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Is it scary to drive an exotic car?

Boo! Witches, ghouls, and a 600-horsepower engine. Spooky season is upon us, and while we can’t make all the monsters go away, we can at least assuage any fears about driving exotic cars.

Driving an exotic car (as opposed to a “luxury” car) is a unique and visceral experience that all car enthusiasts should enjoy at least once. That said, it’s understandable to be a little intimidated by the power of an exotic car. That’s normal and part of the thrill! That doesn’t mean it’s a scary experience, just one to attune to. Below are a few things to expect so you can confidently rent and drive an exotic car in Miami.

What it’s like driving an exotic car:

1. Just sitting in the car will feel different.

One of the first things people notice when entering an exotic car, like a Lamborghini, Ferrari, or McLaren, is the low ground clearance. You’ll feel like mere inches are separating your seat from the road - but don’t panic. It’s designed that way to improve handling and make you feel more connected to the car.

Next, you’ll marvel over the quality of the interior, such as the pristine stitching, coloring, and materials, before noticing the dash and console decorated with buttons, dials, and toggles. It can look like a lot. You may even ask: “How do I start this thing?” That’s okay! You wouldn’t be the first. Your rental agent will be thoroughly dedicated to answering all your questions and ensuring you know what’s what and can safely operate the car before driving off.

2. Prepare for a thrilling ride.

There’s no way around it; these cars are designed to go fast. Like, zero to sixty in under three seconds fast. That kind of acceleration can get your heart pumping, toss your head back, and make you forget to breathe. Just because you can go that fast doesn’t mean you have to (or even should). Exotic cars are fine at city speeds, too. Keep in mind many owners across the globe use these vehicles as daily drivers. While exotics are more often designed for the track, they’re still commonly driven on back streets, in traffic, and cities. The handling and responsiveness of these vehicles are unparalleled, and if they can circle the track, they can handle the daily commute. Some manufacturers even offer AWD options (as opposed to the typical RWD), if that allays any worry. Feel free to ask the experts at Clutch Exotics which vehicle would be right for you.

Like anything, driving an exotic car is something to get used to. After the initial trepidation wears off, most drivers are blown away by the degree of “normality” the vehicle offers. Like your current daily driver, if driving fast makes you nervous, even in a controlled environment, you can opt to casually cruise around instead.

3. You will draw attention.

Unleashing the engine’s almighty roar upon ignition is a hair-raising, electrifying “wow” moment. The thunder of the exhaust doesn't diminish as you drive, turning heads and announcing your presence. Once eyes are on you, they tend to stay there. Exotic cars are just that: exotic. People will watch as you pass by, admire the car in its parking space, and may even ask you questions about the car if you’re nearby. Some exotic car drivers comment on the respect they seem to command from other drivers on the road. It’s up to you how much consideration to give to this treatment; you can simply ignore it or you can revel in it like the celebrity others will think you are. The choice is yours.

How to ensure your exotic car rental experience is positive:

If you still have some hesitations after reading the above, there are a few ways to ensure your exotic car experience is positive.

1. Respect the vehicle.

As should be clear by now, exotic cars are lightweight and designed to engage the driver at higher speeds. Despite the idiom, they are not “toys” and should not be treated as such. Respect the vehicle as the extraordinarily capable high-performance machine that it is, and it will reward you with an incredible experience in return.

2. Ride along first.

While not a prerequisite, it's not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with how exotic cars feel as a passenger. This can minimize any initial shock or uncertainty that could occur when first given the keys to your rental. Riding along also gives you a glimpse of how the driver is experiencing the car from practical and emotive standpoints. Seeing their joy while operating the vehicle should give you added confidence when it’s your time to drive.

3. Mind the weather.

Rain and snow aren’t ideal driving conditions for exotic cars. Fortunately, snow is not a problem in Miami, but rains can come heavy and frequent. Advanced traction control systems allow for minimal loss of handling, but it’s always best to take extra care if you’re unsure.

4. Ask questions. Know how everything works.

As mentioned above, exotic cars are equipped with toggles, switches, and systems that are not common (or even realistic) in most daily drivers. Most exotic cars come with the ability to switch between “modes” depending on your driving environment. Some even have the ability to lift the front end over obstacles like bumps or potholes with the flip of a switch. Don’t spend your time wondering and worrying about what this or that feature does, ask the experts! This also ensures you’re getting the most out of your driving experience and not missing out on any of the best-in-class features exotic cars can offer.

5. Practice safe driving.

This one goes without saying. Regardless of what you are driving, following speed limits and road signs and employing defensive driving tactics keeps you and everyone around you safe.

6. Take it easy. Don’t “stretch its legs.”

The temptation is real. You’re in control of something that goes very fast, quickly and easily. There’s a time and a place to mash that accelerator and “see what this baby can do,” but unless you’re at the track or other open space, it's best to behave. And even then, do so with the amount of caution that befits your experience and environment.

7. Build confidence slowly.

Have you ever driven a car that wasn’t yours? It takes some getting used to, especially if it's a different class vehicle altogether. Refrain from peeling out of the lot once you get the keys in hand. Each mile will have you feeling a little more confident and in control. Let it happen slowly, and soon you’ll be having the driving time of your life.

8. Enjoy it.

It’s probably not every day you’ll get to have the exotic car experience. Don’t forget to live in the moment and walk away with lasting memories. If you need a reminder, let the gaze of awestruck pedestrians and other drivers cue your memory that you’re driving in premium style.

9. Keep your cool.

“Oh wow! I'm driving a freaking Lamborghini (or Ferrari, McLaren, etc) oh wow oh my gosh wow wow wow”…

There’s a reasonable chance this kind of thought takes over once you get behind the wheel of an exotic car for the first (or tenth) time. On the one hand, you’re driving a Lambo! You should be excited because it's a fantastic experience. On the other hand, take a breath and recall the advice on this list. You’re in for a treat, so keep your cool and be fully present for it.

So, how scary is it to drive an exotic car?

It doesn’t have to be scary at all. Go into it with an open, informed, and excited mind, heed the advice on this list (and the advice your rental agent gives you), and you’ll soon find you’ve overestimated your fears. Now that you’re ready, check out our list of exotic cars, such as the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 or 580-2, or McLaren 570-S.

Still, if exotics aren't your thing at the end of the day, that’s okay too! If you want the exotic car experience but prioritize comfort instead, Clutch Exotics has a wide selection of luxury cars, such as the Bentley Bentayga or Mercedes-Benz S-580.

Contact Clutch Exotics for more information or any of your Miami exotic car rental needs.

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