You’ll find just about anything on YouTube these days – no matter how crazy or outlandish, people will eat that content up. One area which has evolved over the years alongside YouTube’s influx of output is automotive, with an almost infinite selection of channels and personalities to choose from.
Certainly a strength to this amount of choice is that, regardless of your views on cars, there is content for all – whether you want to see the latest supercars cruising through the capital, getting an in-depth look at some classics, or just simply gathering information about a potential next car, it’s all there.
As such, we’ve collated a slim but focused list featuring some of the best car YouTube channels, from long-standing favourites to those a little newer to the scene.
YouTube Car Reviews
Possibly the most popular side of cars on YouTube is car reviews – sticking with the one of the original purposes of the platform, YouTube is still one of the key areas to soak up information as a consumer on any vehicle of interest.
It would be hard to discuss such a corner of YouTube without mentioning the unprecedented rise of the carwow channel.
Standing tall with a whopping 5.6 million subscribers as of writing, carwow came racing out of the blocks with their YouTube channel, with their success down to both the gregarious nature of host Matt Watson and the team’s content strategy that lends itself so well to the platform.
The carwow channel splices thorough car reviews with more bitesize content such as drag races between all your favourite sports cars, hot hatches and whatever else that might be on the menu (cargo truck drag race, anyone?).
Sitting a bit more on the traditional side of car reviews, you’ll find the likes of the self-proclaiming ‘world’s oldest car magazine’, Autocar, with numerous videos that delve into the ins and outs of the latest and greatest. It might not be perfect for mainstream consumerism, however, with Autocar typically preferring vehicles with a touch of performance.
Those after something a bit more down to Earth might prefer something like the Carbuyer channel. Here you’ll find vehicles that suit a broader range of budgets for buyers to explore options for their next car.
Car YouTube experts
Most content on YouTube would have you believe it’s a platform for the youth of today to impart their wisdom on the world. However, it might be important to remember that YouTube was ‘born’ in 2005, when a lot of today’s millennials were barely in double figures.
So you have to consider that there are many individuals out there who have fine-tuned their craft over many years, and have also been around for the entirety of YouTube’s existence.
The coming together of these two facets can be found in a couple of YouTube car channels – Jay Leno’s Garage and Harry’s Garage (of no relation…).
Jay Leno, a legend of US comedy and talk show royalty, is also one of the most authoritative voices on everything automotive. Based out of Burbank, California, Jay’s garage is home to almost 300 vehicles and counting (cars & motorbikes), and combines videos on both his own private collection and those brought in by manufacturers and other feverish collectors.
Jay’s knowledge on pretty much any vehicle – modern or classic – is pretty much unparalleled, and it’s very likely you’ll see plenty of vehicles on his videos that you never knew existed – and he’s happy to tell you absolutely every detail about them whilst out on the Californian highways.
Closer to home is Harry Metcalf, founder of iconic UK motoring magazine EVO. While Harry’s personal collection admittedly doesn’t make much of a dent on Jay’s, he’s still a man with a mountain of knowledge on both cars and bikes.
On Harry’s Garage, you’re likely to find a healthy selection of performance cars from a myriad of eras, with Harry’s love of cars stretching far and wide. Like Jay, Harry will borrow cars from manufacturers and collectors alike, or even use his auction connections to grab some real gems of the automotive world to blast through the Cotswolds.
While most we’ve mentioned up until now had car YouTube channels born out of a previous endeavour – be it an established automotive publication or just being known for having a literal shed-load of cars – but some channels cut their teeth on the platform straight from the off.
The automotive space is probably one of the key areas where the term ‘YouTuber’ originated, with a huge influx of people trying to carve a career out of what is essentially a social media platform.
One such individual that attempted – and succeeded – at this was Sam Fane, or you might know him better as Seen Through Glass.
As someone who doesn’t tend to subscribe to the whole driving-big-expensive-cars-round-London thing, it’s refreshing to see someone break out of that scene and become quite expansive in their work. The STG channel certainly has its fair share of exotica, as we follow Sam around in any number of Ferraris, McLaren and Porsches, but we see these in a multitude of locations and in much more appropriate environments for them to stretch their legs.
We even get a look at Sam’s jet set lifestyle to add to the aspirational nature of the channel, as well see Sam rub shoulders with motorsport stars such as Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg.
In a more collaborative effort, the Carfection team combines journalistic prowess with slick production, making for some top automotive YouTube content.
With the likes of surely the tallest of motoring journalists, Henry Catchpole, leading the charge, Carfection offers comprehensive videos on anything worth talking about in the performance car space.
Their ability to gather three of the world’s greatest and rarest cars in the forms of the McLaren F1, Porsche 911 GT1 and Mercedes CLK GTR is a testament to what Carfection looks out to achieve.
Today, his name is fairly well known to many as one of the blokes from Top Gear, but prior to joining the BBC’s popular motoring show, Chris Harris was also a name to be reckoned with among automotive YouTube personnel.
Chris Harris on Cars to this day stands as one of the most celebrated automotive YouTube channels. Chris’s affable ‘car guy’ personality combined with the genius of film maker Neil Carey, the duo enjoyed a successful few years on YouTube before Chris turned his attention to Top Gear (with Neil tagging along for the ride), and resulted in some of the most enjoyable content for enthusiasts there is.
Like Carfection, Chris’s shear passion (and contact list) helped towards such moments as getting the fabled ‘Holy Trinity’ together, comprising of the McLaren P1, Porsche 918 Spyder and Ferrari LaFerrari together on track – and being the first in the world (probably) to do so.
Despite Chris Harris on Cars now residing as a Top Gear feature, the original channel remains one of the best resources for top end, motoring content on YouTube.
These are just a small selection of what’s out there on automotive YouTube land, but a varied selection for those of us that engross ourselves with such content – anything not on here that you should be? Let us know.
Top image: YouTube