March 2024

Behind the wheel with Sara Davies

Fresh from the latest series of Dragons’ Den, entrepreneur and everyone’s favourite Geordie Sara Davies MBE reveals the UK road that rivals Route 66

Are you a good driver?
It depends on who you talk to. I’ll tell you that I’m brilliant. My husband, meanwhile, never lets me drive his car. Even when we were first dating and he only had a little red Vauxhall Nova, he refused to let me anywhere near the driving seat. 

How long did it take you to pass your test? 
I passed second time, not long after my 17th birthday. I couldn’t wait to get on the road, gallivanting about with my mates. When I first learned to drive, I struggled with ‘left’ and ‘right’. I used to have an ‘L’ and an ‘R’ drawn on my hands in felt tip. 

What was your first car? 
My mam and dad took me to the local car auction. We had a look at all the little old bangers and we settled on a blue Ford Fiesta. That problem was that it had a 1.8 engine. The insurance ended up costing us more than the car!

First time you drove abroad? 
When we first started Crafter’s Companion, we used to do a lot of business with Germany. I thought, “I’m an independent woman. I can do this.” I hired a car at the airport, feeling very pleased with myself, and pulled out of the multi-storey on the wrong side of the road. Thankfully, there was no traffic! 

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The A28 in the Scottish Highlands

Your favourite road trip destination?
We’ve got a lovely Citroën Relay camper van. My husband isn’t keen on camping, but it’s great for me and the boys. We went to the Scottish Highlands recently and it was absolutely breathtaking. That road from Loch Lomond to Fort William – my goodness! Who needs America when you’ve got that on your doorstep?

Have you ever crashed?
Sadly, I came a cropper in my little Ford Fiesta. I’d only been driving for a few months and someone went into the back of it. Completely wrote off my pride and joy. I was so angry that the bloke in the other car locked his doors and wouldn’t get out!

Prone to road rage?
I’m a high energy person but, if I feel myself getting stressed, I do a few breathing exercises. That usually sorts me out. 

What’s your ultimate driving album?
If I’m on a long car journey, I always sit in silence. Time is so precious at the moment that I make a little list of any work problems or issues and use those driving hours to mull things over. Music would be too distracting.

Most dramatic road trip story?
When I was about 19, I went to the Lake District with my mate and we drove over the Hardknott Pass. My friend was scared stiff and that, in turn, was putting me right on edge. My heart was pounding out of my chest. When we arrived at the campsite, the first thing I said was, “Where’s the nearest bar?” I needed a drink!

What cars do you own now?
I’m a mum, so I’ve got a sensible mum car. I used to have Range Rovers, but I’ve switched to an Audi Q7. We’ve done well over 100,000 miles and it’s never missed a beat. 

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A BMW i7 (driver not included)

What’s your dream car?
Can it come with a driver? When I do Dragons’ Den, I have a BMW i7 to drive me around and I love it. I press two or three buttons and the screen comes down so I can do my video calls. It’s like flying in first class. 

Describe your relationship to driving in five words or less.
My husband says “lead foot”. I think he’s implying that I need to slow down. 

Dragons' Den airs at 8pm on Thursdays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. You can also catch Sara in Snow Going Back: Comic Relief vs The Arctic, available now on BBC iPlayer.

This article has been tagged Adventure, Driving