London Transfers January 2013I hate Uber. I hate it with such a passion that it makes my hair swell up and my teeth move about. The problem is that the drivers don’t have to know how to drive or where they’re going. Sure, they have to pass a test, which asks them to place the M25 on a map, but that’s about it. Many can’t even do that. And in the exam, I’ve heard stories of them getting help from other candidates. They then explain that they have no previous convictions — and it’s hard to prove otherwise when all their records are in a bombed Syrian police station — and off they go into the night with their leased smartphone and their leased Toyota Prius.

And chaos ensues. Every country in the world has its own rules of the road and its own customs. And that’s fine. But when everyone brings their own customs and their own rules and applies them on the streets of London, it really doesn’t work at all.

It’s like being in India, Italy, Iraq and the inside of a madman’s head, all at the same time.

You don’t occasionally see one of the these infernal Priuses coming the wrong way down a one-way street, or sitting in a yellow box at a junction, or turning right where it’s not allowed. It happens all the time.

They lurch out of junctions without stopping, they make lanes that don’t exist, they ignore red lights completely, they drive off after they’ve removed your door mirror and when an ambulance uses its siren to make them move, they sit there, paralysed like frightened rabbits. You spend half a day in London and you get the impression that half the city’s motorists have suddenly developed cerebral palsy.

And remember, it’s a plague that’s coming to a town near you very soon.

So go outside now and have one last look at your car.

Because I can pretty much guarantee that soon it’ll have a Toyota Prius embedded in one of its doors.

Jeremy Clarkson
Reprinted from The Sun Newspaper, 14th November 2015


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