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Local dealers steering clear of rich rentals

Who wouldn’t want to rent a Maserati like a Mazda?

There is, however, the little matter of cost, says Ken Moerdyk, general manager of Sweet Cars, 2404 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Fort Wayne.

Moerdyk estimates the deposit on some luxury vehicles could be as much as $7,500 at rental companies.

“And that’s not counting what you would pay per day, which would be around $2,000,” he said.

Besides the hefty rental fees, Moerdyk said insurance rates would be sky-high as well.

That isn’t stopping some national chains such as Enterprise and Hertz from offering rental cars of the rich and famous in select cities, including Las Vegas, New York and Atlanta.

Hertz’s Dream Cars line is available at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and at an outlet in Cleveland. Those are the closest locations to the Summit City.

“And that,” Moerdyk said, “is how I would expect it to be.”

Although Sweet Cars is a dealership, Moerdyk said he often receives inquiries from people wanting to rent cars from his lot.

“We get calls all the time,” Moerdyk said. “Some are going to their prom, getting married or things like that.”

Not going to happen.

The general manager says he isn’t being a snob, just realistic about an inventory that includes Lamborghinis and other super-luxury vehicles.

John Justice and his son, Jesse, founded the dealership Dream Makers about six months ago under the Justice Automotive Group umbrella. The dealership, 6393 Cross Creek Blvd., sells and leases luxury vehicles.

Renting them is out of the question, Justice said.

Several local dealerships, including ones that have Mercedes and Porsches on their lots, also are steering clear of the rental business.

Chris Mosher, a salesman at Infiniti of Fort Wayne, 4909 Lima Road, said the business provides loaners to customers having their vehicles serviced at the dealership, but that’s it.

“We just take care of our guests,” he said.

pwyche@jg.net

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