RAC Cars News


Why you wouldn't really want to own a supercar

By raccars Published


The supercar is the holy grail of every petrol head, but are they really that great?

In mechanical terms, yes. Supercars are state-of-the-art automotive technology, with head-turning design and thrilling performance. Badges such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti and McLaren are endowed with some kind of mystical air which is supposed to make the driver automatically about 100 per cent cooler than someone driving a Vauxhall Astra or VW Polo, for example. Certainly they are headily desirable, exotic and exciting, but there are some downsides to owning some of the world's most spectacular cars...

You can forget speed bumps

The forces of aerodynamics mean that the supercar has to have its belly low to the ground, like a snake. This is how they remain stable at speed. However Britain's poor roads and 'traffic calming measures' are Cryptonite to the supercar. Even a nasty pothole can cause a repair bill in the thousands. It takes a lot of the fun out of the process if you have to crawl along at a snail's pace to make sure that you avoid every lump and bump. And an awful lot of car parks are no-go zones.

A waste of power

On a free-for-all German autobahn you might be able to let rip, but there's not an awful lot you can do with 600bhp plus on the average British road unless you indulge in track days. Actually trying to enjoy your supercar is fraught with risk; losing your licence and losing control in particular. It takes a significant amount of driving skill to keep these beasts on the straight and narrow. They're a bit thirsty too. It's pretty depressing to think that you have forked out the price of an average house for a car you never really get to take past 1,500 revs.

The supercar money pit

Even the cheapest supercar is an expensive purchase, and then there are all those insecure ponderings about its supercar pedigree. Is it as good as the other supercars? Should you fork out for an even more expensive supercar? Apart from the wallet-busting purchase costs, maintenance and repair costs on this kind of metal are frightening.

You'll forever be shelling out for something or other, while that gratifying exclusivity also tends to mean that skilled mechanics and parts are few and far between, so you'll be waiting a while to get your precious car back on the road. Even getting the thing cleaned will make a serious dent in your bank account, because you don't want to run it through the local garage's automatic car wash.

Built for speed rather than comfort

In a supercar you tend to find yourself having to contort your body uncomfortably just to get in as they are very low to the ground and not usually particularly spacious. To keep you safe you'll be wedged into a rather firm and tight fitting racing seat, and you'll feel every little lump and bump vibrating through your whole body. After every thrilling ride you'll need an appointment with an osteopath. It's a far cry from the cosseting luxury of an executive saloon.

There's no privacy

Everyone will know where you are and when, and many people will want to stop you and chat about your amazing car. If you're particularly extrovert - and have nothing to hide - you may enjoy the attention. If you prefer a lower profile lifestyle, forget it.

What does your car say about you?

There's a theory that you can tell a lot about someone from their car. And for everyone who thinks your car is cool and so therefore you must be too, there will be someone who thinks you're boastful or trying to make up for some kind of inadequacy.

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