Impress your client or loved ones with Maserati Ghibli

When someone very important is visiting you (let us say an investor or a key client/prospect etc) and you’d like to impress them, or you’ve a date or family event where you’d like to impress your loved ones/relatives, here is an easy way out- take them around in a super beautiful Italian marvel of a car, Maserati Ghibli.
Imagine the Wow feeling your client or loved one would feel when the hotel valet brings out the stylish and super luxurious blue Maserati Ghibli to the portico, or when they get out of airport expecting a normal taxi but greeted by an impressive four door luxury sedan at which everyone else around will be drooling.  Those will be really priceless moments to cherish.

But Maserati Ghibli costs one and a half crores, which is beyond the affordable reach of 90% Indians. So wondering how can you possibly impress anyone with it? Worry not- there is a way. You can experience this super luxury car made in Italy by the Fiat Group (Maserati is owned by Fiat). Royal Brothers in association with Driven have this dream machine on self-drive rent in Bengaluru city- rent it out, use this car for picking up your client from airport or use this as the wedding car or simply enjoy a smooth ride around the city to experience what Italian luxury car feels like.

Why Maserati?
Because it is unique. Yes, you will get other luxury cars on rent. Audi Q3, Mercedes E Class, Merc GLA and few such cars are already available in Bengaluru on self-drive rental. But then, there’re hundreds of BMW, Audi or Mercs on Indian roads, so they are sort of common now. Even if it is an 1 crore plus Mercedes S Class, it is still a Merc. A common man may not immediately realize the difference between an E class and S Class or 5 series vs 7 series, so your renting a German luxury car will NOT create same impression as Maserati. Maserati doesn’t have a cheaper model. There are very few Maserati cars in any city, so driving one around will get you guaranteed attention. In terms of interiors and features Maserati may not be able to outsmart its German rivals, but Maserati looks gorgeous from any angle and is way more stylish than any German sports cars. Because of these reasons, if you want to make an impression, renting a Maserati from Royal Brothers/Driven will be your best option.

Key aspects that are impressive about Maserati:
·       Frameless doors (also available in Audi A5 bratpack, Merc CLS etc),
·       Super stylish looks from front, side and rear,
·       Paddle shift
·       Sunroof (now available in several high end cars),
·       More Safety- all around proximity sensors, seatbelt warning for all individual seats and so on.
·       Top speed: It can go lot faster than other cars-Maserati Ghibli’s diesel version has top speed of 240 kmph but rented cars will come with a speed limit (100 kmph), so don’t even dream of renting a Maserati and driving at 200+ kmph.

Maserati Ghibli's features and review now available in this separate post. So in this post let us stay focused around Maserati’s rental aspects.

My Experience:
Royal Brothers and Driven agreed to let me experience this beauty and beast of a car for 2 hours/50 kms. Because of this time and distance limitation I couldn’t go to NICE Road or any highway outside the city to experience the car in open roads- managed a short ride in central Bengaluru and click some pictures before my time ran out. But those two hours were enough to create a lasting impression and implant a desire to drive such supercars more often. Only my bank balance is not very cooperative.

Key details about renting a Maserati Ghibli on self-drive basis in Bengaluru from Royal Brothers/Driven:
Q: How much does it cost to rent a Maserati Ghibli?
A: On weekdays, you can rent for minimum 10 hours for- 28k rent + 18% GST = 34k Approx
24 hours rental on weekday will cost INR 53500 per day (46.5k rent + 18% GST)
Weekend cost will be about 60k INR approx. (52k + 18% GST) (Minimum 24 hours billing, even for 10 hours)

Security Deposit: One lakh rupees.

Prices are indicative and as seen on Royal Brothers website at the time of composing this post. Price may vary depending on various factors, without prior notice. Check on the official website of Royal Brothers for latest availability and quotes.

Available timings:
Rental counters of Royal Brothers are open from 9.30 AM to 8.30 PM in most cases (timing may vary from city to city). If you need it earlier check with them for possibilities

Venue
Maserati is based in their Koramangala garage as per my knowledge. But if there’s a change team will inform the customer

Are there any alternative options than renting this Maserati Ghibli from Royal Brothers/Driven?
No. As far as I know there’re no other 1 crore+ super car available on self-drive in Bengaluru. Most competitors have cars that cost up to 40-50 lakhs- like BMW X1, Audi Q3, Merc GLA class etc. These are no match to a Maserati. The closest match is Ford Mustang self drive from RTT (Ramesh Tours n Travels) that cost 70k per day in rent + 2 lakh rupees deposit. (Maserati is way cheaper and better option, Mustang is a 2 door muscle car), If you’re fine with chauffeur driven option then RTT has BMW 7 series, S class etc, Rolls Royce Ghost, Maybach etc, but we’re talking about self drive here, so I will not elaborate much into chauffeur driven options. (RTT is owned by Ramesh Babu, a barber who owns a fleet of super luxury cars)
Update: Myles has Mustang GT for 13000 for 4 hours..

Accident Damage risk customers have to bear while renting a Maserati: Up to 25% of car’s value (30-40 lakhs) in worst case scenario. This is the single most concern I have about the Maserati rental- read further to know more- hopefully RB/Driven will find a way to sort this.

