Why supercars aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Why supercars aren’t all they’re cracked up to be
What’s the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery? For many of us, it’s simple: buy a supercar. A Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche or Aston Martin: they’re the dream cars that keep us buying lottery tickets and hoping our numbers will come up. They’re the fantasy about which anyone remotely interested in cars dreams about.

But the stark reality of swapping your Ford Fiesta for a Ferrari, if you were lucky enough ever to do so, could see that dream turn into a nightmare. Seriously. Because the reality of supercars isn’t quite what the beautifully-lit photographs of winding country roads at sunset lead us to believe…

That’s because the average supercar is not designed for people like you and I. It’s designed for an elite handful of people who have very specific needs on very specific days of the year. Whereas Ford creates the Fiesta to be all things for everyone, supercar designers intentionally create cars to exclude the vast majority of people. And woe betide you if you try to muscle it into something it wasn’t designed for.

Chuck your Fiesta keys on a Ferrari dealer’s desk and you’ll discover this before you’ve even left the dealer forecourt. Where do you put all your stuff? Where do you put the kids? Bit awkward. And then, if you can restore family unity (perhaps you’ll have to buy back that Fiesta), things won’t get much better.

You might cause an accident pulling off the dealer forecourt until you get used to a supercar’s appalling visibility (reversing one in a supermarket is akin to walking a tightrope with no safety net). They’re big and very, very wide, so are the exact opposite of relaxing in town. They ride stiffly, so British roads will give you a pounding. They’re ultra-low, making speed bumps a nightmare – you will have a queue of cars behind you. Don’t even mention city-street width restrictors.

Sure, supercars are fast, but they’re too fast. You’ll be breaking the law as soon as you look at the accelerator pedal – and, so loud and standout are they, you can be sure the Police will pounce the very second you do anything illegal. Constantly watching your speed, trying to reign back your speed, while hoping you won’t get collared for speeding, is hardly relaxing.

Then there’s the terror of driving these super-expensive, super-exotic machines, through fear of being hit by gawping fellow drivers. Some will want to race you, forcefully. Almost everyone will gawp and stare at you, which is nice for a bit – but not if you’re idly picking your nose or singing to Adele.

Supercars have big, powerful engines, with big, unquenchable thirsts. You will be filling them up often, often at upwards of £100 a pop (of course, you have to use expensive, hard-to-find premium fuel). These big, powerful engines make a lot of noise, so it’s impossible to leave the house at 5am discreetly. This lack of discretion also raises the fear of theft: undesirables love the idea of supercars just as much as the rest of us.

Look online at the mileages of used supercars. More often than not, they’re low. There’s a reason for that. Many find they’re simply not all they’re cracked up to be. Sure, on the right roads, in the right conditions, they’re brilliant, but the reality of winning the lottery and using a Ferrari every day is as much of a nightmare as it is a dream. Your Fiesta isn’t really so bad after all…