Had I entered accounting or some other traditional office career, I'd have rented an exotic car right after my 25th birthday. I'd have blown a thousand or two to drive a Ferrari or a Porsche for a few days, and then weep when it went away.
Instead, I became an automotive journalist, in which I sometimes see astronomically expensive cars dropped off at my feet, for free, each week. Now I will never rent a Porsche or a Ferrari because I've already had them, minus the price of gas, without any rental fees, security deposits, mileage restrictions, or annoying insurance requirements. Because of this, many people hate me.
For everyone else, renting has been the only option -- and it hasn't been a great deal.
Until recently, the only way for a New England car enthusiast to drive something special was to head to Gotham Dream Cars in Englewood, N.J., just outside Manhattan. Unless you go take the train or force someone to drive you south, Gotham charges $500 for a Boston-area delivery. That's not including the rental. Granted, their car selection is the exotic rental industry's absolute largest and finest, but its location is a major inconvenience.
In late 2010, Steam Car Rentals opened in Cambridge, promising sports cars on the very cheap. After a flurry of GroupOn and other deals -- including through Boston.com -- the company closed months later. Its older, higher-mileage cars were a letdown, and according to the company's Yelp reviews, the rental reservations were sometimes delayed due to service problems.
The best two options I've found since are Status Ride in Worcester and New England Corvette in Billerica. The latter is very simple. The company just rents three Corvettes, and they're all 2012 and 2013 models. A full day's rental costs $600 for 175 miles, after a $1,500 security deposit. Delivery is free within 35 miles of Billerica, as is gas. Only bummer -- the Corvettes only come with automatic transmissions.
Status Ride also rents a Corvette, but that's not as tempting as the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, and Bentley Continental GT in their garage. Delivery and pick-up within Massachusetts is $198, and the security deposit is a whopping $2,500 to $5,000. There's an additional $99 for fuel and tolls. The rental rates are nearly as expensive as Gotham -- a Gallardo costs $999 per day, while the Bentley requires $695 -- but it's still cheaper and easier. (In case you're looking for the latest Ferrari 458 Italia, pictured above, Gotham has it available for the low price of $2,150 per day. Status Ride has the older model for half that price.)
When exotic car dealerships won't give you the time of day -- and believe me, they won't -- these two companies can give you a speed fix at more reasonable prices. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to check on my Ferrari outside. It's my job.*
*Just kidding. I'm driving a 2013 Honda Accord.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee