Residents of Central London have noticed an unusual trend hitting the streets each summer. It’s not a more relaxed approach to clothing or a heat wave, but the incredible amount of supercars hitting inner city streets. The cars have become a fairly standard sight around the city, with a collection of ultra-expensive supercars appearing every summer, and disappearing just as fast as the weather.
The cars in question are owned by a group of mega-rich Middle Eastern businessmen, who fly the vehicles in each year to escape the aggressive summer throughout the Gulf. It’s not unusual to see registration plates from the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait – an obvious indication that the cars in question aren’t owned by residents of Central London, but by temporary holidayers.
It’s the latest development in how the Middle East’s richest families spend their vacation time. With temperatures in the region routinely exceeding 40ºC, even the bravest of the brave are uninterested in spending their summer sweating. The smart ones have picked London as their preferred holiday spot, jetting in their vehicles privately and racking up millions of pounds in parking fines.
Yes, that’s right: millions. The cars in question tend to be parked illegally and have been involved in more than their fair share of crashes. Foreign-owned vehicles are responsible for an estimated £4M worth of fines in London alone, leaving many residents more than a little annoyed at the vacationers and their antics. Noise is also a problem, with high-power cars accelerating and disturbing residents.
But for their owners, it’s a mere inconvenience. It could be London this year, Berlin the next. While the city worries about the after effects of its high-profile tourists, some of London’s most exclusive hotel chains are enjoying the surge in high-end customers.