WHEN given the opportunity to take a near-£300,000 vehicle on the roads, you’d expect to be presented with an exotic Ferrari or an opulent Bentley. 

You’d hope for a 200mph, 700bhp Italian stallion which can be blasted ferociously along the winding roads on the Alps or cruising along the shores of the south of France. 

Sadly, we don’t all live in mountaintop villas or share a postcode with Leonardo DiCaprio. 

We live in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole area which means the sun comes out twice a year and we are limited to a pedestrian friendly 22mph everywhere we drive. 

Bournemouth Echo: Morebus

But what would be ideal to take for a spin along our jam-packed roads and is worth £285,000? A bus, obviously. Specifically, the Alexander Dennis E400 MM. 

New for Morebus this year, the Dennis is part of a £13.5m investment in 49 new double deckers by the Poole-based company.

Admittedly, the bus I was soon to have a go in at the Bournemouth depot doesn’t have the same cool, bedroom poster looks as a low-slung Lamborghini. 

But it does boast an impressive 420bhp (the same as a fifth gen BMW M3) from a 6.7-litre six-cylinder engine. 

Bournemouth Echo: The bus's 6.7L, 420bhp engineThe bus's 6.7L, 420bhp engine (Image: Daily Echo)

Driving one is surprisingly easy, too. For something that weighs 18 tonnes, the Dennis glides through turns with the same elegance as a ballet dancer on fluffy clouds. 

And then there’s the speed. Bus drivers can take the Dennis up to 62mph.

It also feels steady at that speed; you’d imagine a double decker bus would want to flip over given its 4.2 metre stature. 

However, thanks to a low centre of gravity due to most the weight being on the floor, the bus feels planted. 

Bournemouth Echo: The bus comes with expensive cameras instead of wing mirrorsThe bus comes with expensive cameras instead of wing mirrors (Image: Daily Echo)

Even with a full load of 75 passengers on top, the Dennis would not flip in a storm, according to my driving instructor Brett. 

Brett has a good few years under his belt as a driver, having started out at Yellow Buses before it went bust last year. 

He told me Morebus is continuing to take on new recruits by offering them full, paid training.

Just don't expect me to give up my day job...

  • My special thanks to Paula, Andrew and Brett for trusting me behind the wheel of an 18-tonne bus