Operations

How To Use Super Premium Vehicles For Special Occassions

Posted on May 13, 2013 by

Page 1 of 3

Alex Darbahani of Los Angeles-based KLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services has found ways to promote and rent his white 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom beyond the traditional wedding market.
Alex Darbahani of Los Angeles-based KLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services has found ways to promote and rent his white 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom beyond the traditional wedding market.

While the limousine industry has shed many showy traits in the corporate realm, it still relies on elite images and products to thrive in the luxury retail sector.

So it should be no surprise that a value-driven economic climate still allows room for well-positioned Bentley and Rolls-Royce vehicles that endure much like Gucci and Patek Philippe. The 2012 International LCT Show featured a Rolls-Royce Ghost in February, costing $357,000. While these vehicles generally appeal to the motoring and chauffeured “one-percenters,” they also serve a strong special occasions market, such as weddings.

Most chauffeured car operations don’t have these vehicles in their fleets, opting to rent them or farm-out requests instead — the main reason being the high price tags. Operators generally should have the market and business to justify buying such a vehicle, and even then, it’s better to start with a used one.

Demand test
A common technique that tests a company’s ability to sustain a new vehicle is to track the amount of farm-out business a vehicle type generates. Most operators do this before buying one, but in the case of a rare ultra-luxury vehicle such as a Bentley or Rolls, it may be hard to find farm-out work. So Alex Darbahani of Los Angeles-based KLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services did something a little different: he advertised his 2005 Rolls-Royce Phantom before he had one. “I put the vehicle on my website and tracked how many requests we got from it, and when I saw that a lot of people wanted to book it, I went and got it,” he says.

Recession jackpot
Once he got the requests, Darbahani tested the market by taking over the lease of the Phantom’s previous lessee who couldn’t afford to make the payments. When the market proved stable, he bought it. “These vehicles are very expensive, so do not buy brand new,” he advises. “A lot of these cars go to auction, especially in this economy, so look there first.” There are also websites for lease takeovers, such as TakeMyPayments.com, Swapalease.com, and LeaseTrader.com.

David Navon, owner of Crown Limousine L.A. of Los Angeles, got his Bentley Flying Spur as a lease return and paid $85,000 for it. The car had only 20,000 miles and was originally $195,000. Getting the vehicle for that price allows Navon to rent it out for $150 per hour, a rate attractive to potential clients while still being profitable. “If I paid [the] retail [price] and had to charge $250 or $300 per hour, it would have been harder to get it out,” Navon says.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More News

Uber Gets Silly, Creepy & Cheap

TNC Travesties Of The Week: Selfie check-ins and ghost drivers. . . and people still debate driver background checks?

Top Luxury Hotels Thrive Despite Global Travel Drop

Affluent consumers are cutting down on stays with a modest decrease in booked nights.

How Tech Platforms Are Changing Business Travel

A dizzying number of mobile icons now let executives manage their flights, hotels, rail tickets, security and expenses.

RedCoach Brings Affordable Luxury Travel To Florida

The company is the first express bus service to offer city center to city center travel, and provides travelers with first-class amenities.

How To Prepare Your Business Card For The Digital Age

LCT WebXclusive: Technology is making it easier than ever for operators to stand out — if they take the time to learn how to use it properly.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (1)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * How Do We Max Our Markets? * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close