Whilst it’s fair to say that the vast majority of our rentals are for more mundane vehicles, it is possible to hire a supercar, or at least very high end sports cars with Rhino. However, as is often asked, are the public roads really the place to enjoy what the modern supercar has to offer? Undoubtedly not. Of course, if you are more interested in the image that driving or owning a supercar offers, then cruising around Mayfair may be for you, however if you want to enjoy a supercar for what it was really intended, then the race track is the only option for you and it’s safe to assume that your regular car insurance, let alone car hire insurance policy won’t permit that!
So, we have to turn to specialist supercar hire companies such as 6th Gear and the likes. ‘Driving Experiences’ have long been a stalwart of the ‘experience days’ menu items and a firm favorite for those stuck for gift ideas for the men in their lives, whereas a Spa day might be a safer bet for Mum’s 50th. So here at Rhino, we thought it would be a good idea to try such an experience (the supercar rather than the Spa) and swiftly booked up the ‘Supercar Thrill’ which includes two 6 mile (or 3 laps of Castle Combe race circuit) drives in a choice of Supercars.
Arriving at the Wiltshire circuit, the distinct smell of rubber, fuel and burning clutches was apparent as soon as we got out of the car and the pit lane was noticeable in its absence of Ford Focus’ and Renault Clio’s. The pick of cars for our day ranged from the top end Ferrari 458 and Lamborghini Aventador, to the Porsche 911 Turbo and various Aston Martins among others.
We had booked in for a Ferrari 430 and Lamborghini Gallardo, with the paperwork signed and driving licenses checked, we awaited our name call. Frist up was a baby blue (my least favorite of the Lambo’s on the day!) Gallardo. Instructor briefing and mandatory mug shot taken, off we headed onto track. The 500bhp V10 offering some genuine punch right up until half way around the lap something was not quite right, the car refused to select a gear and we limped back to the pits. Apologies aplenty from the organisers, we were offered a free upgrade to the flagship car on the day, the mighty £330k Ferrari 458. Wow. The ferocity with which the Ferrari accelerates is something to behold, whilst ‘only’ 60bhp more than the Gallardo, it felt in a different league and genuinely a 'super' supercar. With my driving senses suitably pricked, the only downside was that at only 3 laps, it really wasn’t enough time to get used to the car and realign your mental calculations when driving to compensate for how quickly everything appears into view and how quickly it disappears from the rear! 3 laps complete, it was a quick change into a Ferrari 430 Spider, a car widely admired. Down on power on the newer 458, the 430 was actually a little ‘easier’ to get the best from, growing in confidence behind the wheel and more familiar with the track, the second stint in the 430 was arguably better (and probably faster).
With driving experience days starting at around £100 for the ‘basic’ cars in the fleet it’s a great way to get a taste of what sort of car you can buy for the price of an average house in the UK. So if you fancy a high octane day out, hiring a Supercar and putting it to work on a racetrack offers a great experience for those of us less fortunate than the super-rich who potter to the shops in them!
- Fastest car of the day - Undoubtedly the Ferrari 458 Italia
- Loudest car of the day - A toss-up between the Ferrari 430’s and Jag F-Type
- Least reliable car of the day – Lamborghini Gallardo (2 mechanical breakdowns!)
- Wildest car of the day – Lamborghini Aventador
- Most underwhelming car of the day – Audi R8 V10