/ Motoring

Do you just ‘go for a spin’ in your car?

A new survey by the AA has found that despite rising fuel prices and increased traffic congestion, more than half of people still ‘take their car for a spin’ with no specific purpose other than enjoyment.

I was pretty shocked to read that 55% of motorists drive their car for the sake of it. In fact, my surprise was two-fold.

Firstly, despite fuel prices rising drastically and most people tightening their purse strings, the number of car journeys is actually falling.

Halfords research last month found that motorists were simply reducing their car mileage to save money, with 41% of those surveyed opting to walk or cycle further due to increasing motoring costs.

Secondly, I just didn’t think people bothered to go out and drive for fun any more.

Is driving for fun out of date?

I guess I’m in a situation where I don’t really think about this. I’m fortunate enough to drive a lot of cars in my role at Which?, and I’m always taking different cars out just for the experience of driving them, be it a Porsche Cayenne or a Fiat 500.

But one thing I don’t do is go out for a spin in my own car, unless I have a specific need or location to travel to.

I’m one of those people who associates ‘going for a spin’ with a different generation. I think society has changed so dramatically in the last decade that I had thought this was becoming a lost pastime, experienced and enjoyed by enthusiasts only.

But 55% of the 20,029 AA members surveyed can’t all be enthusiasts, can they? Are you surprised by these findings, and are you one of those who drives their car just for fun?


Hardly use the car at all now – never for “runs” – Though I do take the dogs by car to walks in the Forest but it is only a mile away – I used to take them much further. Still use the car to go hike/camping with the dogs as holidays.

I try to combine visiting people and places with meetings to minimise mileage and save fuel. When I come back from holiday I always find some interesting places to visit on the way back. I cannot remember the last time I drove for no purpose until recently, when I was going to trade in a car. Part of this was because it had a lot of diesel in the tank, but the main reason was that I was rather attached to my old car, which had not let me down in ten years.

When I was a motorcyclist, I did enjoy riding and would head for quiet country roads on sunny summer afternoons.

I used to drive for fun when I was younger, any excuse to get behind the wheel.
I certainly don’t do that now, because I have a long drive to work and back every day and that’s more than enough. Even if that wasn’t the case, I think the novelty has now worn off for me.

My son has only been driving a year, and for him it’s any excuse to go out in the car, makes me smile and reminds me of how I used to be 🙂

magda says:
10 August 2012

I never go for a ”spin” simply to drive a car, but when we lived in the country, I did go for a ”drive” in order to get out of the house and the village (as you couldn’t really walk out far because the road was dangerous to walk or even cycle on: fast, no shoulder and with lots of blind bends).

I only use my car for essential journeys now. “Going for a spin” is yesteryear I’m afraid. My car has just clocked up 15000 miles from new in March 2009. Probably cheaper to travel by taxi.

‘Going for a spin’ is a very regular occurrence in our household. Perhaps it’s because we live in Yorkshire and have so much wonderful countryside to explore!

I live in London and usually use my bike for local trips,trains/buses/tubes for trips further afield in London area using my freedom pass. I use the BMW for longer trips and also just to go out for a ride and enjoy the car. There seems to be quite a lot of exotic cars still being sold and i think it would be a total waste if these people didn’t drive just for the enjoyment of the car.

Phil says:
10 August 2012

Driving ceased to be any kind of pleasure years ago. I can usually find something more interesting and worthwhile to do anyway.

tahrey says:
10 August 2012

Are you kidding me? I barely even go for pleasure rides on my (125cc) bike … a diversionary route down the country lanes or a quick exploration of the local area if I’m already away somewhere new is about as good as it gets.

Cost of fuel, maintenance, increased insurance premiums from higher mileage… it just ain’t worth it. Better to get on the bicycle.

Coastman says:
10 August 2012

As I have come to the point of hardly using my car at all, I need to take it out once a fortnight for half an hour just to keep everything ticking over.

I only use my car for essential journeys now.I try to cram in as much as possible in 1 journey i really have cut my mileage.It angers me the Fuel Tax&Road Taxes.Road Taxes so unjust why should i pay the same as someone driving 30;000 miles per year. Ive always said it should be on Fuel.The more you pay it also may encourage reopening some of our disused ports and stop so many Foreign Lorries clogging up and damaging our roads paying no Taxes.

Surely it all depends on where you live? Here in Milton Keynes I use my car a lot due to the spread-out nature of the town. When I lived in Brixton, London before moving here, I didn’t need or own a car at all, and if ever I really did need one – for holidays for instance – I hired one, usually at the destination.

My present car is a fuel-efficient convertible (VW Eos 2.0D Bluemotion) and yes, on summer evenings, I quite often drive with the roof lowered on country lanes just for the hell of it – you hear the birds and smell the countryside. I also go on longer trips with my bike racked on the back, and cycle there,

Argus says:
13 August 2012

Compared to other liquids, petrol is dirt cheap, especially considering the process of getting it out of the ground and into your tank.

I personally go for a drive whenever I can. I love driving and I have a drivers car, but I take b-roads wherever possible. Most people only drive because they have to, this is reflected in their choice of car. eg Kia, Peugeot, Hyundai, Honda, Toyota