Rally driving is a motorsport that is starting to come out of its niche. People who have no experience driving modified spec rally cars are starting to have access to rally driving as it satisfies their thrill-seeking desires. As such, experience providers are including rally driving activities in their arsenal. But is the rally experience worth a try?
Rally driving experiences can be an interesting experience to try, depending on your (or the gift recipient’s) preferences. There are also a range of other driving experiences that may tick your boxes, including those that are less dirty!
Want to learn how rally driving compares to other driving experiences? If you want to know more about rally driving sessions, we have all the information you’ll need right here, from the terminology to the techniques.
Best of all, we’ve included real reviews to tell you if driving a rally car is really worth it. Read on to learn more!
Table of Contents
What Types Of Rally Experiences Are There?
Rally driving experiences are often broken down into on-road, off-road and hot lap categories. Off-road and on-road rally driving experiences allow you to drive a rally car on the track and on all terrain with a pro next to you, and hot laps allow you to ride shotgun as a professional takes the wheel.
A rally drive course is the most basic example but has plenty of variations, like having different types of car (Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Evo) or a different number of laps (four, eight, sixteen, or even more). With rally drive, you get to experience the spot hands-on from point to point (called a stage) using a modified car.
Rally driving is sometimes combined with other techniques, like a rally drive and drifting experience combo.
There is also a rally drive with hot laps. Hot laps allow you to ride shotgun while a professional driver takes the car for a spin. This way, you get to experience the full potential of a rally car. You don’t need a driving licence for this, so the experience is open to most ages.
Some experience providers also offer rally and off-road driving combo. You first start with an off-road buggy navigating dirt tracks; then you move on to rally driving.
Rally Car Driving Experiences
How Much Does A Rally Driving Experience Cost?
Rally driving can start at as little as $99 for three hot laps with a professional rally driver, and can hit as much as $555 for a thirty-two lap drive across half a day. The price of the experience will depend on the amount of laps included and the type of rally car the experience is in.
Buggy rally driving is another option if you want a rally driving experience that is a bit more exciting. The open design of a buggy lets you feel the wind, dust and water as you drive across different terrains. Buggy rally driving is priced differently to standard rally car driving. You could be spending $229 for an eight lap buggy drive in Perth at the city’s famous Barbagallo Raceway.
What Is Involved In A Rally Car Driving Experience?
Generally, a rally car driving experience includes instructions from a professional, safety equipment, and car hire. The instructor is there to give you a pre-rally briefing and be there when you drive. The car itself will usually be either a modified spec car or an actual rally car used for competition.
Some experience providers include a certificate on completion or in-car recording for an additional fee.
What Types Of Cars Are Used In A Rally Driving Experience?
Most rally cars have modified specs to be able to endure rally driving. Some of the most common cars used are:
- Subaru Turbo Impreza RS
- Subaru WRX
- Turbo Subaru STi
- Subaru BRZ
- Toyota 86
Other cars are modified to carry a V8 engine, like 350 V8 SS Holden Commodore and Mitsubishi Lancer V8 Evo, and V8 XR8 Falcon Brute rally Ute.
A rally driving experience usually uses dedicated cars for the experience rather than rally cars typically used for racing.
How Long Does A Rally Car Driving Experience Last?
The pre-rally briefing and instructions and getting into gear can last 3 hours, more or less. But if you’re just taking a hot laps experience, the actual rally drive lasts around 10 minutes for a 7-kilometre track. Naturally, if the track is longer, considering multiple laps, the experience will be longer.
What Do Customers Say About The Rally Driving Experience?
Overall reviews of rally driving are very mixed. Rally driving experiences around Australia can be a good way to get a hands-on rally experience for someone who loves the sport, but they don’t appeal to everybody.
With driving experiences around the country expanding to include rally car driving, an authentic rally car experience is relatively accessible nowadays. This can make it a convenient experience gift for a friend or relative.
These experiences are popular as 21st birthday gifts and other milestone occasions, but be warned that those passionate about rally driving can find the experience too inauthentic.
There are a number of complaints about rally driving experiences that we will explore below. However, the most apparent is the short time frame of the experience compared to its high cost, and a lack of authenticity in the experience.
Pros Of Rally Driving Experiences
When instructors are friendly and professional, it makes the whole experience more enjoyable, so this will depend on the provider. Rally driving experiences usually begin with instructions, so the rapport built at the beginning sets the tone for the entire experience.
At the end of a rally driving experience, hot laps usually get the best response because people get to experience driving with a professional at the wheel.
This is what some customers had to say:
If you’re willing to spend even more on this experience, you can opt to purchase photos and videos of your experience on the day.
Cons of Rally Driving Experiences
A rally driving experience is like going on an amusement park ride: fun while it lasts. Unfortunately, for many people, that duration is not long enough for the price of the experience.
