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

Just how green is nuclear power?
Energy

Just how green is nuclear power?

Nuclear power is certainly very clean in terms of carbon emissions, but what about the radioactive waste produced as a byproduct? It’s not as much of …
22 Jan 2022
Why GSK should turn down Unilever’s billions
UK stockmarkets

Why GSK should turn down Unilever’s billions

Unilever has offered GSK £50bn for its consumer division. But while the cash will be a temptation, the deal is not in the interests of shareholders or…
22 Jan 2022
The charts that matter: the start of the big crash?
Global Economy

The charts that matter: the start of the big crash?

US tech stocks fell further this week, more than 10% down on their November high. There’s what happened to the charts that matter most to the global e…
22 Jan 2022
Cryptocurrency roundup: authorities tighten the screw
Bitcoin & crypto

Cryptocurrency roundup: authorities tighten the screw

Saloni Sardana looks at the cryptocurrency stories that caught our eye this week.
21 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is
Inflation

Ask for a pay rise – everyone else is

As inflation bites and the labour market remains tight, many of the nation's employees are asking for a pay rise. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why yo…
17 Jan 2022
Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing
Investment strategy

Temple Bar’s Ian Lance and Nick Purves: the essence of value investing

Ian Lance and Nick Purves of the Temple Bar investment trust explain the essence of “value investing” – buying something for less than its intrinsic v…
14 Jan 2022
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022