When you’re planning a road trip or short vacation and you need to rent a car, your first choice is likely a standard sedan or SUV. But why not make your next trip memorable by renting something more exotic? If you love the idea of driving a Aston Martin, Tesla or Lamborghini, but you don’t have the $100,000 or more that it would cost to buy one, renting can let you live your dream—at least for a day or two—and it’s more affordable than you think.
Renting your dream car could turn an otherwise unremarkable holiday into an experience that you’ll remember the rest of your life. And you’ll enjoy many of the benefits that you would from owning. Scientific studies have consistently shown that experiences make people much happier than owning objects like pricey cars outright. And experiences not only give you more happiness, they also give you lasting happiness.
Interested? For a stress-free luxury car experience, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, don’t bother with standard rental companies. Their premier model cars are underwhelming and not much of a bargain. For instance, renting a Chrysler 300C, billed as a “luxury model,” from Hertz costs $180 before taxes and fees. For a mere $40 extra a day, you can rent a sporty Porsche Boxster convertible from an upscale rental company like Affinity Luxury Car Rentals (affinitycarrentals.com). Rent on a weekday and costs are even cheaper—often by $100 or more per day.
It also pays to shop around. A quick Internet search for “luxury car rental [city]” is a good place to start but you’ll find that while some specialty rental companies show their prices online, others don’t. So call them up and haggle. And once you’ve booked your car, just sit back and wait. “We pick up our clients and drop them off at their home after their rental as a free service,” says Cam Simone, operations manager of Affinity Car Rentals in Toronto.
Once the car arrives at your door, ask questions. “You’ll enjoy your experience more if you know how to use the car properly,” says Simone. (Other luxury rental outfits include Super Car Rentals, GTA Exotics and Sun Road Rentals.)
And while you can expect pricier insurance for luxury vehicles, the cost shouldn’t be a deal breaker. In fact, you can avoid paying insurance altogether by renting your vehicle with a credit card that offers complementary rental vehicle insurance—just read the fine print to confirm the policy covers the total value and type of car you’re renting. “A surprising number of people who think they’re covered through their credit card are not,” says Simone. “We always check our customers’ insurance policy—to make sure they’re fully covered.”
Finally, if you have your heart set on a specific car, book well in advance. While a large rental company like Affinity has an impressive inventory, it’s not extensive. Then a road trip itinerary and a unique playlist are all you’ll need to make your trip unforgettable.
LUXURY CAR RENTAL RATES
Luxury car cost per weekday (incl. car insurance)
Mercedes Benz S550V $269
Porsche Boxter $280
Aston Martin DB9 $474
Tesla P85 $475
Lamborghini Gallardo Coupe $1,549
*All cars except the Aston Martin DB9 include a $10,000 deductible