Skip to main content

U.S. Presidents are some of the most influential decision-makers in the world, but safety concerns keep them from doing some things we take for granted. Current and past presidents can do a lot, but they aren’t allowed to drive around on public roads for security reasons. However, there are a few instances where commanders-in-chief like Joe Biden and Barack Obama found themselves back behind the wheel. 

Are presidents allowed to drive?

Although understandable, many car enthusiasts are surprised to learn that current and former U.S. presidents and vice presidents cannot drive themselves on public roads. It makes sense that current presidents cannot drive themselves, as going for a drive is an obvious security risk that bad actors can exploit. 

U.S. President Joe Biden smiles a big as he can at the prospect of going for a drive in a C7 Corvette.
President Joe Biden sits in a C7 Chevy Corvette | Paul Warner via Getty Images

The United States Secret Service, the federal agency responsible for safeguarding the president, vice president, and their families, must control and vet every detail of their protectee’s movements. As a result, the commander-in-chief moves around in highly secure motorcades and aircraft rather than personally-owned vehicles.

However, the 1958 Former Presidents Act stipulates that U.S. Presidents and their spouses will receive Secret Service protection for life, which extends the driving moratorium. Moreover, the children of officeholders go without the protection of the Secret Service after the age of 16, per the National Archives. Still, in controlled environments, some leaders of the free world bend the rules to slip behind the wheel. 

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a Chevy plant.
Barack Obama speaks at a Chevy plant | Bill Pugliano via Getty Images

Former U.S. President Barack Obama drove a classic Corvette with comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has hosted an interview-style show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee since 2012. In the show, Seinfeld chooses a car that he believes complements his guest, and they drive to get coffee. 

In the first episode of season seven, Seinfeld takes a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe, one of the famed split-window models, to Pennsylvania Avenue. However, the sweetheart sports car wasn’t just headed to take a picture in front of the White House. Instead, Seinfeld took then-serving President Barack Obama on a cruise. 

However, after the President of the United States (POTUS) and Seinfeld finished having coffee, Obama took the classic V8-powered Corvette’s reins. 

U.S. President Joe Biden is a Corvette fan and doesn’t let rules stop him from driving

Current U.S. President Joe Biden is a car fan. Biden still has a second-generation Chevrolet Corvette, which he received as a wedding gift in 1967. However, when Jay Leno approached POTUS about an electrified 1978 Ford F100, Biden couldn’t resist. 

As you might expect, an EV-converted F100 with a Ford Mach-E’s electric motor setup isn’t a slouch. 

Former President George W. Bush drives a Ford F-150 around his Texas ranch

George W. Bush owns a couple of Texas staples: a sprawling ranch and a Ford F-150. Put the two together, and you’ve got a recipe for a former POTUS cruising around his property in his 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch. 

Of course, even with his own truck, Bush isn’t allowed to take to the roads without his security detail.


Billionaire Cars in 2023: Some Obvious, Some Surprising