5. Find A Car For Seventeen Year Olds
Granted this wasn't as grandeous as some challenges, but makes it's way on to the list for being one of the few that is actually relevant to modern motoring; buy and insure a car that would please a 17 year old who has just passed their test, and their parents, all for £2500. Admittedly most of the laughs came from the groups immature pranks, gluing James May's CD player shut with dubstep 'music' inside for one, and there were more than the average number of mentions to cutting off penises. The Top Gear office is also decorated with a stack of gold bars and framed photo of Will Young, but despite all this, it has to be recognised as a challenge that is interspersed with actual consumer advice. Ok, again 'advice' might be stretching it, but for Top Gear it did make a few relevant points. During the initial search for an as reasonable as possible insurance quote, Clarkson's basic maths (price of the insurance divided by the price of the car) worked out that insurance companies work on the basis that young drivers will essentially write off their cars fifteen times a year. Once cars and policies had been found the individual tests at least started off with one foot in reality: which car can drive home at 3 'clock in the morning the quietest, which can be loaded with camping equipment and driven out of a steep, muddy field at a festival the quickest, although the time trial involved extra points for every obstacle that wasn't
hit. But again, this was also part of this particular challenge's strengths; by showing a rather extreme version of what some teenagers call driving, it does sort of show just why insurance companies don't trust them.