March 21, 2013 12:40 AM  |  Posted By: Adam_Walker
Rated 2.8 out of 5.0 by 4 members  |  11 Comments  |  7833 Views
Related Categories: Club GT Membership

As a petrolhead, you might be familiar with this ritual. During your daily routine, you've spotted, thought of, or read about a car that you couldn't have considered purchasing when first launched. This was either due to price, practicality, a lack of space in the stable, or maybe you weren't sold on the styling at first.  However, you now find yourself mulling the possibility of owning this car.

At the next available opportunity - probably during work hours - you find yourself deep within the classifieds, eager to determine whether or not depreciation has aligned prices with your budget, or whether this car would now fit your motoring requirements (read 'budget' in the widest sense of the word here, since you might be considering car finance to enhance the natural reach of your bank balance, and rightly so in my opinion!). Whether or not this car has true ownership potential, there will be hours/evenings/weekends spent watching YouTube videos, reading archived reviews and browsing through buying guides (though these are optional, as they may put you off). It's also likely that you will explore some tuning options, and then re-visit YouTube for several hours. 

By way of background and to create some context, my car history includes a Ford Focus ST, VW Golf R32 mk5, a noisy Vauxhall VXR8 (named 'Growler') and both DCT & manual versions of the E92 BMW M3 (incidentally, my current M3 is pictured below, as featured in evo issue 179). I've enjoyed all of my past cars, but plans for a replacement were never far away and a good trawl through the classifieds is infinitely more satisfying if you are 'ready' for a change. 

evo issue 179

However, I've now arrived at a point where searching for my next car is as frustrating as it is enjoyable. In the past I have always managed to prepare a shortlist, but 12 months after buying the M3 I can't think of a single potential replacement (within a reasonable budget, of course). Maybe the M3 has set the bar too high, blending pace and driving dynamics with practicality and comfort, all at great value for a car delivering 414bhp from a high-revving V8 (I'm currently addicted to the induction noise at full throttle between 3500 and 4000rpm, which is accentuated by the recent cold weather and best enjoyed by early upshifts through 3rd to 6th gears!)  

So, unlike in the past, I'm not ready for a change but still enjoy searching for the next car. I also enjoy driving different cars, but since beginning a collection isn't an option, I think I've found a solution in the form of car hire club Club GT.

Based in London, Club GT offers a broad selection of performance car icons, all available to 'borrow' via a points system. Essentially, the more you spend, the more points you receive, with packages starting from £1500 plus a one-off £250 joining fee. The cars range from a Ferrari F430 to a Renault Clio 172 Cup. This is great for me; it means I can have the enjoyment of driving and exploring a new car every month, but without the associated running costs. The hours spent choosing the next car I'd like to collect (and where I'd like to take it) might also replace those hours I now don't spend looking through the classifieds for my next car!  

For days after this idea first entered my head, I was playing with the Trip Planner on the Club GT website, repeatedly thinking I'd arranged a good mix of cars for the next 12 months of motoring, but then starting all over again the following evening as my mood changed! There was only one way this was going, I was joining the club and the quicker the better... Joining is simple, just a few forms and a money transfer (there are monthly payment options available), followed by a driver training day, which is effectively covered by the joining fee mentioned earlier on.  

Look out for my next blog about the driver training day and feel free to email me if you'd like any more info– adamevo@live.com. You can follow my experiences on Twitter - @adamjwalker1 – where you can also follow @CLUBGTsupercars


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Alligns at 6:42 PM July 9, 2013

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Adam_Walker at 3:22 PM March 27, 2013

David, I've driven several GT-R's, maybe even your friends, and it's an epic car. A friend of mine used one every day and managed to part company with his licence fully intact, something I genuinely don't think I could manage where the main (but not only) enjoyment comes from the power delivery. I can't imagine what 717hp must feel like in Stealthzilla! It's in a class of its own as far as I'm concerned and I've been known to say, more than once, "that's it, I'm buying one!". Why haven't I? It doesn't quite work for me as a daily, short journey car and if or when I run two cars I think I'd want something smaller, manual and noisier for the weekends. More engagement at lower speeds, that old one... The GT-R was one of the main catalysts for me joining ClubGT, I at least needed access to one every now and then!

David_Yu at 11:56 AM March 25, 2013

" 12 months after buying the M3 I can't think of a single potential replacement (within a reasonable budget, of course). Maybe the M3 has set the bar too high..."Er, you've never met or driven a Nissan GT-R then? ;) My neighbour is a member of Club GT and soon sold his Maserati Gran Sport after I showed him the way of the GT-R. His GT-R is available through the fleet I believe.

Adam_Walker at 11:49 AM March 24, 2013

That's a great line up. I'm looking forward to the NSX, Neal of ClubGT says it's one of his favourites, if not THE favourite. 928 is a superb car, I'd love to find an immaculate, dark blue GTS one day.

Rotrexman at 11:39 AM March 24, 2013

I used to be a member of the Edinburgh Classic Car Club - which was based on the same principles. Over 3 years I drove the following machines, which I couldn't have afforded to buy ; Bentley Mulsanne 'R', Lotus Esprit S2, Lotus Elise Mk.1, TVR Chimaera 4.0, Honda NSX, BMW M3, Honda S2000, Ferrari 308 GTB, Triumph TR8, Porsche 911 3.0 SC, Porsche 928S, Porsche 964 C4, Mitsubishi Evo IV. My favourite handling car was the NSX, but in the musical dept it was the 928 every time !

kiboomiz at 5:59 PM March 21, 2013

I can also vouch for ClubGT as a great alternative to owning a second car or if, like me, you want to experience the cars without the pain of day-to-day ownership! I've been a member for a few years now and have nothing but praise for Chris & Neil who run the club. I've been able to drive the cars I've wanted to and I feel I've improved as a driver too. A house purchase and impending wedding have put paid to me buying any points packages for a while, but I'll still try and get on some of their trackdays and will keep a close eye on any changes to their fleet just in case :-)

Adam_Walker at 2:12 PM March 21, 2013

Freddie, have a look through their site, but beware, that's what tipped me over the edge! I also looked into P1, ecurie25, etc. but the budget wouldn't allow that (I must stop calling her 'the budget'). Happy to help with any questions now I'm fully inaugurated! Unfortunately I don't own ClubGT, my twitter bio confirms that. The club is unique within my budget so maybe some over-excitement crept in. Plus I do write a lot of adverts! Rich - I think it was another word beginning with F, but fornicates will do ;) For now, renting is a great alternative for me.

RichS at 1:38 PM March 21, 2013

As 'somebody' famous once said, "If it flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it" - and I think this applies equally to fast cars. "If it's fast, flies, floats or fornicates, always rent it." Currently browsing the ClubGT car list.... :o)

Gavin at 1:37 PM March 21, 2013

That reads like an advert. Do you own Club GT?

Freddie Auton at 11:47 AM March 21, 2013

Sounds like a very rewarding idea to me. I'm in the same boat with my manual 997 Carrera S in that nothing I try comes close to its fun vs practicality count. You may have opened a can of worms here :o)

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