World’s Most Exotic Rental Cars
Think about your last business trip. You stayed in a classy hotel, dressed to impress and wined and dined the client at the town’s top bistro. But did your rental car come anywhere close to matching your style or status? If you picked up your car from the mass-market airport car rental franchise, the chances are you were behind the wheel of a run-of-the-mill ride that made you look, well, average.
The question you need to ask yourself is: Would you prefer your clients and fellow execs to see you as an Impala—or an Aventador (the legendary Spanish fighting bull for which Lamborghini named its latest whip)? We already know your answer…and luckily, there’s a new crop of boutique luxury rental agencies that can help you out.
Whether you’re after a race-inspired ride or a luxury liner, these outfits cater to discerning drivers who understand image is everything.
“Our business clients have achieved a level of success and want to project that in all facets of their life,” explains Ryan Safedy, co-CEO at Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals, which rents luxury and exotic cars in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Miami. “They want to drive a car that matches the quality of life they’re accustomed to, and they’re definitely not willing to sacrifice style.”
And when you have only one opportunity to make impression at a conference or power lunch, your car can make all the difference. Heads turn when you open the scissor doors on a Lamborghini, and the growl of the V-12 under the bonnet of an Aston Martin is unforgettable.
“There’s nothing like stepping out of a $250,000 vehicle,” says Benny Black, owner of Platinum Motorcars in Dallas and Houston. “It is a shot of confidence, and it makes an instant impression. And all of a sudden, your car is the first one pulled up by the valet, and all the bellhops at the hotel are calling you Mr. So-and-So. These cars can do that for you.”
Ready to get behind the wheel of an exotic luxury ride? Our list will surely get your engine running.
McLaren MP4-12C Gotham Dream Cars, New York City
You’ve got that chap from the London office coming into Manhattan, so why not show your appreciation by letting him drive down Park Avenue in one of his country’s finest machines? Great Britain’s McLaren is behind the second oldest racing team in Formula 1, and this car’s twin turbocharged V-8 engine goes from 0 to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds. Its diminutive proportions, though, position it lower and more centrally for pitch-perfect balance when weaving through downtown traffic. From $1,500 per day, gothamdreamcars.com.
Fisker Karma Beverly Hills Rent-a-Car, Beverly Hills, Calif.
So you finally landed that meeting with Mr. Big Hollywood producer…are you really planning to show up in a gas-guzzler? Green isn’t just good in this town; it’s glam, especially now that you don’t have to drive a boxy wagon to get 52 mpg. The sleek, new electric-gas hybrid Fisker Karma is the choice for eco-celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, and you may recall Justin Bieber being pulled over last summer in his chrome Karma doing 100-plus on L.A.’s 101 Freeway. Hey, it’s hard not to go fast when you have a 260-horsepower, four-cylinder engine backed by a 20-kWh American-made lithium-ion battery pack. Our favorite eco-friendly touch? The aluminum skin is topped off with a solar-cell roof for extending the range on sunny days. From $489 per day, bhrentacar.com.
Bentley Continental GTC Convertible Vegas Exotic Rentals, Las Vegas
You’ve sworn off Sin City, but the office needs you to make an appearance at a big meeting at the Bellagio. Just because you’re returning to the scene of past crimes doesn’t mean you have to regress to your past life. Keep it classy from the get-go, and roll up to the valet in a Bentley Continental GTC Convertible. Its handcrafted interior features buttery leather covering virtually every surface, and when you get out on the Strip to survey the scene, the W12 engine—that’s 12 cylinders for 552 horsepower—purrs. If you do have to put the pedal to the metal out on Interstate 15, you’ll reach 62 in 4.8 seconds, but this smooth ride is better spent cruising with the top down so everybody knows you’ve arrived. From $1,025 per day, vegasexoticrentals.com.
Mercedes-Benz G550 Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise, Palm Springs, Calif.
Pair a tee-off at Palm Springs’ Pete Dye Mission Hills course with a Mercedes-Benz G550, and you’ll have the deal sealed by the time you get to the 18th green. This classic SUV’s invasion-ready military heritage bestows plenty of space for your clubs while wrapping you in the luxury of a handcrafted cabin with leather seats and glossy burled-walnut wood trim. And if those San Jacinto Mountains are calling, this beast doesn’t need roads. It can climb an 80 percent grade and rumble over a 54 percent lateral slope (24 degrees of sideways tilt), and gas-pressurized shock absorbers add eight inches of wheel travel for bumping over anything Mother Nature can throw your way. From $695 per day, exoticcars.enterprise.com.
Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals, Miami
Doing business in the Florida sunshine is a pleasure, but it requires a lot of flash to stand out in South Beach. Roll down Ocean Drive with the top down on this white Rolls-Royce convertible, though, and heads will definitely turn. Sure, we know that in your Rolls-Royce dreams you’re in the backseat, being chauffeured around town by a private driver. But once you’re behind the wheel, you’ll be itching to put the coupe’s V-12, 453-horsepower engine with automatic six-speed transmission to the test on the open road. From $3,499 per day, imaginelifestyles.com.
Ferrari California San Diego Prestige, San Diego
Whether you’re in San Diego for a convention or a suntan, you’ll make a splash in this red Ferrari California hardtop convertible. After the big presentation, hop in and zip over the Silver Strand, then open it up as you snake over the bay on the Coronado Bridge. This 4.3-liter, 490-horsepower V-8 is a bit of a departure from, say, the race-inspired 458 Italia—but it still goes 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, touches 194 mpg and has plenty of the iconic Italian automaker’s flair (like the extended bonnet, an ode to the classic 1957 250 GT California Spyder). From $2,200 per day, sandiegoprestige.com.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Holders Vehicle Contracts, London
When you’ve finally landed that big promotion and you’re feeling like a million bucks, why not drive a million bucks by taking the wheel of the most powerful (16-cylinder, 1,000-horsepower), most expensive ($1.5 million, give or take a couple hundred thousand bucks) and fastest (top speed: 254 mph) street-legal ride on the road? You may not be able to open it up for full bravado cruising over Westminster Bridge and past Big Ben, but at least all the folks in the double-decker bus will know you made it. From $26,470 per day, holdersvc.co.uk.
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Black & White Car Rental, Los Angeles
Keeping up with the Kardashians isn’t easy, but in La-La Land image is everything, starting with your wheels. Take a spin down West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in this sexy ride, and you might just be mistaken for Kanye (Kim gave him a $700,000 Aventador for his 35th birthday). Even if you had the cash to buy Lamborghini’s latest 6.5-liter, 700-horsepower V-12 speed demon, renting is your only shot at driving it anytime soon; ever since it debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2011, there’s been a yearlong wait to purchase one. From $5,445 per day, bwrentacar.com.