Mon 11 Jul 2016
Last Christmas I got my husband a Supercar Driving Experience voucher for the Royal Highland Centre. So, having pre-booked the time and date online, we went along to Ingliston Showground on Saturday morning.
We checked in at the reception desk, where they encouraged my husband to take out extra insurance for £25. This would waiver the excess charge of up to £2500 if he caused damage to the car during his drive. He decided to take it out so that he could relax and enjoy the experience. I actually think they should have added this to the voucher price, rather than up-selling it on the day. It’s pretty bad turning up to a gift experience to be told you may have to pay thousands of pounds if something goes wrong.
Then there was a briefing, where they went through health and safety and introduced all the cars that were available to drive on the day. You could choose from the Ferrari California, Lamborghini Gallardo, BMW i8, Porsche GT3, Aston Martin DB9, Audi R8, Nissan GTR, Jaguar F-Type and more. There were also two higher spec cars, which you could upgrade to for a fee, plus many other upgrade options. We did get the feeling they aimed to up-sell to us at every opportunity.
Next we headed out to the track. The event was much bigger than I had anticipated, with lots of people around and several cars out on the track at one time. The voucher included three laps in your chosen car. My husband picked the Lamborghini Gallardo, so he joined the queue and had about a ten minute wait. He really enjoyed his drive. A professional driver was with him throughout to instruct him. The track is not designed for you to get the cars up to top speed, as that would be dangerous, but he was allowed to get up to about 80 mph. There was a photographer on site taking shots as he drove around, and there was also a camera filming him the whole time. You had to pay extra to take the photos and footage home though, obviously.
I decided I would have a passenger ride in the Ariel Atom, which can do 0 – 60 mph in 2.9 seconds! There was about a fifteen minute wait for this one. I paid for one lap, but apparently I got two. I couldn’t actually tell though as the whole thing was a bit of a blur! It was a great experience and quite a white knuckle ride. I did feel a bit sick when I got out!
We were there for almost two hours in total and the cost for both rides came to £139. The event was so well organised and we had a brilliant time. My only criticism is the extra insurance charge and the constant up-selling.
Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB