Whether you’re a fan of James Bond movies, exotic cars or great drives, this package ticks all the boxes.
The McKinlay Kidd travel company offers a three-day package including rental of an Aston Martin DB9, two nights in a five-star hotel with dinner, a martini-making course, a speedboat ride and a guided castle tour.
Collect the car from Edinburgh, drive approximately three hours northwest through Glencoe, where some of the final scenes in Skyfall were filmed (a note: the castles that were “blown up” in the film weren’t there in the first place); and arrive at the Isle of Eriska Hotel (accessed via a rickety bridge) near the west-coast town of Oban. Simply put the address in the car’s navigation, or the trip organiser can suggest bespoke routes to get you to the island hotel.
Once there, you can explore the local region in the Aston Martin before returning the car in Edinburgh at the end of your three-day jaunt. In the middle of the visit is a speedboat trip to Duart Castle, which takes about half a day and leaves from the hotel wharf.
The stay includes free use of the hotel golf course and driving range, gym, sauna, steam room and swimming pool. Massage and beauty treatments are available at an extra charge.
Prices range from £$1,285 to £1,465 (about A$2,681-$3,057) per person, depending on the season, two-person minimum. The price includes one designated driver for the car – an extra charge if two drivers are nominated.
There are dozens of operators in the us with super-luxury cars, but for peace of mind our first choice would be rental giant Enterprise, which has a dedicated exotic car division, the biggest range and the most number of outlets.
Enterprise has 21 sportscar rental sites in six states – from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Miami, although most are in California, which is ideal as you’ll be able to pick up a car in LA and drive up the iconic Pacific Coast Highway and drop the car in San Francisco (there is however an additional one-way destination charge, as is normal with rental companies).
On the route (best done over two or more days, so there is no rush) be sure to plan a three-hour stop at the halfway point between LA and San Francisco to visit Hearst Castle (hearstcastle.org) near San Simeon. The property, formerly owned by media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, includes many treasured artworks and a pool with gold-plated tiles.
Enterprise has 33 sports cars, 25 luxury sedans and 16 top-end SUVs from which to choose. There are, of course, cars James Bond would approve of such as the Jaguar F-Type and XKR convertibles, a Bentley Continental GT, or a BMW 640i (Bond drove a BMW in GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies).
Enterprise even has on its books the aptly named Ferrari California T (now Ferrari’s biggest selling V8), a Lamborghini Huracan (the Italian brand’s latest V10 model) a Maserati GranTurismo, and a choice of the Porsche 911 or Boxster.
If you want to experience Americana while in the US, there is a choice of iconic domestic sports cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang GT (although the latter two are available at most big rental outlets).
Prices are not listed online for these vehicles; you need to fill out an online application form or call Enterprise’s US toll-free number (866-4-LUX-CAR).
The opportunities to rent a supercar in Australia are few and far between, and many operators come and go. Most offer only guided tours, so you’re driving in a convoy of half-a-dozen or so vehicles.
Ultimate Car Rentals is located near Sydney airport and has a good selection of sports cars including a Ferrari 458 Italia, an Audi R8, a Maserati and a Lamborghini Gallardo LP550, among others.
Charges peak at about $3,000 per day, and there is a one-day minimum. That fee includes insurance. There is a minimum driver age between 23 and 30 years, depending on the car, a driver administration fee (A$25), and an excess-kilometres charge above 150km a day. And before you get the keys to the top-end machinery, you need to leave a security bond (from A$2,000 to $20,000), which is refunded within two weeks of the car’s safe return.