agree that it would become quite costly in consumables. I track my R8 about once or twice a year just to stretch its legs, but I also have a dedicated Evo RS for track work so don't feel the need to overwork the R8. I would image the Cayman 4.0 will be ideal on track - not being overly powerful and reasonably light. I used to have a 987 Cayman S and tracked that fairly often without any real expense in terms of wear and tear.

davek_964

7,461 posts

140 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
There was a PH member that posted a very lengthy - and very tedious - post last year about how pointless supercars were on the road and how we should all be driving MX5s.

Although I agree that a supercar is probably not an ideal choice if you want a regular track day car - unless you have pretty deep pockets - I don't really understand the argument that you can't use their full potential on the road, and hence they make no sense. You can't use the full potential of most cars on the road, but we're not all driving Robin Reliants.

My car doesn't have to be doing 200mph for me to enjoy it. Accelerating is fun - even if it's fairly brief, it's still lots of fun down a twisty road even if the limiting factor is trying not to kill other drivers rather than the car itself. I get a lot of pleasure driving it - and it was one of my dream cars when I bought it, and still remains so. The fact that it's somewhat overkill for UK roads doesn't really reduce that enjoyment at all.

Trev450

6,045 posts

137 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
Well I guess we are all different because not being able to fully open up my cars every now and again safely on track is akin to dating a supermodel and not sleeping with her! All imo of course. Oh, and it's a Reliant Robin. lol.

Edited by Trev450 on Monday 1st March 14:53

px1980

Original Poster:

121 posts

18 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
davek_964 said:
There was a PH member that posted a very lengthy - and very tedious - post last year about how pointless supercars were on the road and how we should all be driving MX5s.

Although I agree that a supercar is probably not an ideal choice if you want a regular track day car - unless you have pretty deep pockets - I don't really understand the argument that you can't use their full potential on the road, and hence they make no sense. You can't use the full potential of most cars on the road, but we're not all driving Robin Reliants.

My car doesn't have to be doing 200mph for me to enjoy it. Accelerating is fun - even if it's fairly brief, it's still lots of fun down a twisty road even if the limiting factor is trying not to kill other drivers rather than the car itself. I get a lot of pleasure driving it - and it was one of my dream cars when I bought it, and still remains so. The fact that it's somewhat overkill for UK roads doesn't really reduce that enjoyment at all.
Lol@Robin Reliant (I had to google it).
I think I found the thread you're referring to (https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=63&t=1746760&i=180). It is a bit ridiculous and it went on for too long, I agree. I don't think my post was in the same vein though. I wasn't saying "it's impossible to" but merely asking "how do you" enjoy a supercar while living in the south-east and holding a full time job.

Cheib

20,298 posts

140 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
I feel your pain OP, used to live in NW3 for the best part of 20 years so very familiar with the travails of owning “something nice” in London. I gave up trying to own a sports car about 7 or 8 years before we moved out in 2015. had kids etc by then so it was also difficult finding the time for trips to sue cars.

Now live in Bucks about 10 miles outside the M25 and grew up in Essex just outside the M25. There are decent roads around and whilst you may not say be able to drive for an hour continuously on epic roads there are plenty of decent driving roads in the countryside with good lines of sight and changes in elevation etc. I think I know the roads you’re talking about to the North/West of Bedford...they’re used by Evo and others for road testing cars....I’ve actually done some instruction on them with an ARDS instructor combined with a half day at Milbrook.

Northernboy

9,665 posts

222 months

Monday 1st March
quotequote all
px1980 said:
I live in north London, I don't have a supercar but have toyed with the idea of purchasing one several times. Each time I decided that where I live and how little time for long trips I have were the 2 reasons not to get one. Just wondering how people who live in or around London actually use their cars?
Edited by px1980 on Monday 1st March 11:50


Edited by px1980 on Monday 1st March 11:51
I use mine to go to the shops, and generally do a click and collect a decent drive away. I use it for weekends in Northern France, for commuting to Amsterdam sometimes, and for drives out at the weekend around Kent.

It gets used for the same sort of things an Elise or MX5 would get used for, as the car of choice when it’s just me, or me and one other.

alephnull

341 posts

140 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
6am Sunday drives in Essex, and walks in the countryside around London (Chilterns etc), visiting family who are all in green areas and the odd trip to Wales/Lake District. Yeah it gets muddy, it gets rained on, it has too many miles now...but I get it maintained religiously and I'm never gunna sell it.

Bispal

960 posts

116 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
I Have 2 supercars and an MX5 and live in South London.

It requires a bit of dedication, I get up on a Sunday at 5am from May-September, meet some like minded mates and we usually set off around 6am for a 2 hour drive ending up at Goodwood or somewhere interesting (Fuel / C&M) for breakfast. The roads are deserted and its massive fun. Even on a Sunday by 8am the roads are starting to get busy. If you are really dedicated 5am in the summer midweek is just as quiet and so much fun, need to be finished by 7am though.

The 675LT did 5k miles last year and gets used a lot locally but I don't take it into central London, for that I used the MX5 or Micra before we gave it away, or used to before ULEZ now I'm having to rethink that. Just hassle to park and you are stationary most of the time or doing 20mph (that's the speed limit in 90% of London). The suburbs are full of speed-bumps on the way in and also 20mph with cameras. The K11 Micra was perfect for London could park anywhere and was almost worthless so if it got dented no problem.

However a midnight run into London is a wonderful thing and I have done that a few times. I am not saying a supercar cannot be fun in London they are smaller than Range Rovers and Bentley's so size is not an issue. However it depends if you like 'driving' or 'being seen driving' , I am definitely the former and get frustrated if I can't 'drive' my cars so I use something else for central London.

