No one likes nasty surprises. That is more so when we are talking of big-ticket items such as luxury cars.
Even when committing to a car rental arrangement, it is vital to ensure that the vehicle you choose ticks the right boxes.
Furthermore, with many car hire companies to choose from and an ever-increasing multitude of car models, it can quickly get overwhelming. Nonetheless, there are tried and tested methods of determining that the vehicle you choose is indeed the right fit for you.
Below are five critical questions you should ask before hiring a luxury car.
What is the cost-benefit?
The decision as to whether to hire or buy a vehicle is sometimes made purely based on cost implications.
When it comes to some luxury cars, renting is a preferred option. Renting a Lamborghini, for example, allows you to enjoy the benefits of driving the vehicle without having to bear the heavy financial obligations that come with ownership.
Figure 1 The Lamborghini Aventador
For some, it is an opportunity to have a status symbol at a fraction of the cost.
Consequently, when going for a car rental, always compare and contrast the associated costs of buying Vis a Vis hiring your preferred model.
Aside from the hire cost, other expenses that come with a car rental include the fuel costs, parking, and toll fees where applicable.
By enquiring with your car rental company, you will have a clear picture of what costs you are likely to face under the agreement and thereby make an informed decision.
What are my needs?
Another aspect worthy of your consideration is the purpose for which you need the car.
Shall it be for corporate or private use? Is it for ferrying the bride to her wedding? Or is it the car you want to arrive in at a red carpet event? Some rentals, for instance, are ideal for picking up corporate clientele from the airport.
While a Mercedes Benz Maybach may be the perfect choice for entertaining corporate clients or attending major corporate events, it might not fare so well at an off-roading excursion.
Figure 2 Mercedes Benz S Class Maybach
Therefore, the use for which the car shall be used matters a great deal.
The car’s utility will inform the make and model you ultimately choose. It will determine whether to go for a sedan, coupe, or an SUV.
Just as importantly, your intended use will also inform the size of the vehicle and the security and safety features you might need.
What are the terms and conditions?
As with any legal agreement, the car hire is subject to specific terms and conditions. These may differ depending on the leasing company.
It is thus essential to not only ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate car hire company but that their terms are clear, with the expectations of both parties spelled out.
Most reputable car rentals have verifiable physical addresses and offices. In addition, they are duly licensed and tend to attract positive reviews from past clients.
Also, note that a reliable luxury car rental will have a well serviced and dependable fleet of cars. The last thing you want is to pay top dollar for a luxury car only for it to break down on you.
Figure 3 The Cadillac Escalade is one of the more high-maintenance luxury cars that few rentals have.
Among the aspects that should be clear from the agreement is whether the vehicle is insured and its insurance coverage.
Equally pertinent are the penalties you stand to suffer should you fail to return the vehicle as agreed.
How and when to pay?
It is always good to avoid awkward and embarrassing situations where the car is cut off or repossessed mid-trip.
Therefore, to forestall such dreadful scenarios, you should be clear on when and how the rental fees are paid and stay compliant.
Also, depending on the country you are in, understand the applicable system for paying parking fees and toll charges. Some car rentals are comfortable absorbing and effecting the payment on your behalf then having the same settled between yourselves later.
However, others might prefer that you settle those yourself with the parking owners or government agencies concerned. No matter the case, it will serve you well to understand the rules applicable under your arrangement.
On a related note, you should also understand the best time to make your bookings. In most businesses, there are peak periods, and the car hire industry is no different. Ample booking allows you to avoid inconvenience and disappointment.
For long-term leases, it is also vital to understand when the car shall be due to be taken in for routine maintenance and service. That will help you plan accordingly, particularly if it is a business car.
Chauffeured or not?
Lastly, consider who will be driving the vehicle. Is it yourself, your relative, the company driver, or business executives?
The prospective users of the car will determine the size of the vehicle you need to hire. For corporate use, a sedan or SUV may, for instance, prove to be a better choice than a coupe.
The same applies to chauffeured rides—some cars support chauffeur-driving more than others.
Considering who shall drive the car will also enable you to decide on whether or not to opt for a rental chauffeur or not. Some luxury car rentals give you the chance to hire a chauffeur when hiring the vehicle. For businesses seeking to have their A-list clients and executives moved around town, chauffeured rides are an excellent option.
On the other hand, a self-driven/ non-chauffeured hire can avail you the opportunity to experience the luxury car you hired and know its handling dynamics first hand. It is an opportunity to get close and personal with the vehicle and its subtleties.
It serves as an extended test drive in case you wish to purchase one in the end- such that you end up hitting two birds with one stone! How cool is that?