The idea of the drive-in movie is deeply embedded within US culture and has been romanticised so successfully by Hollywood over the decades that we Brits have often looked upon it with envy.

The truth is, we’ve never been particularly well set-up to translate the format over the pond in the UK. Our winters are too cold, our summers too soggy, and more often than not, it’s far more convenient to just fire up Netflix and chill.

That doesn’t mean drive-in cinemas aren’t a thing in the UK though, you’re sure to find at least one not too far away from your home if you do a properly worded online search.

As today (June 6) is National Drive-In Movie Day, we’re paying homage with our rundown of the perfect drive-in movie cars.

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 RF

Price range: £18,795 – £29,295 OTR

What we’d watch: Hairspray, Blow Dry, Vidal Sassoon The Movie

Perhaps the weather gods have been kind and your trip to the local drive-in is rain-free and ripe for getting the roof down; this is one of the best cars to be in. It is the best-selling two-seater sports car in existence, which means there are loads of them in the second-hand market, so you can pick up a tidy example without straying too far into four-figures.

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

Price range: £76,412 – £154,614

What we’d watch: Cars, Cars 2, Cars 3

Beginning production in 1963, this classic Porsche rages on today. This two-door 2+2 sports car has consistently relaunched itself as one of the most powerful models of its ilk over the decades.

With timeless design, sensational handling and a seemingly unlimited supply of cool, it is likely that some people will spend more time looking at your 911 than watching the film they’ve paid money to see.

We have to admit Disney’s tribute to the 911 with Sally Carrera in the Cars franchise also had more than a little influence on the model’s inclusion here too.

Volkswagen Golf

VW Golf

Price range: £17,765 – £35,830

What we’d watch: Happy Gilmore, Caddyshack but not Caddyshack 2

Links don’t get any more barefaced or literal than this, but in all fairness, there’s a VW Golf for everyone and all occasions.

Frugal motorists will be impressed by the Bluemotion variant. Friends of the Earth will be won over by the all-electric e-Golf. Petrolheads will fulfil a rite of passage by owning the 261bhp GTI, while the Golf R caters for those who hunger for a little more horsepower (310bhp). Until 2016, there was a cabriolet too, even if it did look a bit odd.

Yep, every kind of motorist is catered for with the Golf, hence why it is consistently one of the best selling cars in the UK every year.



Price range: £14,620 – £28,910

What we’d watch: The Italian Job (obvs), Austin Powers in Goldmember, Pixels

Few cars are more iconic as the Mini and even though the current model has its critics for being not particularly mini anymore, it remains an accomplished and stylish car in its own right.

Pretty much any iteration of the Mini makes for memorable cinema. We all have fond memories of it racing through the sewers in the original Italian Job from 1969 (we shall not speak of 2003’s monstrosity), and in the disappointing meh-fest that was 2015’s Pixels, it was the centrepiece for the film’s most inspired scene, with four individually coloured models posing as Pacman’s nemesis ghosts.

The Mini may not be the most spacious car to spend the best part of two hours watching a film, but maybe the occasion calls for a bit of cosy time with whoever is accompanying you…

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