Sometimes, the wait time is even longer than the experience, primarily because of overbooking, which is common with Red Balloon and Adrenaline experiences. People who didn’t value the cost to time ratio had this to say:
Experience providers need massive space for all that driving, and usually, the circuits are dirt tracks, so the location can inconvenient, as these previous customers stated:
Your instructor or co-driver can make or break the experience as well. Sometimes you don’t get to pick that person, and it can affect your rally driving experience. Visitors who didn’t have a great time with their instructor had this to say:
Rally Driving Experiences In Perth
You can book rally driving experiences in Perth through travel experience sites like Red Balloon and Adrenaline, but if you want to support local businesses directly, here are your options:
- Rally School
724 Leaver Rd, Copley WA 6562, Australia (Baker’s Hill)
Rally School offers different rally driving experiences like Triple Hot Lap, XLR8 Package (eight laps, one hot lap), 2 Car Blast (sixteen laps, one hot lap), and Half Day Extreme (twenty-eight to thirty-two laps, four in-car demo laps, two hot laps). The prices for those range from $135 to $595.
- Rally Action
98 Morrison Rd, Midland WA 6936, Australia (Dowerin)
Rally Action has rally driving experience packages ranging from $99 for two laps to $899 for a rally driving course with over fifty laps. Some of their packages also include a hot lap in the co-drivers seat, and most of them boast different rally tracks. You can experience a nearly three-kilometre rally stage as well as circuits lined with trees.
Rally Action also has a rally driving school where you get to learn basics or advanced rally driving with a proper mentor.
- Off-Road Rush
Wattle Ave E, Neerabup WA 6065, Australia (Neerabup)
Off-Road Rush offers V8 trophy truck, UTV, and WRX rally car driving experiences. You’ll be looking at $149 for WRX rally with five hot laps up to $529 for the V8 trophy truck intro drive, with eight laps plus an additional two hot laps.
Alternatives If You Want A Driving Experience In Perth
Drifting and drag racing are both great alternatives to rally car driving. Each of those options is different enough from rally driving so that even if you didn’t enjoy a rally car experience, you can still have a great time trying drifting or drag racing.
As a bonus, these are held at more convenient locations, with less dirt and dust for drivers and spectators.
Check out these other great driving experiences in Perth:
Drifting At Drift School WA
Drift School WA can fuel your curiosity for extreme driving. They offer different experiences, like the Drift Ride-Along session, riding shotgun doing hot laps right next to a pro drift driver in a V8 pro drift car, starting at $99. If you want to get behind the wheel, the Drift Introduction classes starting at $199 are perfect for you. You’ll get ten driving laps and sliding lessons in a real drift car, from a professional driver.
Of course for those with nerves of steel, the Drift Masterclass is there for the low price of $429. Forty driving laps plus sliding lessons with a pro driver, in a real drift car. You’ll learn how to do drifts, donuts, figure eights and initiations – for a great action-packed half-day on the track.
Drift School WA also holds NISHI-D, a casual-drifting event and a day devoted to drifting and its community.
Racing At Fast Lane Racing
Fast Lane Racing is a school owned by Brett Lupton, a former Formula One engineer. If you want to experience racing under Lupton’s school, this is the experience for you. Tours and activities include twenty-four and forty Lap School Day and twenty and thirty Race Laps Short Track.
Drag Racing At Quarter Mile Drag Racing Experience
Quarter Mile Drag Racing Experience offers zero g’s in their three-seater dragsters. If you ever want to experience over 250 kph in eight seconds, this might be the thrill you’re looking for. With this drag racing experience, you get a photo and a tour around the track. For an additional price, you can also purchase your in-car recording.
Sports Car Racing WA Sporting Car Club (WASCC)
If you already have driving experience, you can join the WA Sporting Car Club to gain access to activities like drifting and racing.
As a member, you only have to pay $75 for a whole-day drift practice. WASCC also showcases drift battles, called the Outlaw Series, where cars essentially try to perform synchronised drifting. They also create racing events like street car racing at Barbagallo Raceway.
How Do I Learn To Drive Rally?
Joining a local car club and finding an instructor is the best way to learn to rally drive. Attending a local club will give you access to a large amount of people invested in the sport who can all help you learn and improve.
But technically speaking, you can learn to rally drive with practice on a modified spec car. Learn to distribute your weight and use the handbrake when making tight turns; learn oversteering and understeering not to lose control of your vehicle; try to get used to left-foot braking when turning corners. Those are some of the basics, but it’s still best to learn those from professionals.
Are The Cars In A Rally Experience Real Rally Cars?
“Real” is a subjective term. People in the industry know that most rally cars are modified sports cars, so they consider those modified specs real.
If by “real,” you mean used in rally competitions, then some experience providers use real rally cars for the paid rally car experiences. However, there are not many of them since most providers prefer to use the modified specs car for their rally driving experience.
Another category of “real” is commercially sold and labelled rally cars. These refer to cars like Porsche 959, Audi Sport Quattro, and Mitsubishi Evo VI (Tommi Mäkinen Edition), to name a few. No experience provider uses those cars in rally experiences. The closest thing to a real rally car under this category is the Subaru Impreza 22B STi, which some experience providers use.
This article is published for general informational purposes only. All prices and package information is current at the time of publication. All opinions and recommendations reflect the views of customers as found on the relevant review websites and not those of Drift School WA.