In automotive journalism, everyone from smaller-scale bloggers to the people on weeknight TV has access to press cars: loaners provided by an automaker for a certain amount of time, whether that’s a week or six months. Barring some kind of weird development, we’re supposed to give it back when time’s up.
Usually, that kind of weird development is something that requires the person testing the car to keep it longer, like if it needs a repair in the middle of a loan period. But for The Grand Tour host James May—well, he just kept one of his, for about three years longer than he should have.
May said in a recent DriveTribe video that he once had a Jaguar loaner he was scheduled to keep for six months for a series of stories, and then moved without telling the company. May said Jaguar came back for the car three years later, which seems a little late, and he responded with, “What, is it still here?”
It was outside with 68,000 miles on it, May said. (The most miles I recall seeing a press loaner was 5,800 on a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye, so 68,000 is a lot.)
The video with this little fun fact in it is called “Seven Things You Didn’t Know About James May,” but we all know what we really learned here: If you’re ever in the mood to steal a car, don’t go hop the fence at a local dealership. That’s so predictable, and there’s no need.
Instead, just start up a Blogspot account and give Jaguar a call. If anything, you’ll have a few years to move to a remote location and change your name before they come looking for it.