Sports cars and prestige cars are pretty powerful. In fact, if you’ve never driven one before, you’ll be surprised by the power under the hood. Hiring a prestige car for your big day, for a photo shoot or even just for a particularly luxurious weekend away can be a fab idea, but if you’re not used to driving a powerhouse there are a few things you’ll need to know before you get behind the wheel.
All of the Controls Will Probably Be Different
Many supercars have a “flappy paddle” gearbox – which, if you’re not familiar with it, is completely different to a regular stick shift gearbox. Flappy paddle boxes have the paddles on either side of the steering wheel, and to change gears, you have to “flap” the paddle. It’ll take a little getting used to, so keep it in mind. Another difference is the handbrake, so-called because it’s conveniently located to the left-hand side and you can access it with your hand. In many prestige cars, the handbrake is either on the floor (a completely separate pedal to the footbrake) or it’s a button on the dash. Again, it’ll take some getting used to, so familiarise yourself before you set off.
Petrol and Diesel Will Run Out Fast
Most rentals allow a
mileage of 100 miles per day, with additional miles available for a
surcharge. That might seem like loads. But, depending on the make and
model of the car that you choose, you’ll need to fill up before you
reach the 100 mile mark. Plus, you’ll usually have to return the car
with a full tank of fuel, so fill up only about a mile before you reach
your location to make sure you don’t have to pay any surcharges.
Under 25? You’ll Have to Pay
Some companies let those that are under 25 drive premium cars. But it’s a select few – generally, the consensus is that the younger you are, the more risk and therefore the more likely it is that you’ll damage the car or get into an accident. As such, premiums for the day are usually extremely high for those under 25 and some companies will veto you altogether. If you’ve held a valid driving license and had no driving offences or tickets since you were old enough to drive, then you’re in with a better chance. But be prepared to pay and to pay rather handsomely for it.
You’ll Have to Change How You Drive
Put your foot down to accelerate the tiniest bit and you’ll jump forward very, very quickly. Brake, and you’ll screech to what feels like an emergency stop. Steering will be far more responsive, and you only need to turn the wheel a fraction to go where you want to go. You’ll also find that because everything feels so different, your driving style will have to change and you’ll need to take a half hour or so to familiarise yourself with the car before heading out on your journey – learning how to change gears, how far down to press the accelerator or the brake and even, as silly as it sounds, where the indicators are.
might sound jaw-droppingly obvious but prestige cars can be worth
upwards of £100,000, so it’s really important to be as careful as you
can. Of course, you’ve got to have a bit of fun. But virtually no
companies will let you take the car onto a racetrack – which also means
that you shouldn’t compensate by running it at 120mph down an empty
motorway! Many companies install trackers in their vehicles and they’ll
be able to tell exactly how fast you’ve been driving.