He has a car collection that wouldn’t look out of place on the starting grid at Silverstone.
On this occasion, however, Rowan Atkinson’s choice of vehicle seemed more suited to his bumbling comic creation Mr Bean than the suave millionaire he really is.
The 58-year-old actor popped out for a spot of shopping in a relatively modest £18,000 Skoda Superb, a brand once the butt of countless jokes about poor performance.
It is in stark contrast to the £3million McLaren F1 supercar he also owns.
But perhaps he wanted something a little more conservative before getting back behind the wheel of his prized F1 – for which he paid £634 500 (R10 million) in 1997 – after crashing it into a tree in 2011.
Earlier this year the Blackadder star successfully claimed £910 000 (R14.4 million) from his insurers to fix the supercar – the highest repair bill ever recorded in Britain.
He lost control of the 386km/h car, which has soared in value to more than £3 million (R47.6 million) in recent years, after veering off a slippery section of the A605 near Peterborough. It hit a tree and burst into flames.
Atkinson escaped from the wreckage with a broken shoulder, although his vehicle – one of only 64 models in the world – was a virtual write-off. Most of the back of the car was destroyed while the 6.1-litre engine ended up 20 yards away.
His insurers spent almost eight months considering the claim, before agreeing the massive payout following more than a year of specialist repairs at McLaren’s base in Woking, Surrey.
It was estimated that the star’s car insurance premium will have risen to up to £60 000 (R952 000) a year as a result of the expensive crash, which was Atkinson’s second accident in the supercar; in 1999 he ploughed it into the back of a Rover Metro. His insurance for the Skoda is thought to cost about £2000 (R31 740) a year.
Atkinson, said to be worth £71 million (R1.12 billion), owns an impressive collection that includes a Honda NSX, a Jaguar Mk7, an Aston Martin DB2, a vintage Ford Falcon, a 1939 BMW 328 and a Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe.
The McLaren F1 is the fastest non-turbo charged production car in the world at 384km/h. It drinks 47 litres per 100km and the engine bay is lined with 25g of gold foil.
Skoda, meanwhile, was for many years the subject of ridicule. One popular joke was: Why do Skodas have heated rear windows? To keep your hands warm when you’re pushing them.
But in recent years the manufacturer has enjoyed a change in reputation and in 2011 it was named the most satisfying car to own in Britain.
Not only did Skoda top the league table of most popular car-makers – beating Porsche and Lexus – but four of its individual cars finished in the top ten most satisfying individual models. -Daily Mail