Why You Won’t See President Joe Biden Behind the Wheel Anytime Soon

You’ve heard the saying – ridin’ with Joe Biden. But now that Joe Biden has been sworn in as president, should you expect to see him behind the wheel any time soon? Probably not, actually. Because, as it turns out, presidents aren’t really allowed to hit the open road during their presidential term. I know. I was surprised too. But you know what? There’s actually a pretty good reason for it.

Joe Biden behind the wheel of a Corvette
Then U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden sits in a Corvette at the North American International Auto Show industry preview at Cobo Hall on January 16, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. | Paul Warner/Getty Images

President Joe Biden has quite the car collection

If you haven’t heard, our new president is a bit of a car enthusiast. According to Express, President Joe Biden comes from a long line of car lovers. His father even managed a car dealership in Delaware for 34 years. The dealership sold mainly Chrysler models but did function has a Ford dealership for a period of time.

According to The Drive, President Joe Biden’s love for cars can also be traced back to when he borrowed a Chrysler 300D to take to prom. In an interview with Car and Driver, Biden revealed that after driving the Chrysler 300D, he scooped up a candy apple red Plymouth convertible for himself. Years later, he bought a ’56 Chevy, which he followed up with a 100,000-mile Mercedes 190SL.

But President Joe Biden’s favorite car in his collection? That would be his 1967 Goodwood-green Corvette. According to Biden, with 350-horses and its rear-axle ratio, his classic Corvette really knows how to get up and go. But unfortunately for President Joe Biden? He’s going to have to wait a while before he can take his beloved Corvette out on the open road.

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President Joe Biden isn’t the only one not allowed to drive a car

Unfortunately for President Joe Biden, presidents aren’t allowed to drive during their presidential term. The same goes for vice presidents. Meaning, Biden is familiar with this rule already. In fact, when asked about it in a previous interview with Car and Driver, Biden said, “The Secret Service won’t let me drive it. I’m not allowed to drive anything. It’s the one thing I hate about this job. I’m serious.”

So, why aren’t presidents allowed to drive? It’s all about security because, unlike secret service officials, most presidents aren’t trained in defensive driving maneuvers. According to CNBC, this rule isn’t new either. In fact, the last president to hit the open road was Lyndon Johnson. Other than that, presidents have had to stick to driving circles around the South Lawn, much like then-President Obama did when he got behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt.

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How US presidents have gotten around this rule

While President Joe Biden isn’t supposed to hit the open road, there are a couple of ways he could get around this rule. When former President George W. Bush appeared on Jay Leno’s Garage in 2017, he revealed that he hadn’t driven a car on a public road in nearly 25 years. But that didn’t stop him from cruising his Texas ranch behind the wheel of his beloved Ford F-150.

CNBC reports that former President George W. Bush isn’t the only one who kept a vehicle on standby either. Ronald Reagan held on to his prized Jeep and often took it for joyrides on his own ranch. But, much like other presidents, Reagan was forbidden from taking his Jeep out on the open road.

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Taking a look at President Joe Biden’s new ride

Nowadays, President Joe Biden will be riding in a Cadillac-branded state vehicle that’s operated by the Secret Service. Affectionately referred to as the “Beast,” Fox News reports that this stately Cadillac comes well-equipped with the latest security tech, including protection against both IEDs and chemical weapons. And while he won’t be able to drive it himself, at least he can count on his Secret Service team to get him to his next destination safely.