Motoring

Most British households own a car, a clear sign of social progress. The dream of individual mobility, and the freedom to travel distances beyond what we could walk, is rightly being opened up to millions of people around the world. We are rational adults who want to go places, see people and do things, that’s why we drive. And sometimes, we drive because it’s fun.

Vehicles I’ve driven include Ferraris and a 361 mpg eco-car. I have driven too many vans to hanker after an urban SUV, but I defend those who do want to drive a big car against the New Puritans who want us all to make do with less – usually with less than them. I have a more optimistic view of the future.

I even got to test drive an Italian-designed hydrogen fuel cell car. But it’s only six inches long.

Lording it over 4x4s

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The website What Would Jesus Drive? originates in America's bible belt, and exhorts Christians to reduce their car use and to avoid sport utility vehicles (SUVs - better known in the UK as 'big 4x4s') for reasons of safety and environmental responsibility. Its campaign sits easily with the other crusades against this demonised category of vehicle. Wastemonsters and the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s, both London-based campaigns, also focus on the dangers these vehicles apparently pose to occupants and other road users, and on the impact they have on the environment.