I decided what I was getting Adam for his birthday months ago. He had mentioned several times how much he would love to drive a fast car, and whilst I was doing those standard background checks (everyone does right?!) when we first got together, I noticed that he had posted a photo of a Lamborghini with the caption "Wanna drive one of these" so being the thoughtful, romantic person I am (ha!) I arranged it for him!
After a lot of google searching, I decided to get it through buyagift.co.uk. They were offering a good deal at the time - the best I could find - and I have noticed they often have lots of different deals on. I chose to book one car for 4 laps, as oppose to a selection of cars for 1/2 laps, as he had specifically expressed interest in the Lamborghini and I thought (after a family vote!) that 4 laps would give him a better feel and experience of the car.
So that was it, I booked it through buyagift, received a voucher code and rang 6th Gear Experience the next day to book a slot. The closest location to us was an old air field at Elvington, and the closest date (they aren't based there all the time - they operate across the country!) was the Friday after his birthday. Brilliant!
I coincidentally liaised with a guy called Adam at their end who was extremely helpful with clarifying details and talking me through the day and what was included. And then it was up to me, and the rest of the family to keep it a secret until his birthday. I had to get him to book the day off, but I fobbed him off that I just wanted to spend the day together. I also arranged for us to stay the night in York - another blog post to come about that! - and on his birthday I gave him a little card with "Birthday Surprise, Arrive for 10.30am" written on it!
As Adam was the one driving us there, I had to hold the Sat Nav and try to direct him - we literally got there and he didn't see any of the cars and was convinced we were visiting the Air Museum - when I told him that I had arranged for him to drive a Lamborghini - I hate to be smug, but he was very shocked and giddy.. Top Girlfriend marks for me.
The registration process was really easy, Adam paid £25 to waiver the insurance excess should there be any damage - better to be safe than sorry I guess - and was straight into a 'Demo Lap' which is basically where drivers are taken around the track in a BMW and talked through the course and the process. We were only waiting a short time, when they called his name, and a very excited and nervous Adam headed off to drive the Lambo. After a couple of photos he was off, returning with the biggest grin. He then got to go on a 'Hot Lap', where him and 2 others were driven around the course at ridiculous speeds in a Focus RS.
It was quite busy, but they were extremely efficient and well organised. We were done by the time we were actually meant to start - with clear queues for Demo and Hot Laps and the stewards calling names out when the right cars were available.
There was also a photo truck where for £25 you could get a large print either inside the car or of the car on the track, or for £35 get the print and a disc with the other 6/7 photos on. This was a little bit steep, but we did pay it as there wasn't an opportunity to get our own photos close to the car and we wanted to share the photos with friends and family.
Adam scored 88/100 with Instructor comments of "Fast & Smooth, Well Done!" (haha!) and received a certificate from 6th Gear. We also got a 10% loyalty discount code to share with friends and family. They did advise that it was normally cheaper to book direct with them, however I do think that this time I got a good deal on buyagift.
We had a fantastic time, and it was a really great present (if I do say so myself!) - It is expensive with the initial costs and then insurance and photographs, but Adam loved it and that is all that matters, right?
Luckily we picked a good day and it was lovely and sunny, but it was chilly in the big open space so do take their advice and wrap up warm!