This Saleen S7 Rental Story Won’t Leave You Surprised

As someone who has rented out an exotic car — OK, maybe a Dodge Viper isn’t exotic, but it’s still considered a supercar — and had it destroyed, it always made me wonder how people could even stand the idea of renting out even more expensive, rarer cars. Of course, there are plenty of companies that will rent you a Lamborghini or even a Bentley, but I had never heard of anything like a Saleen supercar being rented out. As you could imagine, it probably wasn’t a good time.

Renting out exotic cars

There is always a risk taken when renting out personal cars, and that risk is only heightened when you factor in the value of the car. It can be fun to meet other car enthusiasts that are excited for the opportunity to drive rare and cool cars, but it can also be pretty stressful…like when a renter is driving away and all you can smell is a toasted clutch. All in all, the exotic car rental business can be stressful, but it can also make for a lot of great stories.

The hand-built high-performance Saleen S7 supercar is displayed at the 2017 LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP, Getty Images

What is the Saleen S7?

The Saleen S7 was another American supercar contender that didn’t quite hit the mark. It had exotic body lines, unique features, and competitive performance stats but failed to pull the same interest as other supercars of the same price range. It had everything you could want from a supercar platform — it was mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, and had a standard power output of a reported 550hp. It has a carbon fiber body for weight reduction, and some exquisite aerodynamic features meshed in there, but many people would still say the car was a flop

California International Auto Show in Anaheim, United States | Mike FANOUS/Gamma-Rapho, Getty Images

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Would you rent a Saleen S7?

If you had the option to rent a Saleen S7, would you? According to the rental company it was far from the most popular option, and we can’t blame them. The car is more of a collector figure than an enjoyable drive. The specific Saleen in this story was bought as a repo car, and it posed more than a few problems. These problems were all a pretty big deal, and all played a part in what made the Saleen S7 such a bad rental car.

The tendency to overheat can make for a bad time in any car, and if a car’s mechanical components get too hot it can cause extensive damage that can cost thousands of dollars. The one thing the Saleen does exceptionally well, however, and that is that it looks good, making it a great choice if you want to show off, not if you want to actually enjoy driving.

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Regardless of the problems, the Saleen S7 will continue to be a favorite among collectors, though you shouldn’t expect to see any available for private rentals any time again in the future.