Firstly, many people do drive their supercars every day and there’s no doubt that some are easier to drive frequently than others. It’s not just the quality of the ride that makes driving some supercars less than appealing, there are other reasons why this might not be a good idea.
Is the McLaren different in this respect and can you take it down the shops every day or indeed do the school-run twice a day? I’m sure your kids would love to be picked up in it but is it a good idea? Let me explain…
Can a McLaren be a daily driver? A McLaren can be a daily driver but this is assuming the McLaren isn’t one of their limited-production models, such as the Senna. The 570S series, for instance, are perfectly suitable for most daily journeys without any significant hardship. However, driving a supercar daily is not generally a good idea, find out why below.
What makes a daily driver car?
To categorize a car as a ‘daily driver’ I’ve analyzed some key components that I believe are necessary to make a car perfect for driving frequently. We can then simply assess the McLaren to see if it meets these criteria, easy! The things I’m looking for are:
- Comfort – some supercars are certainly not known for their soft ride, and nor should they be – this isn’t what they’re designed for. However, there needs to be a compromise between the experience of feeling the road and not needing a spine replacement after 50 miles! Most supercars will have different settings (such as ‘sport’, ‘comfort’, etc.) that can change things such as throttle response and suspension stiffness. If this is the case, then great – stick it in ‘comfort’ mode and away you go. However, we also need to think about the seats. If racing buckets are your only option then this might be great for the track, not so great for a visit to the supermarket!
- economy – the miles per gallon you can achieve must be a factor as to how convenient a car is to drive regularly. Not just the efficiency of the car but how large the tank is. For instance, the fantastic Ford GT (most recent version) has a fuel tank of only 15.2 gallons (~69 liters). It also has an mpg of 10-11 in the City! So, you could feasibly be filling up with fuel every 150 miles, not good! Although, to be quite honest – I don’t think you’re going to be daily-driving a Ford GT, which costs upwards of $400,000. Likewise, if you have a V12 then you’re going to have similar problems 🙂
- Storage – how much ‘stuff’ you can fit into the cabin and trunk is something to consider. In my Gallardo, I don’t even have enough room for a small water bottle in the cabin and the glove box is about as useful as a chocolate tea-pot. So, if you’re using your car every day then you may want to have enough room for some shopping or some golf clubs (for example). It’ll be unlikely you’ll find many supercars that can accommodate the latter (a Grand Tourer would be better suited for this).
- Noise – At least for me, one of the best things about owning a supercar is the noise. I mean, what’s the point of owning a supercar if it doesn’t sound like one! This is the problem I have with electric cars at the moment. Yes, their performance can match (and exceed) the power of combustion, but you certainly lose out on the noise. Personally, I will miss the V10 and V12 when we’ve all had to switch to electric power. Anyway, back to my point! If you’re driving your car daily, will that supercar-noise eventually become somewhat irritating? Most supercars have valves that open in the exhaust but won’t open until the revs hit a certain rev limit, drive under this and your ears might thank-you later.
McLarens and driving them daily
So, let’s have a look at the McLaren itself and see how it fairs when comparing it to the above criteria.
Which McLaren’s are we talking about?
First, we need to agree on what McLaren we’re actually talking about here! I think it’s probably best to avoid the Senna, as I doubt there will be many people taking theirs to pick up the weekly shopping! So, let’s concentrate on their higher-volume units such as the 570S (comprising the 540C, 570GT, and 600LT).
By default, you won’t have any problems with long journeys (or frequent ones) with the McLaren 570S seats. They are adjustable (as is the steering wheel). However, you may be tempted to swap your seats for something that hugs your body that little bit tighter.
This isn’t necessary as the stock seats are more than adequate but bear in mind if you do this although you may get more feedback from the road if you’re driving this every day it may soon become cumbersome if you’re feeling it every day.
So, I think we can safely say that as far as comfort goes, there is nothing to prevent you from driving this McLaren every day.
The 570S boasts pretty impressive fuel figures for such a high-performing supercar that’s capable of reaching 62 mph in a somewhat sprightly 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph. You can expect an economy of around 20-25 mpg, depending on where you’re driving it and how you’re driving it, of course.
Its fuel tank certainly isn’t the biggest, at 72 liters (15.8 gallons) but combined with an above-average mpg, means you could get 300 miles before you need to fill up again.
Therefore, as far as economy is concerned, the McLaren passes with ease.
The amount of storage space you get in a McLaren 570S is surprising and you actually get more space in the Mac than you do in an Audi R8 or a Porsche 911. In fact, the boot has a capacity of 144 liters (this is located in the front of the car as, of course, the engine is in the back).
Not only that though, but there are also a surprising amount of spaces within the cabin to put stuff. It’s like they’ve actually thought about this! This may seem a strange thing to say but you’d be surprised by how little space for stuff some supercars have when you’re inside.
The amount of storage space, considering the type of car this is, is good – so this won’t cause you any major issues.
There are two factors to consider here, the noise of the engine when pushed hard and the engine drone when cruising. Now, this is both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on what you want and like. I’ve always thought McLarens could do with a more aggressive exhaust/engine note (Ferrari and Lamborghini have this nailed) – it’s like it’s just missing something.
However, if you’re driving it frequently then maybe this is a good thing. Engine drone at cruising speeds is negligible.
Therefore, it’s fair to say that the noise of the car won’t prevent you from driving and enjoying this beast every day.
Well, this is all relative, right? I mean, if you’ve got a lot of cash then maybe you don’t care but let’s take the average person who purchases the car through finance. Now typically, there is a limit to how many miles you can do in one year (mine is 5,000) so this is a factor and if you want to increase this, it will most likely cost you.
The economy is pretty good for a car of this stature and unless you’re driving in Europe (where gas prices are very high) shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Where the extra mileage will cost you though is in the servicing, warranty and depreciation that will be a factor with all the miles you’re going to put on it. Servicing will be 10,000 or annually and a warranty after three years may cost you $5k+ per year.
Finally, when people buy supercars they are typically looking for examples with low mileage. High mileage cars can sell but can see a significant drop in value after around 20k miles and beyond, depending on the age, of course. If you’re going to do more than about 5,000 miles a year, this will be something that could bite you when you want to sell it on.
Should you drive a supercar every day?
Although it’s perfectly possible for you to drive a McLaren daily you should really ask yourself whether that’s a good idea, for the following reasons:
- Using something, however special, continually, makes it less special. Without doubt, if you drive your car only on weekends when it’s sunny then it’s going to feel a lot more special when you get inside it than if you are using it every day to get to and from work.
- If you’re not thinking of keeping the car forever then you are, of course, going to need to sell it at some point. The mileage you’re putting on it will make it substantially harder for you to get a good price at that time. You may not be surprised to know that the McLaren does depreciate and does seem to lose value a lot quicker than other supercar brands.
- The more you drive it the more problems you’re likely to eventually have, which will cost you money. You may end up not wanting to drive it so much as you’ll be aware of the impact of the miles you’re putting on – taking away a lot of the enjoyment.
- Typically, you will be only insured for a certain amount of miles – you’re going to have to pay more to drive more.
So, it’s pretty clear that yes – you can most definitely use a McLaren as a daily driver. Assuming it’s not something like the Senna and one of their more mainstream models such as the 570S series. However, I wouldn’t. If it was me I’d buy something cheap for daily boring drives and leave the McLaren for the weekend but if you’re one of those people who make up your own rules – fair play to you, enjoy your daily trips to the shops or whatever you’re doing!
If you’re wondering whether you can afford a supercar then check out my article. Many people are surprised to learn that after looking at the numbers they can actually buy one for themselves!