Many celebrities are infamous for their love of super-expensive supercars, gathering together a collection of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis that would be the envy of any gearhead. However, there are lots of famous faces who have shunned the world of fast cars and luxury SUVs, and who instead prefer not to drive at all. Some of these celebs have passed their driving test but were just never interested in getting behind the wheel of a car, while others have learned to drive, but never quite got round to getting their license.
Some of these celebrities rely on their partner, while others are more likely to be seen on public transport or taking taxis. If they are incredibly wealthy, of course, they will have full-time drivers who take them everywhere they need to go!
For every celebrity who chooses not to drive, however, there is one who does like to get behind the wheel of their car, even when they probably shouldn’t. Some stars of stage, screen, and sports are notorious for getting into car accidents, which often leave their expensive supercars bashed up and broken down by the side of the road.
Perhaps they should take a taxi or the subway instead, for the sake of their own safety, and that of other road users.
Comedian and 30 Rock actress Tina Fey did drive quite a bit when she was younger but has got out of the habit since she has spent more time living and working in New York, which is far from the ideal motoring city. In fact, Fey no longer has a driver’s license and told fellow comic Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee that she couldn’t even remember what to do behind the wheel!
Like Ricky Gervais, non-driver Fey was cast in a car commercial which required her to get in the driving seat – only she nearly ran herself over when she forgot to put on the parking brake…
Another British Hollywood star who hasn’t quite embraced the US love affair with the car is Kate Beckinsale, star of Pearl Harbor and the Underworld vampire series of movies. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Beckinsale had dozens of driving lessons, and should be an expert behind the wheel by now – if it wasn’t for the fact that she seems to get terrible stage fright when it comes to her driving test!
In fact, the English-born actress’ teenage daughter Lily is more comfortable behind the wheel than her mother, as a recent video of the two on social media illustrated.
British comedian and actor Russell Brand avoided learning to drive for years, but when he moved to Los Angeles with then-wife Katy Perry he decided it was time to get his license. After all, Los Angeles is infamous as a city where no-one walks anywhere, unlike Brand’s home city of London.
However, it seems that even though the Get Him To The Greek star did manage to pass his driving test, he has not really enjoyed the experience of driving in LA, getting into more than his fair share of fender benders, and generally avoiding getting behind the wheel wherever possible.
Twilight star Robert Pattinson is another Hollywood star who is reluctant to get behind the wheel. Although he has now finally passed his test, for years he was too afraid to venture out in a car, as he found all the different controls and functions too confusing, telling one interviewer that he didn’t even know how to turn on the wipers, which had led to some close shaves during unexpected rainstorms!
Although he does occasionally drive around Los Angeles, he is still a very reluctant motorist, with little or no faith in his ability – which never makes for a safe road user.
Another British comedian, Ricky Gervais, has had a few driving lessons in his time but has never got the chance to take his driving test. The well-known animal rights advocate prefers to use public transport, only occasionally taking a taxi or a chauffeur-driven car, as he is apparently even a nervous passenger when on the road!
Weirdly, this didn’t stop German auto giants Audi from hiring the creator of the original UK sitcom The Office to star in an advert for their new A3 model in 2014, including a few faked shots where Gervais appeared to be behind the wheel of the executive car.
What is it about British celebrities and the many of them that either refuse to drive or not even bother to try and pass their driving test in the first place? Is public transport really so good in London that nobody uses cars?
Whatever the reason, former Take That singer and UK X-Factor judge Robbie Williams is another celebrity who has never got around to taking his driving test or getting himself a car. In London, he always relied on cabs because the traffic was so bad, but he now finds himself living in Los Angeles where a set of wheels is almost mandatory.
When he first became famous, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was far too young to drive a car – although that didn’t stop his character from taking a magical flying Ford Anglia for a joyride in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Perhaps it was that bad experience with a bewitched car that put Radcliffe off learning to drive for so long, even when he was finally old enough. The actor eventually decided to take his driving test in 2014, at the age of 25, although even now he doesn’t like to get behind the wheel too often, and certainly doesn’t go in for flashy or expensive cars.
Journalist and iconic television presenter Barbara Walters took a few driving lessons in her youth but never passed her test. The veteran presenter of The Today Show, who forged a path for many modern female TV stars, is now 89-years-old, and only quit working in 2016.
Walters says she has never been that interested in being able to drive, and that she certainly has no intention of learning now! Certainly, the lack of driving does not appear to have hampered her successful career, which started behind the camera in the 1950s, before becoming the first female presenter of a US news program in 1974.
Musical and acting icon Barbra Streisand probably has more than enough cash to pay someone to chauffeur her around Los Angeles – which is a good job as the Funny Girl star recently revealed to James Corden during his Carpool Karaoke show that when she was told that she had to renew her license in 2018, she actually failed her driving test three times!
The actress also revealed the hair-raising incident which caused her to quit driving for good when she found herself driving the wrong way along a highway off-ramp. Too much time spent in the back of limousines and not behind the wheel.
From Hollywood veterans to a new kid on the block; creator and star of hit TV show Girls, Lena Dunham. Born and brought up in New York, Dunham always took the subway and clearly doesn’t see any need to change her habits just because she’s famous.
