As cost of living crises brew the world over, the luxuries endowed upon heads of state seem garish and awkward. However, given the amount of travel that world leaders undertake, and the power they possess or seek to portray, it remains unsurprising that they travel in style.
These are the cars and manufacturers that prove most popular with politicians and royalty, as highlighted by a recent study.
Noble steed are not cheap
The top five cars used by world leaders boast an average value of £199,656, ranging from the Rolls-Royce Phantom to the Lexus LS.
It is difficult to estimate the exact price of world leaders’ cars, since most of them will be customised with additional security features, but even off the shelf, they are not cheap. The Phantom alone, which is most popular among royals, costs a pretty £351,486. From Queen Margrethe II of Denmark to King Felipe VI of Spain, there is no car more popular with royalty than the Rolls-Royce.
However, the Phantom is not the most popular overall among world leaders. That crown goes to the BMW 7 Series, favoured by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and King Philippe of Belgium (to name a few). The 7 series was originally launched in 1977 and has seen five model generations since then, all of which evoke comparatively affordable luxury and power through a £72,190 price tag today. That price range is very much the average for world leaders, since their second and third more favoured chariots are the Audi A8 and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, respectively.
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While the BMW is the most favoured car, it is not the popular manufacturer. That title goes to Mercedes. Accounting for 67 out of the 299 cars looked at in the study, Mercedes-Benz is far and away the most popular among world leaders. Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen has four at his disposal while Portugal President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has three. In fact, across the category of presidents and prime ministers, Mercedes is the clear winner, followed by Toyota, a refreshing change away from the obvious.
The direction of global politics is perturbing and enigmatic, but the driving forces leave little to hide.