Rental car companies drive clients in style

By Jeri Clausing

*logoRental-car companies are offering the ability for travelers to maintain -- or upgrade -- their luxury lifestyle while on the road.

Enterprise Car Rental, for instance, recently expanded its Exotic Car Collection and now claims to have  one of the largest collections in the country with more than 50 different makes and models, including Aston Martin, Porsche, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes and BMW.

“Our high-end vehicles are consistently rented, and we’ve seen an increased interest in the collection,” said spokesman Greg Phillips. “Last year, the number of rental days within the Exotic Car Collection jumped 50% versus the previous year."JeriClausing 

The rise in demand, Phillips said, is driven by a diverse customer base. Think vacationers who want to make sure they are riding in style, business travelers entertaining clients and movie studios looking for high-end vehicles during film production.  

Phillips says some of the most popular models include Range Rover Sport, the Cadillac Escalade and Audi A8.
Hertz, meanwhile, last year launched Hertz Dream Cars, a line of luxury and performance vehicles that includes Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes and Land Rover. Avis has its Signature Series.

Rates, not surprisingly, depend on make, model and market. For example, at LAX, Phillips says the company rents Mercedes vehicles for about $200 to $250 per day, a Porsche 911 for about $500 per day and an Audi R8 for about $900 per day.

The Enterprise collection has grown from one location in West Los Angeles in 2006 to 16 locations around the U.S. And given the current state of luxury travel, expect to see future additions.

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