Time is precious, and we are all desperate to enjoy what little free time we have. Can a car concierge help calm our busy lives? Luxurious meets the experts at Atelier Petworth to find out more.
Personal service has always been an important part of living life luxuriously. From the staff who manage grand old houses to the personal drivers of the rich and famous, having someone to look after your every need was a level of decadence afforded by the few.
However, what was once considered unattainable is now a part of the everyday. A chauffeured luxury car can be ready to transport you with just a few button presses on a smartphone. Freshly prepared food from your favourite restaurant can be delivered to your door, and a personal shopper can dress you in the latest fashions without you having to do so much as lift a finger.
There is a price to pay for such glorious decadence, but prices are perfectly justifiable, and for many, the price is worth paying to enjoy a few moments of downtime.
In a luxury world cars are important and say a lot about an individual, but buying a new car is an experience few of us enjoy. When you consider the amount of money we spend on our vehicles, it is not unreasonable to expect to be treated with respect and courtesy, but the reality is often far less convivial and is a process many of us would rather avoid.
While many digital companies offer to hold the hand of the average family car buyer, who looks after those who want a luxury or supercar?
The top of the market is ever-changing, new models, long waiting lists and if you don’t buy the car today the next person is likely to…or at least that’s what they tell you.
And it’s not just buying that takes time, cars remain time-consuming long after purchase. Where to store it for winter, who should maintain it, who provides the best insurance, where best to exploit its performance, how to sell it and where to turn when you need to refinance an existing agreement. If you own multiple cars, their upkeep and management can take more time than you realise.
That’s where a car concierge becomes a part of your life. An attentive, discreet and knowledgeable individual who has a well-established list of contacts which make your life easier. They will buy you a new supercar, source a desired classic, get the best deal on the family SUV and manage every little detail you need attending to. Such luxury, as with so many private services, has become more attainable than you might imagine, but never has it been so valuable.
Luxurious magazine travelled to Petworth in West Sussex, located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, to meet the country’s leading car concierge experts. Petworth is a small 17th-century town noted for attracting the wealthy who want to be close to London (fast trains get you there in an hour, less by helicopter), yet feel a million miles away from the city
It is also home to Atelier Petworth, specialists in the private purchase of iconic vehicles and masters in the art of the car concierge.
Directors Mark Spence and Michael Wilson both have long career histories with the finest automobile brands and are well used to looking after their client’s every need. With an enviably large list of trusted contacts and an encyclopaedic knowledge of every luxury and supercar on the market, Mark and Michael enjoy repeat business from customers who willingly entrust their personal fleet management to them. Atelier Petworth was launched as a result of their success.
Life is changing for many, Mark tells us, as an increase in digital technology means downtime for a business owner is limited due to continuous emails, video conference requests and client demands arriving 24/7. Even for the wealthy individual who doesn’t need to run a large corporation day-to-day, intrusions on personal time are ever-increasing. Atelier Petworth takes away the need to think about cars; the only worry clients have is which car to use that day and where to drive it.
The process usually starts with buying. If a client wants a rare supercar Mark and Michael know where to find it, if they want a beautiful classic car the Atelier team will travel the world to uncover the best example, and if they want a Range Rover for daily duties they will call every dealer in the land to make sure they get the very best price available. Once the perfect car is found, the paperwork is managed, and the car is delivered to the door.
Time-saving is not the only reason clients use Mark and Michael at Atelier Petworth. Celebrities, professional athletes, those recognisable for their wealth and anyone who requires privacy will benefit hugely from the services of a car concierge. There are many stories, Mark tells us, but being the professional that he is he won’t divulge.
What we did glean is many famous names have Mark and Michael on speed dial, and their requests are wide and varied, from buying cars for Christmas presents to wanting to jump the waiting list on the latest supercar…all of which have been delivered as requested, with the utmost discretion.
The same is true when selling. Many who own a fine luxury or supercar don’t want to reveal their home address to strangers who may want to see the car, they don’t have the time or inclination to negotiate, and they certainly don’t want the hassle of answering buyers questions. Similarly, a car may need to be sold to release funds, and that makes a public sale less than discreet. Whatever the reason Mark and Michael can move a vehicle swiftly, privately and for the highest price without ever being offered for sale in the public domain.
Some of the concierge requests we receive are extraordinary, Michael admits. We have transported cars to the French Rivera overnight, arranged personal factory tours at the most exclusive car brands, bought and delivered new supercars within hours and collected many celebrity-owned cars to take them for routine maintenance. If we don’t offer the service ourselves, we know the best in the business who do, enabling us to make things happen swiftly and seamlessly with the minimum of intrusion for the client.
Mark and Michael constantly monitor the market to establish what is being offered for sale and what has been sold, and their office looks like a trading desk with reports and screens aplenty. It’s their business to know what cars are in demand, which is oversupplied and those that may be losing value. It’s like the stock market, says Mark, one week a car is fetching over list price, the next it falls as a new model is announced, and we need to be ahead of the curve to serve our clients effectively.
Who knew that owning a luxury car needed such careful management? Sell at the right time, and an owner could be in for a nice return that is not subject to capital gains tax. Get it wrong, and hindsight will have you wishing you had an expert on your side.
As demand for their services increases, Atelier Petworth will soon open a brand new, signature showroom to create a unique destination which blends automotive and architectural design, iconic cars and luxury living. If a client wants to make a personal visit, the Atelier team can book a chauffeured car, reserve a luxury hotel suite and a ensure a table for dinner is available to help make car buying a pleasure.
Cars are for fun after all Mark reminds us, you work hard and want to enjoy the fruits of your labour without a care in the world. Tell us what you desire, and we’ll make it happen. Let us worry about the detail while you get on with life.
What price convenience? Surely someone buying an expensive car on your behalf will want a handsome return for themselves. As with many forms of luxury, the ability to have more time in your life isn’t as costly as you might think. While a fee is charged for the service, a client can expect big discounts, anything from 5% to 25% depending on the type of car they wish to purchase.
Also consider that a car concierge can often get a new car quicker, potentially buying earlier build slots for an in-demand luxury car. Add the savings and speed of delivery to not having to go to a showroom, an increase in personal leisure time, and less stress, and it’s not hard to see why, for many, it’s a price worth paying.
For more information and to get in contact with Mark and Michael at Atelier Petworth, visit www.atelierpetworth.com.
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