Supercars with ‘HRO’ numberplates are a regular sight at the Motor Circuit. No surprise really – if you were H R Owen and could count among your franchises Bugatti, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Maserati, where else would you go to play?
GRR is not playing with supercars on the circuit today. We have to go to London from Sussex for meetings, lunch and some Christmas shopping. All mundane stuff? Well, no. Because it’s going to be a very H R Owen sort of day…
The UK’s leading luxury car dealer is diversifying. It is staying with what it knows best, super-sports and super-luxury cars, but making access to those cars more readily available with new hire and chauffeur service divisions. Good news for visiting supercar owners who have left their Maserati in Monaco but also for London home owners who want access to the latest luxury models without the associated ownership costs and hassle.
Oh, and good too for people who haven’t necessarily got six-figure sums for a new set of wheels. That’d be us then. You can either drive yourself or have an H R Owen chauffeur do all the hard work for you.
Self-drive models available include a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost II, Lamborghini Huracan, Bentley Flying Spur and Maserati Quattroporte. The Maser kicks off prices from £475 for a day (£1,950 for a weekend), rising to £950/day for the Lambo. If you have to ask the price of the Rolls… etc etc (it’s actually £,1500/day or £5,500 for a very sumptuous weekend). Anyone stuck for a last-minute Christmas present?
The plan is that other cars will be available too, but don’t ask for a Ferrari. It’s long been a Maranello rule that franchises are not allowed to hire out new Ferraris.
The cars are all new, low mileage and come with the sort of anything-the-customer-wants service that you would expect of H R Owen. If you really want it, they will even wrap a car so the colour matches the one you left behind at home.
So to London to give it a try. There’s only one way to get around central London on a work day two weeks before Christmas in our book – and that’s in the back seat. We were picked up from outside Jack Barclay in Berkeley Square by a gleaming Bentley Flying Spur with the excellent Abdul behind the wheel. Can there be a better way to see the Christmas lights and be whisked around London in total calm? We think not.
‘I like driving and love cars so have my ideal job,’ Abdul says as he threads the Spur (2015 model, 2,600 miles) through a jammed Brompton Road. He is also very good at it, delivering GRR to half a dozen locations in different parts of town with not one missed appointment.
The cost of this luxury London package? £595, or £85-an-hour, which strikes us as good value. If you can do without the Bentley, chauffeur-driven prices actually start at £395 for a day in an equally smashing Maserati Quattroporte. It’s difficult to think of a cooler way to arrive at your favourite London Italian restaurant.
H R Owen’s new luxury hire and chauffeur operations are part of a new luxury services division which they say will provide a ‘uniquely competitive and customisable’ one-stop service for all things automotive luxury in the capital.
And handily all just in time for Christmas…
Photography by Tom Shaxson