Banger Rallies

Cars Culture

Why? Why would you do a banger rally?

The Banger Rally. For those of you still uninitiated, it’s essentially a stag do on wheels. But women are welcome, and drinking isn’t. At least for the driver.

The basic premise is to obtain some kind of at-first-inappropriate vehicle for a small budget and attempt to cover massive distances for no real reason.

Typically in the UK, these rallies will head straight to France, and then branch off in all manner of directions to hunt out Instagrammable locations and petrolhead attractions, like Reims, Le Mans, Nice and further afield into other countries for Nurburgringshire, Spa-Francorchamps and maybe even Maranello, Stelvio and its surrounding cohorts.

Some rallies will continue into Eastern Europe, seeking car-torturing roads, and a sense of pride when a car fails and is repaired at the roadside using a cheap pound-shop hammer and a bit of nearby roadkill.

Some may even go beyond Europe, but there’s usually a better half sat at home telling you not to.

Sensible hats are a distant memory, as any attempt to purchase a vehicle capable of the job like a Nissan or Toyota are seen as cheating, and that aforementioned sense of pride comes to the fore when your travel companions remark that the car you’ve brought along is ‘brave’, ‘mad’, or ‘a freaking deathtrap’. Think 20-30-year-old Italian and French cars with wires hanging out of the dash and obvious signs of previous accident damage. Here‘s a list of entrants to the 2019 Beach Rally, for example.

Add to that the sense of not given a flying duck about the car and therefore plastering it in a woefully ugly colour scheme to stand out from the crowd, plus any adornments you’ve found at the local scrapyard or garage (lights, loudspeakers, fluffy toys etc are all fair game) and you’re there.

Courtesy of Wacky Rally who let participants raise money for a charity of their choice.
Courtesy of Wacky Rally who let participants raise money for a charity of their choice.

The final part of the puzzle, typically, is to use all this for an actual reason, and it will usually be to raise money and awareness for a charity close to your heart.

Let those people who think you’re bonkers put their money where their mouth is and chuck a tenner onto your fundraising page, as you enjoy the adventure of a lifetime armed only with your passport, plenty of pants, a P-reg Peugeot, a bucket of pink paint, and a pound-shop hammer.

If you fancy a banger rally yourself, you’ll obviously need insurance on your, ahem, deathtrap, for days, weeks or more, luckily the likes of Sterling Insurance have just such a policy ready to go – – so that’s one less thing for the other half to fret about.

As for all the embarrassing selfies that you’ll probably put on social media? Nobody can help with that. And that’s great.


Credits: Featured Image courtesy of Two Ball rally – “The Mechanical Marvel Award for the 2019 Two Ball Rally Beach Route goes to the Blues N Twos with their Lincoln Town car. The first American limo we’ve seen was driven hard from start to finish… What a beast. They had planned to scrap it, but now its heading back to the UK!”