“You can’t drive a Ferrari convertible through the streets of Brazil,” said Lou La Vie co-owner and President John Temerian. “So people are coming here to enjoy themselves. And how synonymous is a convertible with Miami Beach?”
For rates generally starting at below $300 and reaching as high as $2,500 or more per day, companies like Lou La Vie will hand over the keys to luxury and exotic cars, including Porsches, Bentleys and Lamborghinis.
Jamie Foxx is a regular whenever he visits Miami, Temerian said, often choosing a red Ferrari. Spanish soccer star Karim Benzema recently rented a Lamborghini for a week.
The rapper T.I. opted for an Escalade with a chauffeur a few weeks ago, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio rented a Bentley about a year and a half ago, both from Carefree Lifestyle in South Beach, said co-owner and President Anthony R. Marotta.
“This season, starting in December, was the busiest season we’ve had in 10 years,” Marotta said, citing revenue from cars, as well as homes, yachts and other luxury items.
Politicians and royal families need fancy wheels, too. Prestige Luxury Rentals in Miami recently rented two Range Rovers to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his security detail and for himself.
And a few months ago, a Saudi prince wanted 200 Escalades for his family and friends, after flying in on a private Boeing 747, said Roc Collado, business development manager for Prestige Luxury Rentals.
To fill the order, local companies partnered together, and came up with 70 Escalades, 70 Mercedes and a few dozen Range Rovers.
“The recession didn’t really affect the clientele we have renting the vehicles,” Collado said. “The money just kind of moves around — at one point it is a lot of Russians, then a lot of Brazilians. The money doesn’t disappear; it just moves. Right now, it’s the Russians, Brazilians and Venezuelans.”