For the past year we’ve run a DeLorean on the fleet. The car is owned by a local enthusiast who bought it to hire out, which also helped justify his dream buy. It has been popular, very popular. It’s the only one for self drive hire in Europe and it’s one of those cars, like James Bond’s Aston DB5, that everyone knows. We’ve enjoyed having it – the flux capacitor jokes less so – but it has’t exactly been reliable. That, and other factors, forced a decision. It has to go because over the last few months we’ve worked hard to make our fleet as reliable as possible because we hate letting people down. The DeLorean, of course, has a reputation for being unreliable. While we’ve run it on the fleet the problems it has suffered have been quite different to our other cars, which mainly fail because if age rather than design. With the DeLorean it was an endless catalogue of silly things mainly caused by poor design and build. Like the gear lever snapping off. Several times. The front suspension collapsing. The passenger door opening, even when not asked to. The electrics not electrifying. In the first year on hire we expect all of our cars to go through a stage of growing pains (note to hirers – always ask how long a car has been on hire) but these were not use-related issues. They simply shouldn’t have happened. Then there is parts supply. Everything fitted to a DeLorean is easily available because it comes off something else more mundane and humdrum. The trouble is, no-one is always entirely sure what. Take the clutch, which failed two weeks ago. Off a Renault Espace, naturally. Except on our car it isn’t. So the part has to be sent off to be matched. We’re still waiting and 5 customers have lost their dream day out. That said, it is an utterly amazing car and if I didn’t run a hire company I could easily live with these foibles. Sure, it’s a bit of a pig to drive – its guiding principle, ironically, is Blind Spots – but it looks incredible. I don’t enjoy the attention when driving it but it grabs it like no other car on our fleet. I’ll be sad to see it go but I won’t miss trying to winch it onto a trailer at 1am or telling a distraught customer it’s in the workshop again. The DeLorean will leave the fleet on 31st May. To hire it before it goes visit http://www.greatescapecars.co.uk or call 01527 893733.