March 21, 2013 12:40 AM |
Posted By: Adam_Walker
Rated 2.8 out of 5.0 by 4 members
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.
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– firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow my experiences on Twitter - @adamjwalker1 – where you can also follow @CLUBGTsupercars