A Chevy Suburban. A Cadillac Escalade. A 14-passenger stretch Expedition SUV. While these could be group of friends dressed as a presidential motorcade on Halloween, they're actually a sampling of the luxury vehicles in DC Private Car's sizeable fleet. Their roster extends from a three-passenger sedan car equipped with reading lamps, 9" LCD screen, and DVD player all the way up to a 32-passenger executive bus. Chauffeurs save clients from the hassle of driving as they motor around the metro area for any sort of occasion, from airport or convention transportation to wedding receptions and personalized sightseeing tours.
When Brian McInerney reflects on the humble beginnings of Wheel Fun Rentals, Inc., he points to his childhood passion for bikes. "As far back as I can remember, I had a real love affair with bicycles," he recalls. During a trip to Italy in 1987, Brian's affinity for cycling blossomed into a full-fledged obsession when he spotted locals' transporter of choice, the surrey. Inspired, he began importing the Italian four-wheelers to a rental business in the U.S. that eventually expanded into Wheel Fun Rentals, now a nationwide web of shops that also loans out bikes, electric cars and mopeds, and man-powered watercraft. Adventuresome athletes can also compete in activities such as surrey scavenger hunts and blindfold obstacle courses navigated via shouted instructions from a seeing teammate or exceptionally long rounds of trial and error.
Owning a car can be a burden: paying for insurance, paying for gas, paying for a car-sitter every time you go for a hike. That's why Enterprise Rent-A-Car started CarShare, a community program that lets members take out vehicles around the city without worrying about any of those inconveniences. Once at the CarShare location, customers need only to use their membership card to unlock the door. Members can reserve a car by the hour?as well as daily or overnight?and low rates include the cost of fuel, insurance, and up to 185 miles per day. They enjoy a wide range of choices, too: electric and hybrid rides, SUVs and pickups, and passenger vehicles populate the company's stable of fuel-efficient vehicles.
The showroom at Vespa of Philadelphia is a scooter enthusiast's dream. Classic and modern Vespa models sit alongside Piaggio scooters and motorbikes. Some are for rent. Some are for sale. Some just rolled in to visit their friends. The friendly staffers help guests select the right model, though not before they pour some complimentary espresso. As further evidence of their scooter knowledge, Vespa of Philadelphia's team also runs a Vespa- and Piaggo- certified service center. Here, techs change oil, make repairs, and prep scooters for winter.
A streak of silver zips across the road, like a shot from the barrel of a gun. But it’s not a silver bullet heading toward the heart of a werewolf; it’s the Audi R8, picking up speed to go from 0 to 60 in mere seconds. And the Audi R8 is just one of LuxLife Exotic Rentals’ luxury cars. The agency puts drivers behind the wheel of everything from Hummers, Bentleys, and Aston Martins to Ducati motorcycles. Those not interested in driving can instead slip into the backseat of a Rolls Royce Phantom and head to their wedding, prom, or business meeting with Mr. Peanut in style.
Today's side deal gets you and a frightened friend a pair of tickets to the Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour for $17. Tickets are normally $17.50 for adults, so today's two-for-less-than-one deal is the perfect chance to scare your straight-laced sister or give your fearless insurance agent a fright. As you slither through the streets, trembling at stories of the dead who won't stay dead, wave your free glow-stick souvenir to ward off the bushes, branches, and wrought-iron fences that seem to become claws and faces in the shadowy night.