The world of luxury renting has not seen its market as reduced as you may think. We explain how it works and some of its characteristics.

There are many drivers who dream of having the vehicle of their dreams in the garage, models that usually have prices behind that are not within the reach of most pockets. Despite this and the fact that it is a small segment, in the motor industry there is always room for those dreamy whims because some of these models can be rented … and not for a while. This is the world of luxury car rental.

According to data from the Spanish Association of Vehicle Renting (AER), last year they were registered 3,600 units of these opulent vehicles. However, it is not a figure with enough packaging within the world of renting: they only represented 1.5% of all those that were marketed for the rental channel. And as always, we find the fashion segment: most of these models were SUVs.

The luxury car rental market

Although the piece of cake that corresponds to luxury cars is small, all the large rental companies have a small part of its catalog for this type of vehicle. When they offer their services to the different companies, they are proposals in which more discreet models predominate, but they also include some more exclusive ones.

Along with this option we find companies that are committed to luxury and specialize in it, they make up a catalog in which we can only find cars with prohibitive prices … a little closer to our pocket. Of course, they are usually high-performance models with a very short-term renting: rentals last a few days and not months or years as in traditional formulas.

On another level, companies like Putnam move that offer the possibility of accessing authentic luxury cars in exchange for a somewhat particular renting: customers must pay an initial amount for a rent that ranges from two to five years. When this period ends, they offer the possibility of paying the rest to keep the vehicle, deliver the car to a dealer, sell it to pay what is missing or start from scratch. And the truth is that they have a tempting catalog:

Model Initial payment (dollars) Monthly payment (dollars) Ferrari 275 GTB 650,000 33,095 Ferrari Enzo (2003) 500,000 25,689 Ferrari F50 (1995) 500,000 25,689 Ferrari F40 300,000 14,459 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (1955) 280,000 13,650 Porsche 911 ST Rally (1971) 250,000 12,049

This is the client of a luxury renting

Normally, behind the renting of luxury cars are managers and general managers of large companies who usually have things clear. In traditional formulas, the driver looks for the price that best suits his needs and the model takes a back seat. When we talk about exclusivity it is the opposite: they want a specific car with a specific color and extras so they ask for it first and then the price is negotiated.

The coronavirus: an opportunity?

It is clear that the global coronavirus pandemic has had consequences at all levels and luxury car rental has not been an exception. However, the industry claims that it is not among the most affected. Despite this perspective, they remain cautious because many of their clients arrive in a personal capacity and not through the company they work for; in this case they can feel the effects of the current crisis. It also remains to be seen how these services are kept afloat when companies have to make adjustments and, above all, cuts in what is not essential.

This article was published in Autobild by Elena Sanz Bartolomé.