During the year, the vast majority of my miles are logged in press cars. I have to review a car every week for my other freelance gig. To do that, I need to put a decent number of miles on the car I’m reviewing. And—since I work from home—that doesn’t leave a lot of regular driving for my normal car.
The problem is, I want to share my love of cars with my friends. I’ve made many a convert out of people who said they had no interest in cars when, really, they just had never been in an interesting car or driven in an interesting way. I like showing people how fun a good car on a good road can be.
But, since a lot of times those experiences are in press cars, I can’t let other people drive. It’s one of the few stipulations with press cars: you’re the only one allowed to drive. As an automotive evangelist, it’s sad to not be able to share the driving experience with my friends who don’t know what a good driving car feels like.
When I can, though, I love letting people drive my cars. I taught my friend Simon how to drive stick in my Miata, I offered the Town Car to everybody (no one took me up on it) and my friend’s dad just took the Lexus around the block to see how it felt.
These aren’t particularly expensive or absurdly fun cars, but I firmly believe in sharing fun driving experiences. Growing up, my status as The Car Boi meant that a few family friends with nice cars let me drive them. Those early automotive experiences gave me the context that was tremendously helpful when I started reviewing cars professionally.
And I think, in general, it can be good for both parties. In the same way that I love trying out any car I haven’t driven, I also enjoy watching people discover the fun parts of my car and learn to enjoy something I care about. Insurance typically covers letting other people drive, so besides risking an early clutch replacement it’s not much of a financial burden.
I understand, however, that a lot of people aren’t into that. Maybe your car is too special, maybe it’s too expensive to risk or maybe it just isn’t fun for you. Tell us why you do or don’t let other people drive your car. I’m sure some of you have horror stories and I’m hoping they don’t dissuade me.