How to take your supercar abroad
As temperature soar across the Middle East, many seek solace in lengthy summer trips to cooler climes across the globe. London has long been a firm favourite for those keen to indulge in its classic British luxury, and especially so for those who also want to bring their most prized vehicle along for the ride. London’s rich pedestrian streets offer a fantastic pedestal for showing off the latest Lamborghini or Bugatti. However, getting such an asset to London is not quite as straightforward as simply buying a ticket and parking up on the side of the road, and upon arrival how do you ensure you get all the right attention? To make sure a supercar summer in London remains as smooth as your customized leather seats, there are some key pieces of advice every car enthusiast should hear.
Planning is key and as with most things, your car’s transport method depends on your budget, with costs ranging from £11,000 – £40,000 return based on the mode of transport and vehicle value. Shipping requires forward planning – taking around three weeks from collection to clearing customs and delivery – however, you could ship the vehicle over in plenty of time and store it securely until you require the pleasure of using it. Flying is quicker, but pricier, taking around three days from start to finish. Or, if you are a member of the top one percent, you can fly it within your private jet on the day of travel, however, thorough planning is still required due to the legalities of moving vehicles across borders.
It has been pleasing to many that Westminster Council no longer removes illegally parked-vehicles (historically from outside Harrods), but a priority for those shipping over their cars is finding a secure well-positioned place to park so as to avoid the wrath and fines of parking attendants. Finding a secure garage or parking space is usually not problematic, but there can be premiums levied of up to 50% for short term residences, dependent on where you want the car located. Being organised and agreeing the facility early can prove beneficial, particularly in the ever-difficult Mayfair. Further, if parking in a hurry it can take a load of your mind to know your car is still being supervised, so some will employ full time car attendants who can keep all undesirable attention away from the prized vehicle, and move it quickly if necessary.
Your car’s transport method depends on your budget, with costs ranging from £11,000 – £40,000 return
If it’s customisation that floats your boat, London also has the people you need to get your supercar noticed. Franklin’s experts can have your pride and joy re-sprayed, gold-plated or polished back to showroom condition in order set you apart from other supercar owners on the streets that matter. If it’s important to be spotted in your newly-customised car, one route suggestion is Sloane Street – the long stretch of road leading all the way down to Harvey Nichols opposite the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Other areas to be seen are Sloane Square, King’s Road, Mount Street and Bond Street in Mayfair. Avoid Piccadilly at all costs – this road is one way and normally always at a standstill, so if you don’t wish to be a picture postcard for all the tourists, my advice is to steer clear.
Should you be considering bringing over a vehicle for the summer season, always be sure you engage the best people to ensure it arrives safely, impresses the whole of London, and returns in one perfect piece – with perhaps a custom leather interior or matt black paint job to remind you of your trip.
Words by Michael Shaw, Founder of Franklin – Household management, lifestyle assistance and private staffing