10 hot rides for rent

September 2, 2010: 3:00 AM ET

This fall business travel comes in a new flavor of recession-proof: high style. Rental shops on both coasts harbor every form of extreme machine, from green to gas-guzzling.

By Sue Callaway, contributor

An oxymoronic truism of the times is that indulgence these days is best experienced in moderation. So it should come as no surprise that the business of renting expensive sheet metal is booming. Ken Kerzner, managing partner of Midway Car Rental in Los Angeles, which has been renting high-end cars to business travelers, wealthy tourists, and movie moguls for 41 years, is having his best year ever. He says today's recession-wary customers are looking to try new things while eschewing the headaches and overhead of ownership. His 2,000-vehicle fleet offers everything from the Smart car ($89 a day) to the Ferrari California ($2,850), but the most popular are luxury SUVs, like the BMW X6 ($350 a day), the Audi Q7 4.2 ($265), and supercharged Range Rovers (from $399). Midway rotates its fleet every six to 10 months, offers flexible delivery, and will negotiate rates -- I rented a Porsche Panamera S for two days at $500 a day by submitting a bid; the regular rate is $699. Below the cars are a handful of other top-notch rental outfits that can feed your (short-term) need for high-end speed.

WHERE TO RENT

Midway Car Rental services Southern California with a 2,000-vehicle fleet and a focus on customer service.

Gotham Dream Cars covers the Northeast corridor plus Orlando-Miami. Book online and a representative will deliver a car to your
doorstep.

Beverly Hills Rent-a-Car Covering Southern California and Las Vegas, this mainstay offers the widest range. Want a Bugatti Veyron? Find it here.

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