How to Find Local Car Meetups in Your Area

Do you love your car and want to find a group to share your passion with? Maybe you’ve got a particular make and you want to chat to other owners about, or you’re just really proud of your motor and want to show it off.

Car meetups bring car enthusiasts together, and they’re great social events which can be educational too. If you need tips for a project or repair, you’re sure to find someone who you can talk to about it. There are meetups right across the country, and here we’ve put together some info on finding the right one for you.

Retro Vintage red car with chrome accents headlamp grille and bumper reminiscent of the outline face predatory sharks in traditional outdoor exhibition of old cars in a small American provincial town.

Where Can I Find Local Car Meetups?

As with most things these days, the internet is the best place to start. Seek out Facebook groups and online forums, or, if you’re a little more old school, you can check out the local press or specialist car magazines. Here are a few other ways to find car meetups near you:

Owners’ Clubs

One of the best ways to get involved is through the official owners’ clubs. They’re easy to join and they’re a great resource for people who are passionate about their cars. Official clubs, like the MG Owners’ Club, offer a wide range of events throughout the year, from track days to auctions and dinners. You’ll get access to online forums, discover links to local groups, and find out about exclusive deals and offers.

There are one or two things to consider before joining an owners’ club. Firstly, there’s usually an annual membership fee, and while these are reasonable (it’s just £120 a year to join the Ferrari Owners’ Club of Great Britain) you’ll be shelling out for individual activities and events too. Secondly, as owners’ clubs tend to be national associations, there might not always be a lot going on in your area.

Our Pick of the Best Owners’ Clubs

  • Alfaowner.com – Alfa Romeo has a passionate fanbase, and this is the perfect place to share in your love for the Italian carmaker. The club offers a huge choice of forums, so you’re almost certain to get your queries answered, and there are also great daily features showcasing new cars and effective Alfa maintenance tips. Plus, it’s free to register, though you may need to pay to access some areas.
  • National Mini Owners Club – Minis are much beloved in the UK, and the National Mini Owners Club brings fans together from across the country. As well as the usual forums, the NMOC lists links to places where you can pick up genuine Mini parts. They also run regular meet-ups, so you can show off your pint-sized pride and joy.

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Car Dealerships

Car dealers are slowly waking up to the potential of meetups, and that’s good news for car lovers everywhere. For the dealers, it’s a great way to showcase their range and get potential customers through the doors, and for attendees there’s free admission, and, as with most car meetups, you’ll get to show off your car, chat to car enthusiasts in your local area and enjoy whatever food and entertainment the dealership provides. Sure, you might have to endure the odd sales pitch, but all in all, these are fun, well-organised, events.

Our Pick of the Best Car Dealership Car Events

  • Stratstone Car Café – Head to your local Stratstone dealership for a monthly showcase of classics, sports and super cars. You’re free to chew the fat with like-minded car fans, and maybe even pick out your next model in the process.
  • Evans Halshaw Car Meet – Evans Halshaw also offers special meet-ups for car fans, with the biggest event taking place at its HQ in Nottingham. In 2017, the firm showed-off some truly great motors, including the incredible Bugatti Veyron, so it’s well worth heading down in 2018 to see what they’ve got planned this year.

Organise Your Own Car Meetup

In this day and age, with the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to connect with like-minded people. If you can’t find anything in your area which interests you, do something about it. Chances are other people are also sitting around wishing there was a group for them! Start a Facebook page, Twitter feed, or place an ad in the local paper.

What Can I Expect From a Car Meetup?

Whatever your obsession – modified cars, classics or kit conversions – there’s a car meetup out there for you. They range from low-key gatherings in a pub or café, just sitting around chatting with fellow enthusiasts, to big events where people show off their cars.

Car meetups can take many forms, from picnics, car runs, even treasure hunts and quiz nights, but, essentially, it’s all about people sharing their love of cars.

Social Gatherings

The most common car meetups are regular social gatherings, usually on a weekly or monthly basis, meeting for drinks down the local pub or at a well-known motoring venue like Ace Café in London. These meets tend to be car specific, and offer an opportunity to chat, share stories and, most important of all, check out each other’s cars.