If you want fun in London drive a classic, my E46 and MX5 are now not ULEZ compliant and no way i am buying a new eco car (that's an oxymoron buying a whole new car for no reason other than using less CO2 - I believe in recycling old cars) so I am looking at a 40+ year old Rolls Royce for my ULEZ free and Tax free motoring which will be ultimate recycling :-)











topjay

742 posts

183 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
I live on the outskirts of London and the answer is frustratingly if you actually want to properly use it, you can never even run through a couple of gears. So it’s really just the special feeling of being in them on the road. Its the tours and trips that make the ownership for me now.

10 years ago it was still good driving where i am as long as you picked quiet times, now its so busy and so many cameras everywhere, i have to drive at least 30 mins for some open road and it really isn’t worth it so I rarely bother.
I prefer the driving to the showboating and I have always loved cars of which supercars have been an absolute dream since teens but I’m getting to the point that the hassle outweighs the benefit.

Attitudes have also changed, its a love hate thing now where before it was 99.99% love and so you could get away with a lot more and people appreciated it, now you are lucky to escape a road rage incident on most outings for just daring to be on the road.

Mx5 will probably be more engaging to drive harder but its not the same as being an instant rockstar in a missile even if its blasting in a straight line to the moon. It just depends what your desires are, what each thing means to you and how much hassle you are prepared to put up with to achieve it and that only you can work out, probably by trying it!

RSbandit

1,429 posts

97 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
East London based here but currently reside in an apartment complex with underground parking which is an important point for me, no way I would leave my car parked on the street. As regards usage I managed 7k miles last yr which was pretty decent, quite a few early morning drives with some other McLarens out to Essex (Been through Finchingfield many times) and on to Newmarket via the b roads, some cracking spins and it gets quieter the further out you get. I also do an annual trip to the Ring for some track days and normally take in one or two in the UK also (Bedford as its the safest option). Commute in the car once or twice a week too which although you can't stretch it's legs I still enjoy as the car is an experience even at low speeds. I've a young family but make a point of using the car as much as I can my eldest comes with me sometimes and he loves it...and an understanding wife helps!

paulmnz

444 posts

139 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
london based, have done 15,000 miles since I got my f430 spider in 2016, 90% of that mileage has been in europe. That is not to say England is terrible, but the European driving experience is so much better and I believe a special car works best on special roads. the 430 with the roof down on the autobahn, Furka Pass, Col de la Bonette, Col De Turini, Grossglockner High Alpine Road, Nurburgring, black forest, hills of Maranello, the route to pisa, the list goes on and on ... I even took it to Corsica (perhaps the best roads I've ever driven!) all of them unforgettable...

Unforgettable UK driving roads for a supercar? hmmmm. I did the NC500 in the 430 and (ducks for cover) really didn't rate it, probably would have been more fun in a mrk1 MX5 - crowded (even in March), narrow, poor road surfaces and feel very anti-social driving quickly there.

I have a few other cars, and in almost all cases if I want to go for a 'proper drive' in the UK, I'd rather take something slower and use far more of the performance. up early on a saturday for a drive around the lanes down to the coast or goodwood... but even then, unless I'm planning to be home before 8-9am I'd rather take one of the bikes.

I have a '65 mustang for central london use, although 8mpg makes even a cruise around london rather expensive, but it is a lovely way to burn fuel and money and there is some satisfaction from paying no VED, MOT, congestion, ULEV...

TurboSHerts

95 posts

25 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
Cheib said:
I feel your pain OP, used to live in NW3 for the best part of 20 years so very familiar with the travails of owning “something nice” in London. I gave up trying to own a sports car about 7 or 8 years before we moved out in 2015. had kids etc by then so it was also difficult finding the time for trips to sue cars.

Now live in Bucks about 10 miles outside the M25 and grew up in Essex just outside the M25. There are decent roads around and whilst you may not say be able to drive for an hour continuously on epic roads there are plenty of decent driving roads in the countryside with good lines of sight and changes in elevation etc. I think I know the roads you’re talking about to the North/West of Bedford...they’re used by Evo and others for road testing cars....I’ve actually done some instruction on them with an ARDS instructor combined with a half day at Milbrook.
I am on the Herts/Bucks border and still searching for the best routes for an early morning drive ... can you share a few of the favourites ... i have committed to using my car more over the next 12m - track days, morning drives and just using it and not protecting it too much !

Thanks

px1980

Original Poster:

121 posts

18 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
RSbandit said:
East London based here but currently reside in an apartment complex with underground parking which is an important point for me, no way I would leave my car parked on the street. As regards usage I managed 7k miles last yr which was pretty decent, quite a few early morning drives with some other McLarens out to Essex (Been through Finchingfield many times) and on to Newmarket via the b roads, some cracking spins and it gets quieter the further out you get. I also do an annual trip to the Ring for some track days and normally take in one or two in the UK also (Bedford as its the safest option). Commute in the car once or twice a week too which although you can't stretch it's legs I still enjoy as the car is an experience even at low speeds. I've a young family but make a point of using the car as much as I can my eldest comes with me sometimes and he loves it...and an understanding wife helps!
thanks. Unrelated to my original post, but do you take a supercar to Bedford? Aren't noise limits an issue?

px1980

Original Poster:

121 posts

18 months

Tuesday 2nd March
quotequote all
TurboSHerts said:
I am on the Herts/Bucks border and still searching for the best routes for an early morning drive ... can you share a few of the favourites ... i have committed to using my car more over the next 12m - track days, morning drives and just using it and not protecting it too much !

Thanks
I did a course very similar to the other poster, possibly even with the same instructor. Some time at Millbrook and some on roads north of Bedford. B660 between Kimbolton and Glatton is good.