Blow the lockdown cobwebs away with a self-drive supercar holiday

Bored with lockdown? Don't want to fly? Why not go on a Grand Tour of Europe at the wheel of a supercar instead?

Successive lockdowns have left a swathe of shattered holiday plans and disappointment in their wake. Not surprisingly, frustrated well-heeled travellers, who have had to swap the airport lounge for their own lounges at home, have sought an alternative outlet for their wealth. That’s been a boon for dealers of second-hand supercars. 

“We saw a significant increase in the sale of used cars in the region of not more than £150,000,” Ken Choo, chief executive of HR Owen, Britain’s biggest dealer of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys, tells the Financial Times. “People said ‘I cannot travel to the Bahamas, so I will buy a used Ferrari or Lambo instead’.” Arguably, the trend was already under way before the pandemic arrived. In the year to the end of 2019, the number of supercars in Britain rose by 12% on the previous year, to 15,700, according to a new study by accountancy group UHY Hacker Young. 

Get rubber in all four gears

But while driving around Westminster, Britain’s Maserati Mecca with 532 supercars, has its attractions, it’s no substitute for the Côte d’Azur or the Amalfi coast. So what do you do once the lockdowns have lifted and you are once again free to take your new toy on the open road? 

You could drive your own to the continent, perhaps. But if you don’t want the bother of looking after a high-performance machine, why not borrow one? London-based Ultimate Driving Tours offers both options. Its ten-day European Supercar Tour, departing 15 and 21 May, takes in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France, en route to Monaco. From the smug comfort of your Ferrari or Lamborghini, you can watch the countryside flit by before ending the whole experience in the water – not because you overshot the road and landed in the ditch, but because guests round off their journey by hopping aboard a luxury yacht for trackside views of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. Should watching these ultra-high-performance machines buzz around the race course spark feelings of envy, guests can spend an evening with former Aussie F1 driver Mark Webber and get behind the wheel of a real F1 car. 

An alternative is the five-day Le Grand Motoring Tour de France package, leaving Maidstone, in Kent, on 21 June for Picardy, Normandy, the Loire Valley and Champagne, where you can take guided tours of the region’s great Champagne houses and be served haute cuisine and fine wine. Ultimate Driving Tours also offers a range of self-guided tours through Tuscany, Provence, Bavaria and the Swiss Alps.

The European Supercar Tour, from £16,190 per person, based on two sharing; Le Grand Motoring Tour de France, from £2,490 per person in your own car; self-drive holidays from £5,250 per person. See ultimatedrivingtours.com for details.

Recommended

Changpeng Zhao: Binance founder undaunted by the crypto winter
Bitcoin & crypto

Changpeng Zhao: Binance founder undaunted by the crypto winter

Changpeng Zhao, the founder of controversial cryptocurrency exchange Binance, has been severely battered by carnage in the sector. But the future is b…
3 Jul 2022
Ray Dalio’s shrewd $10bn bet on the collapse of European stocks
European stockmarkets

Ray Dalio’s shrewd $10bn bet on the collapse of European stocks

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater hedge fund is putting its money on a collapse in European stocks. It’s likely to pay off, says Matthew Lynn.
3 Jul 2022
Just how powerful is artificial intelligence becoming?
Tech stocks

Just how powerful is artificial intelligence becoming?

An uncannily human response from an artificial intelligence program sparked a minor panic last month. But just how powerful are machines getting – and…
2 Jul 2022
Persimmon yields 12.3%, but can you trust the company to deliver?
Share tips

Persimmon yields 12.3%, but can you trust the company to deliver?

With a dividend yield of 12.3%, Persimmon looks like a highly attractive prospect for income investors. But that sort of yield can also indicate compa…
1 Jul 2022

Most Popular

Five dividend stocks to beat inflation
Share tips

Five dividend stocks to beat inflation

During periods of high inflation, dividend stocks tend to do better than the wider market. Here, Rupert Hargreaves pick five dividend stocks for incom…
30 Jun 2022
Don’t try to time the bottom – start buying good companies now
Investment strategy

Don’t try to time the bottom – start buying good companies now

Markets are having a rough time, so you may be tempted to wait to try to call the bottom and pick up some bargains. But that would be a mistake, says …
1 Jul 2022
UK house prices are definitely cooling off – but are they heading for a fall?
House prices

UK house prices are definitely cooling off – but are they heading for a fall?

UK house prices hit a fresh high in June, but as interest rates start to rise, the market is cooling John Stepek assesses just how much of an effect h…
30 Jun 2022