Social Car Gatherings You Should Know About

  • Essex Ford Meet – Starting life as a small meet-up in a pub car park, Essex Ford Meet has grown to become the most popular car event in the south-east. Get involved and find out about upcoming events by joining the Facebook group.
  • Rockingham Social Meets – Every month, Rockingham Motor Speedway hosts popular social meet-ups, where car fans are encouraged to come down, show off their cars and meet like-minded petrolheads. The event is getting very popular, and we hear there’s some great street food options to enjoy, too.

Car Shows

Car shows are a great place to see unique cars and meet people from all over the country. You’ll get to compare notes, showcase your car, and gain expert insight from guest speakers and representatives from different owners’ clubs.

Typically aimed at the classic car market, car shows have taken on a life of their own in the past few years, and there’s plenty to choose from, with hundreds scheduled to take place up and down the UK over the next 12 months.

Car Shows to Watch Out For

  • Festival of Wheels – Cars, bikes, trucks, bands, stunts, food; you name it, the Festival of Wheels will have it. Taking place in Ipswich, this is massive motoring event that offers fun for all the family, as well as the chance to get up close to some of the world’s most iconic hyper cars.
  • Salon Privé – The crème de la crème of motoring shows, Salon Privé is an historic event where some of the world’s most beautiful machines are displayed in the grounds of an elegant country manor house. Think a day at the races with lots of very pretty cars – what could be better?

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Big Events

With more motoring events than ever on the calendar in 2018, petrol-heads are spoiled for choice. There are loads of events, such as the Silverstone Classic, which offers up three days of uninterrupted high-octane fun, including vintage motor racing, live music, and the opportunity for classic car owners to display their car.

Big Car Events to Put in Your Diary

  • Goodwood Festival of Speed – One of the biggest motoring events in the world, Goodwood is a weekend-long celebration of all things motoring, offering a mix of racing, off-roading, stunts and, of course, the chance to ogle thousands of extraordinary cars. This year’s event takes place from 12-15 July, and tickets are still available.
  • CarFest – Created by diehard car fan, Chris Evans, CarFest is another huge festival-style event that mixes a regular car show with the fun of a British summer festival. The event is spread over two sites, one in Cheshire and another in Hampshire, and will take place from 27-29 July and 24-26 August respectively. The great thing about CarFest is that a portion of the proceeds goes to Children in Need, so you can indulge in your love of motoring and give a little back.

Cropped shot of a businessman changing the gears of a car

Local Events to Look Out For

  • Lymm Historic Transport Day – A great example of a local event which draws crowds, Lymm Historic Transport Day is a real family favourite. It has a huge range of exhibits and activities to enjoy, not just cars – but the motors they do have tend to be worth the trip. This year they’ll be showcasing cars from the movies, including Batmobile and Lightning McQueen.
  • The Leyland Show – This show at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire describes itself as “a real enthusiasts show”. Featuring lesser seen classics it celebrates cars made by BMC, British Leyland, The Rover Group and the pre-BMC group. If British classics are your thing, it’s worth the trip.

Driving Experiences

If you want a little more excitement from your car meetups, you’re in luck, with events up and down the country putting you in the driving seat. Here are a few popular driving experiences to look out for in your area:

  • If you really want to put your car through its paces, then take it along to a track day. No matter what car you own, it’s a great opportunity to really open up and hit those top speeds without the fear of getting a ticket. You’ll find track days listed on the events calendars of most owners’ clubs, with days out at iconic venues like Silverstone, Goodwood and Donington.
  • Another popular driving meet is hill climbing. You’ll get to compete against other drivers on a challenging uphill course with plenty of twists and turns. This is not for the faint-hearted; there’s a real competitive edge to hill climbing, with pride and prizes at stake, so be prepared for some exciting wheel to wheel action.
  • Car runs are a little more sedate and a real favourite with classic car enthusiasts. Drivers set off together on a pre-planned route, often taking in beautiful tours of Britain’s countryside. And there are plenty of car runs to choose from, from car-specific convoys like the famous London to Brighton Mini run, to more general outings for classics and sports models.

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