I’ve read over the years that you can’t really say you’re into cars if you don’t like motor shows. That you don’t really like cars if you don’t like motor racing. Or that you’re no car enthusiast until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo.
And so, by that reckoning, if you don’t really like large warehouses, are busy at weekends and have owned a few nice sports cars like a Porsche 911 and a Caterham, then I’m sorry old friend, you’re just not one of us.
Which is daft, right? These people must know it when they say it or write it. There are 60-odd million of us in Britain and yet you’ll know if you’ve tried to enjoy a car near most of them that they don’t like it: you’re too flashy, you’re too noisy, you’re too fast, you’re too dirty, you’re cluttering up the street with your rusty old spudder.
And yet most adults have a car. There are more than 31 million cars on Britain’s roads, and some 45 million of us have a driving licence, so are presumably not averse on principle to the idea of travelling by car.
People drive a lot: on average, each of those 31 million cars travels over 8200 miles a year. The average speed of them isn’t much more than 30mph, which means drivers on average spend 250 hours a year in a car.