Other things you should know while renting a Maserati Ghibli from Royal Brothers/Driven:

The lengthy agreement papers to sign:
Before I could drive the car, I was given some 25-30 pager document to sign. It was a long agreement with hundreds of points detailing out the responsibilities of the person renting the car and how he/she should compensate the company in case of damages. I can understand the rental company will have their own set of apprehensions about the safety of the car and will have to cover for their losses in case of damages. But I am not pleased with being tricked last minute to sign this 30 page agreement with several fields left blank. It was a big gamble I took- with a super tempting luxury car waiting outside, and clock ticking, there is no way a customer can sit and read those 30 pages, understand all the terms and conditions. Driven should email this lengthy agreement soon after booking confirmation, so that customer can read it at his/her convenience before coming to collect the car or better still, include it in RB website’s T&C for everyone to see. Alternatively, they should provide a 1 page summary of all major terms and liabilities.

I quickly evaluated my risks-
  • It was a Sunday afternoon with not much traffic, 
  • I will be having it only for a short duration -2 hours, 
  • Ghibli has proximity sensors on all sides to warn if anything comes too close, 
  • This rental was being done in association with Royal Brothers, hopefully I might get some assistance in worst case scenario and 
  • Not signing the agreement means I might have to miss this unique opportunity of driving the Maserati. 
I took a gamble and signed.

On my successful return of the car, I asked for the agreement, the staff at Driven Cafe refused to returned it to me. I insisted I want to strike off my signature, they reluctantly handed it over, I struck off each page and scribbled over my signature to invalidate the agreement. Also to be noted that most fields were left blank- like witness etc- they will probably fill the form as per their convenience if situation demands that they’ll have to invoke the agreement and take customer to court. This is a big risk- ideally all fields should be filled, both parties should sign and a copy should be given to customer for his/her reference. Else it will be a one-sided agreement with customer having nothing for his/her reference/defense. Be careful on this aspect.

Accident Liability: Driving car in India is a complicated game. Lots of things that can go wrong are just not in our control and minor incidents like dents and scratches are very common on the road. Some one may scrape the car while it was parked, a beggar or transgender may decide to scratch your can with a sharp object because you didn’t give them free money, tree may fall over the car during wind/rain, a rogue driver may come too close to comfort and end up creating damages and so on. It is very important for rental agencies to have proper insurance coverage in place and limit renter’s liability. The biggest risk at this point w.r.t renting the Maserati Ghibli will be the risk of accidents/damages and the amount you’ll have to pay the rental agency if it happens. Most car rental agencies have secured adequate insurance coverage to limit the amount end customer have to pay in case of an accident or any other damage to the car during a rental. (For the record, Zoomcar has a max liability cap of Rs 10000 for any car, rest will be covered via insurance, Myles has an insurance premium attached to the booking amount and waives customers of all liabilities in case of accident, including towing charges) However, Royal Brothers executives say the liability is fully renter’s responsibility. They will claim insurance only if damage exceeds 25% of the value of the car. This is a really big big risk if you’re thinking of renting the Maserati. If some unfortunate incidents happen and the Maserati suffers some scratch or dent, be ready to big goodbye to couple of lakhs of rupees easily. You’re running a worst case scenario risk of up to 40 lakhs when you rent a Maserati Ghibli (25% value of the car). You will be indebted for rest of your life if such a situation arises.

I asked RB executives what happens if a customer wrecks the Maserati but is unable to pay up 40 lakhs in damages. (Even if all his/her property is confiscated it may not be worth 40 lakhs, unless he/she owns some real estate) I was told such customers will be taken to court and court will decide- either to jail the customer or excuse him/her from paying penalty or order a reduced settlement amount etc.

In all practicality, jailing a customer/asking 40 lakhs from him/her will create a big PR nightmare for Royal Brothers if press gets a hint. Family members and friends of jailed/affected customer will take RB to task for not having proper insurance coverage and harassing customer for such a huge amount. Such bad publicity will scare away other customers and will be bad for business- that of RB in particular, self drive industry in general. Court cases anyway drag on for months and not a right way forward. Even for everyday cars like Swift, if I have to refer Royal Brothers to my friends I will have to warn them of the worst case scenario in which they will have to cough up close to 1.5 lakhs (25% of Swift's value at around 6 lakhs). I understand Royal Brothers is not VC funded, but why should a customer risk such a huge liability when they can have better options with competitions at just 10k maximum liability even in worst case scenario?

RB has started car rentals only recently. It will take a few accidents and damages for the effect of this “customer should be ready to pay up to 25% of car’s value” policy to get noticed seriously by the customers who will start protesting and creating negative publicity once they begin to feel the heat.

My sincere advise will be that Royal Brothers and Driven should work with insurance companies and find a way to reduce the accident damage liability of their customers. Maximum liability for a customer should be a much smaller, acceptable amount that doesn’t in-debt a customer for life or force him to sell kidneys and home. Till that happens, rent at your own risk.

When I went to return the Maserati, the staff at Driven Café said there’s been a damage. Fortunately I had taken 360 degree video of the car before taking delivery so I could show it to him and prove that it was an existing damage. Be careful on this aspect- most agencies try to fleece customers on damages- unless you can prove that it was existing damages, you might go home lighter by several thousand rupees- in case of a car like Maserati, it could as well be a lakh or two for a small scratch. I had a similar experience with Zoomcar once and had to fight back. In most cases, rental companies collect damage charges and pocket the money, without really fixing the car.

Disclaimer: Maserati rental was complementary from Royal Brothers & Driven, but I took a 40 lakh risk taking this car for a ride. Fortunately nothing went wrong. All views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and are correct to the best of my knowledge at the time of composing this post. Policies, price and other information may change over time, please refer to official sites for latest.

4 comments:

  1. Very informative.Appreciate your risk appetite when it comes to riding cars.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very valid points. I work at RB but at bit junior level and yes, as you said it is just a matter of getting right insurance coverage to reduce liability of customers. Hopefully we will fix this sooner than later

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think it will take some time and customer feedbacks. Process and policies are often continuously improved- should be same for this case

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