If you can’t actually buy a car for a real petrol head, the next best thing you can get for one as a gift is a car driving experience day, which is often referred to as a red letter day. The basic premise of these is that you get to experience what it is like to drive a car that you wouldn’t normally be able to and/or on a track that you would not have the chance to drive around.
There are a various different types available – including anything from driving around Silverstone to driving a luxury car such as a Mercedes Benz and many more. It could be that you have often considered these as a gift choice for yourself or a friend or relative, but have stopped short of booking one because you are not actually sure whether they are worth it or not.
In order to help you decide, let’s discuss some of the plus positives and negatives.
On the one hand, you get to experience driving a really fast car on an empty track, often of formula one racing standard or similar such as Brans Hatch or the previously mentioned Silverstone, which is surely anyone who’s passionate about cars idea of heaven!
Therefore for what would appear a reasonable price, you get a nice day out and get the chance to drive as fast as you can without worry of being booked for speeding by the traffic police!
However, the price might seem reasonable until you realise what it actually entitles you to on the day. It is not unusual for a car driving experience day to be around £120 or more and for that price you only get 3 laps worth of driving time. While that might not seem too bad we haven’t quite finished discussing the negatives.
You see, what they don’t tell you unless you read the very fine print, is that you will not be driving all 3 laps round the track in the car of your choice. Many companies that organise these experiences like to give their customers the chance to test out the track and driving fast round it in less expensive, less impressive cars.
While I can understand why they do this, it is not exactly the experience you thought you were getting. Imagine if you gave one to someone as a gift and they had always wanted to drive a particularly fast car on a particular track and they were excited and looking forward to it up until they arrived on the day and realised they would be driving 2 of the 3 laps in a mini before being allowed to drive the Ferrari!
Now we are not saying that as far as days out go, car driving experiences are a bad choice. We just felt it was important that you realise what you could be getting for the price and that if you are not happy to drive around a race track in a Ford Focus for 2 laps before getting into the Porsche, then it’s better to know this before you book it.