Are driving experiences worth it

Found 14th Oct 2017
We are thinking of getting one for my dad.
Are they any good, or 99% stood around 1%driving?

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Depends which one.
I got one for Christmas once, it was quite a bit of standing around and seemed like a nightmare to book and get sorted but I enjoyed the day it was good fun
I have used everymanracing in the past. £119 to drive five cars like Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, BMW i8, Ferrari 360, Aston Martin db9/vantage, Nissan GTR etc for 3 miles, which at the track I went to would mean an out laptop and then an in lap, you could spend £179 and have 6 miles so you have an in lap, two proper laps and then an in lap. Plus you get a passenger ride in something like a V8 Vauxhall Monaco at the end.

In my experience the cars are great and you can go pretty fast, the passenger lap is absolutely crazy, they don't flow the track and just do any old crazy circuit thrashing it round the tarmac.
If you get there at say 1pm for the afternoon one they will have you down to drive a car about every hour, with your actual sitting in the car and driving being about 10 minutes. They usually have a gate for each manufacturer of car and then someone has a list with everyone's name on it where you kind of go up and check in, but after say 15/20 min of waiting you can just ask how long will it be and they'll probably get you in on the next one. Anyway, to drive five cars for 6 miles each and the the passenger lap was something like 4 hours, which on a sunny day is perfectly fine in my opinion.
The mistake people make is spending £119 for the event and then paying £30 for camera footage inside, spending £20 to sit in a skoda Octavia and be shown the track, spending £30 for a damage waiver thing. In my opinion it's pointless, if you want to spend £250 on a track day then spend it on driving.
Definitley good. You need to go for somethin like ferrari lambo audi r8 tho. They had one locally which was the new civic type r. Seemed totally pointless as its hardly a supercar and you could test drive one for free from honda
I was given one of the £120 specials as a xmas present, it was on some crappy runway in North Yorks and it wasn't worth the money at all, actually got 12 mins driving time and wasn't allowed to use full throttle. The food and facilities were dire and the "supercars" looked tired.

In contrast I bought my wife a driving day at Palmer Sports, not cheap but a fantastic day with plenty of driving time, great mix of cars she was grinning ear to ear all day and loved that she was the fastest in the F3000.
I can recommend the Porsche Driving Experience at Silverstone. It is run by not cheap, there is an element of education as it includes skid pan training and launch control on a drag strip. If you do the full day, you also get to go on the Silverstone circuit. On the 1/2 day I did 2 weeks ago I got 100 mins behind the wheel, which frankly was more than enough, brain fade from the g-force!

I also did a mixed Porsche and single seat day at Thruxton Motorsport Centre a few years back which was very good. Their website gives a good choice of activities.
If you want a lot of driving time then you could consider an open road hire. There are plenty of places offering hire of caterhams, morgans, lotuses and other roadsters near scenic countryside for £200 for the day.
I would recommend choosing a proper circuit, such as Thruxton, Brands or Silverstone, rather than an airfield, and booking direct. We did some passenger laps at Thruxton recently which was good and the driving looked equally good - several Octavia vRS & Boxsters to learn the track and plenty of supercars or the single seaters. However, all of the punters were made to look very slow with the pros driving passenger laps at the same time - including Tiff Needell. Having said that, if you know someone with a decent car, see if you can share the costs of a trackday in that car. I drove Brands many years ago in a re-engined Mini which was awesome. Another option depending on location is Mercedes-Benz world at Brooklands - lots of AMG Mercs on a nice short track.
Possibly - if he doesn't buy all the extras (waiver insurance is just a scare tactic - they wont let you go nuts).

As long as he tells them he's driven that type of car before then they might let him actually put his foot down, but
unless you pay big bucks to do more laps, doing an out lap and then one more lap just isn't enough (3 miles).

The passenger lap is fun, but it's over in less than a minute.
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