Besides, although she had a few lessons, Dunham has admitted that she finds the whole concept of getting behind the wheel to be absolutely scary, and has no great urge to get her license and start driving across New York – not when there is a perfectly adequate public transport system to get her from A to B.
From celebrities who have either been forced to stay off the road or who have made a conscientious decision to never get into the driving seat, to a list of famous faces who might be well advised to take the same advice, if they want to stay out of trouble.
Sensation Justin Bieber is still only in his early-20s, but he has a collection of supercars that would make people three times his age green with envy. Sadly, the singer seems to have trouble keeping them in one piece, crashing his Ferrari in 2011, before getting arrested for drag racing in 2014 and knocking a paparazzi photographer to the floor in 2017.
Singer Chris Brown’s most controversial vehicle-related moment, happened while the car was at a standstill, but the music star had more than his fair share of accidents and car wrecks.
After being involved in a minor collision in 2013, while still on probation for his conviction, Brown reportedly refused to cooperate with the other driver and could have faced jail time. When his $4000,000 Lamborghini Aventador was found totaled on a Los Angeles street, everyone presumed that Brown had been driving – but it turned out it was one his friends!
Former reality TV star and hotel heiress Paris Hilton had a very irresponsible attitude to driving in her younger days as a party girl and socialite. Hilton was arrested in 2006 after driving under the influence and even ended up spending a few days in jail in 2007, after breaking her probation when police pulled her over for driving intoxicated once again.
Ten years later, and it was a very different Paris Hilton who confiscated the car keys of an intoxicated guest who was trying to drive himself home – so maybe the Simple Life star could be trusted behind the wheel once again?
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most talented, successful and well-paid soccer stars in the world. So while most ordinary motorists would weep for days if we ended up writing off a $250,000 Ferrari supercar, for the Portuguese international Ronaldo it was barely a weekly wage!
The sports star crashed his Ferrari 599 GTB just two days after he had picked it up from the dealership when he was playing for Manchester United in the UK. Despite the car being smashed almost beyond recognition, Ronaldo was lucky enough to walk away from the incident with only a few cuts and bruises.
Paris Hilton’s Simple Life co-star and former BFF (or Best Friend Forever, for the uninitiated) Nicole Richie also has a bit of a bad past when it comes to motoring.
The daughter of musician Lionel Richie was involved in a car crash in 2009 that wasn’t her fault – she was rear-ended by a car driven by a paparazzi photographer – but like her reality TV pal, Richie was also pulled over for driving under the influence in 2006 when she was spotted by police officers and concerned members of the public, driving her black Mercedes-Benz G-Class the wrong way down a freeway in Los Angeles.
Country music singer LeAnn Rimes’ breakthrough hit How Do I Live reached number two on the Billboard Chart in 1997, and she enjoyed continued chart success throughout the rest of the 90s and into the 2000s, as well as making an appearance in the film Coyote Ugly.
Unlike some of the other celebrities on this list who are liabilities behind the wheel because of their need for speed or their wild social lives, Rimes is more of a clumsy driver, revealing in 2009 on a TV show with chef Gordon Ramsay that she had been involved in three car accidents in the previous six months.
Maya Rudolph is another celebrity motorist who could do with paying a little more attention to what is going on around her, as her record when it comes to minor car crashes and fender benders are just as bad.
The comedian, who made her name on Saturday Night Live and starred in Bridesmaids, clearly needs to work on her spatial awareness. Gossip website TMZ got its hands on a video of Rudolph misjudging a turn, taking out a couple of garbage cans in the process. Her car was left scraped and scratched, and her wing mirror had definitely seen better days…
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry was also involved in a rather minor car accident back in 2000, only this one ended up having much more serious ramifications for the Hollywood star than simply a busted wing mirror.
The former model, who had a recurring role in the X-Men films as well as starring as a “Bond Girl” in the 2002 film Die Another Day, failed to stop after the crash. However, a famous movie actress wasn’t exactly difficult to track down, and Berry pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge for leaving the scene of an accident, although she also faced a civil lawsuit from the driver of the other car.
Veteran singer Billy Joel may have been a hard-drinking rock star in his youth, but by 2004 and at the age of 54, he really should have been slowing down. In fact, in April 2004, the Uptown Girl singer was involved in this third car accident in two years when his car skidded on a wet road on Long Island.
In 2003 the musician had a miraculous escape when the car he was driving hit a tree at a high speed, again in Long Island. There was no suggestion that Joel was driving under the influence, though his ex-wife Christie Brinkley was concerned enough to stop their teenage daughter from getting into a car with her father.
And so we come to the undisputed queen of bad celebrity drivers. Former child star Lindsay Lohan may have made her name playing a cute kid in the TV soap Another World and in the Disney remake of The Parent Trap, but she is better known these days for her wild lifestyle – which has also taken its toll on her driving.
Lohan was first arrested for a DUI in 2007 and had only been out of rehab for two weeks when she was stopped by cops again. In 2012, she was involved in a crash which saw her Porsche totaled, and which subsequently led to charges of reckless driving and providing false information to a police officer.
Sources - E Online, Adage, Bossip, Capital FM, Daily Mail, TMZ