Luxury Car Rental Guide - the do's and don'ts - and how to make the most of your exotic car rental
Updated: Mar 9
Renting a luxury car is something that we all should do more often. If a Porsche to chase up a mountain pass in the Alps, a luxury SUV for a winter holiday or a Ferrari for an exceptional honeymoon in Tuscany. Renting a luxury or exotic car will always make any trip an even greater experience.
But like always in life, a few things need to be considered when renting a luxury car:
Research ahead of your trip.
Assuming that there will be an appropriate luxury car sitting in the airport for you and wait without any reservation is a strategy that will most probably end with driving a hatchback during the trip. It is highly recommended to do some research and shop around before your arrival to secure the exact luxury or exotic car you want. Make sure the model is guaranteed and ideally get the agency to send you a picture of the actual car.
Consider your baggage size.
When renting an SUV, lots of bags for your trip are usually not a problem. The space in supercars however is often very limited.
Plan your trip as a loop and come back to the same hotel where you can have bigger bags stored or simply consider packing less. Beyond the sport-cars most Porsche's make an exception and have enough room for two carry on size luggages and even some extra space on the back-seat. But in general we recommend taking the maximum of two carry on size bags for a supercar like a Ferrari.
Avoid one-way rentals. Rent from major cities.
Deliveries of luxury cars are normally done on the back of a truck. The expenses for trucking and driver can easily exceed the cost for a rental day depending on the distance.
If you can start your luxury car rental from a major city and return to the same destination to avoid those fees. Deliveries and collections at isolated places around Lake Como or elsewhere are no problem - but will cost you extra.
Keep an eye on the included mileage.
Think about the overall mileage you need on your trip before you rent your luxury car to prevent expensive surprises for extra mileage. On some Ferrari's an extra KM can easily cost between four and six Euros.
Avoid half days on a luxury car rental.
In general most car rental contracts will count any rental period longer than 24 hours (and maybe a small goodwill of up to two hours) as a full day and you be charged the full daily rental rate.
The difference with a luxury car is, that the daily rate is much higher. Avoid half days if you can. For example, if you're only need a car to drive from the airport to your hotel and the big tour is planned only for the next day, better get a chauffeured car to pick you up and take delivery of your luxury or exotic car the next day.
Make the most out of your luxury car rental.
Renting a luxury car is never cheap – plan your itinerary wisely and avoid traffic jams and boring roads. Check out this bespoke European driving tours and drive carefully selected roads to get the best out of your precious time in the sport or supercar of your dreams.
Know your coverage
Deposits for luxury cars vary a lot depending on make and model - a Ferrari deposit can easily exceed the EUR 5000.- benchmark and nobody want's to cover that risk out of their own pockets!
Check your own car insurance policies. Many car insurance policies include rental cars, even the luxury and exotic ones.
Consult your credit card issuer and check if expenses for eventual damages would be covered by the travel insurance. Often all it requires is to use the exact same card for your luxury car rental. Should you want to use the same card to guarantee for the deposits make sure your balance is high enough to cover other expenses of your trip.
Accept and enjoy the extra service.
Renting a luxury or exotic car also should come with an extra layer of service. Avoid paying airport taxes and have your luxury car rental delivered to the doorstep of your home or hotel.
Listen to your handover agent and short briefing
Unless you have the exact same car in your own garage, you should always allow your car rental agent to give you some short instructions on your rented luxury car.
You might miss out on the one or other feature that an exotic car comes with. Luxury and exotic cars often come with technology that isn't very common. Sometimes the extra button somewhere on the dashboard makes driving your luxury car even more fun.
Of course the basics are usually the same, but not everybody will know that a Porsche injection is located left of the steering wheel or that the start button for a Ferrari usually is sitting right on top of the same. Imagine not being able to drive off. Save those embarrassing moments for someone else.
It's also very helpful to know how to open the fuel cap on a supercar. This will in fact save you a lot of time at the gas station.
Knowing how to close the roof when rain is on the horizon is also quite helpful.
Examine the luxury car
While most rental car agencies will do their best to ensure that you aren’t held responsible for damage that you didn’t cause, cars are often turned around fast, and even the most meticulous inspector can miss details.
Take your time to do a detailed walk-around and inspect the car for any preexisting damage to avoid obscurities when returning the car. In general ensure you have all scratches, dents and other marks noted on the check out form of your car rental contract.
Keep an eye on the rims – probably the most common damages on any car rental. Take a photo of each rim with your smartphone to ensure you have a time-stamped photo and you have proof for any older damages that might exist.
Avoid being in a rush for the car return either and make sure when checking the car back in to get a signature to proof all is in order and you've been on time.