Electric motoring is the future for us!

Meet the retired couple who will never go back to petrol power.


Portsmouth motorist Dave Gardner has certainly seen some changes in his time behind the wheel.

After buying his first car aged 17 in 1966 – a 1954 Austin A30 – Dave has owned 25 different models over the years, and is now the proud owner of a stunning all-electric CUPRA Born, bought from the SEAT and CUPRA dealership run by Snows Motor Group in the city’s Bilton Way.

Dave and his wife Sally, both 75, of Moorings Way, Portsmouth, have enthusiastically embraced the world of electric motoring and say there’s no going back to petrol- or diesel-powered alternatives.

They’re loving life with their CUPRA and find it meets their needs perfectly – whether they’re driving to the supermarket or to see friends living locally; or heading further afield to visit their two grown-up daughters and their families in Salisbury and St Albans.

Dave, a retired MOD electrical engineer, is a self-confessed petrol-head and is happy to declare that the CUPRA Born is the best car he’s ever owned.

Memories of the early days of his motoring career are fond ones, however. Surprising, perhaps, given that he’d spend weekends visiting scrapyards to acquire spare parts to carry out repairs. He also recalls chilly winter journeys with blankets and hot water bottles on board before the days of in-car heaters – let alone climate control technology!

Dave’s approach to motoring is nothing if not pragmatic. Recognising that reliability was key while his daughters were growing up, he switched from the ‘hobby’ cars that enjoyed working on in his youth, to choices that were more dependable.

Then later, with the children having flown the nest in the 1990s, it was time to focus on motoring as a pleasant pastime again, but with new cars in Dave’s sights this time – and the SEAT Ibiza in particular.

His decision to get behind the wheel of an Ibiza at that point started a long relationship involving Dave and the team at Snows SEAT and CUPRA in Portsmouth, with several cars from both brands acquired and enjoyed over the years.

He quickly got to know the friendly team at the showroom and, fast-forwarding to today, deals mainly with CUPRA specialist Peter Owens, with the two becoming firm friends. (Pictured here together)

Cupra Born Interview
David with our Cupra specialist, Peter
Cupra Born Interview
Peter and David next to the CUPRA Born.

It’s fair to say that Dave’s all-electic CUPRA Born is certainly ticking all the right boxes for him and his wife Sally – they are definitely enjoying the EV life! They haven’t splashed out on a charging point of their own, preferring to use a regular 13-amp socket and the type of cable colloquially known as a ‘granny charger’.

Asked if they found the switch to electric motoring tricky in any way, Dave admitted that it can seem a little daunting at first. But he added: ‘‘It’s important not to be put off by people who might be a bit sceptical. Infrastucture is a big talking point but the number of charging points is increasing all the time.

‘‘And the benefits to the environment of electric motoring are not to be under-estimated, especially in a densely populated city like Portsmouth. Also – electric cars are incredibly enjoyable to drive. They’re very nippy with the instant torque they deliver.

‘‘The CUPRA Born is a brilliant car – I cannot fault it. It’s ideal for what we need. It’s big enough, it’s got a fair range and as I say, it’s very nippy – everything we want, really. The fact that it’s a CUPRA gives it an air of exclusivity too.’’

Dave’s wife Sally, a retired school office worker and a whizz at word processing, enjoys the comfortable – and heated! – seats. Although not a driver herself, she has been fully involved in Dave’s automotive choices over the years. 

One area where they do differ is navigation – Dave has fully embraced the CUPRA’s sat-nav, with its real-time warnings of traffic delays and roadworks, whereas Sally’s still fond of a traditional map.

Mr Owens and his colleagues are always pleased to see the Gardners when they drop into the dealership. They’re invited to all the major launches and are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of future CUPRA models such as the new coupe-SUV Tavascan, due in the UK a little later this year.

He said: ‘‘Electric motoring is here to stay and CUPRA are demonstrating that EVs can be sporty and stylish. It’s wonderful that Dave and Sally have embraced it in such a whole-hearted way and we wish them many more years of happy motoring with us.’’

​Welcome to CUPRA

New and Approved Used CUPRA dealers in Poole, Portsmouth & Southampton.

Our CUPRA dealerships are currently situated within our already establish Snows SEAT showrooms in Poole, Portsmouth and Southampton. The new CUPRA brand lives and breathes to be synonymous with performance vehicles and in doing so encompasses the true driving experience. From the moment you turn the ignition on, you know there is something different. Once just a badge, CUPRA is now a brand.

We will be providing MOT testing and Servicing alongside a Parts Department providing official CUPRA items and accessories. Our fully trained technicians will ensure your CUPRA is at its premium standard and will advise you on the best procedure to take. You will have total peace of mind when using any of our services.

For more information about any of our current New or Approved Used CUPRA vehicles, or to discuss our CUPRA finance deals please contact your local CUPRA dealership today.