If you like nothing better than the open road unfurling in front of you, the lack of driving time imposed by lockdown might be driving you up the wall. What’s the next best thing to getting behind the wheel? Watching others do so, of course! Fortunately, there is no shortage of car TV shows on Freeview, Netflix, Amazon Prime or YouTube right now. Here are a handful of the best car shows to choose from to keep your brain in gear and your engine ticking over until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
1. Top Gear
The quintessential car show, Top Gear is still just as entertaining to watch as it ever was. BBC iPlayer has all of the more recent episodes of the show, helmed by the trio of Paddy McGuinness, Freddie Flintoff and Chris Harris, but if you’re craving a fix of the classic combination of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and Richard May, head over to Netflix. The streaming service has 17 seasons of the stuff, including several with the lesser spotted Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.
2. The Grand Tour
While Clarkson, Hammond and May might have left Top Gear behind, they certainly didn’t forego their penchant for all things automotive altogether. Instead, they’ve simply migrated to Amazon Prime, where four seasons of their new show The Grand Tour are waiting to be gobbled up. The series might be a more Americanised version of the Top Gear that we’ve all come to know and love, but there are still plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to keep those engines revving.
3. Fastest Car
Staying across the pond in the USA, Netflix have come up with their own original take on the traditional car TV show with Fastest Car. In it, gearheads take a run-of-the-mill “sleeper” car and modify it to their hearts’ content. Then, they put their handiwork to the test by racing their souped-up specimen against one of the most exotic supercars in the world over the course of a quarter mile drag race. Street cred and bragging rights are very much on the line.
4. Drive to Survive
Another Netflix show, this exclusive documentary takes a peek behind the curtain of Formula One, making it ideal for any auto aficionados who are missing their Grand Prix fix. With two seasons available, the series covers the daily lives and stresses faced by F1 drivers, owners and managers throughout the 2018 and 2019 World Championship events. With unparalleled access to those living and breathing the sport, it’s perfect for anyone who likes to live lockdown in the fast lane.
5. Red Bull Soapbox Race
While this last show may be stretching the definition of car somewhat, it’s certainly a vehicle for entertainment (excuse the pun). Basically the equivalent of Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake (which takes place annually in Gloucestershire), the competition does not feature motorised cars, but all entrants must come equipped with both steering and braking capabilities. The objective? To make it to the bottom of a very steep incline in as short a time as possible. Hilarious results are all but guaranteed.
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