Top Fear: London Luxury Car Buyers Demand Bullet-Proof Everything

car brokerFor every 1,000 people living in the U.S., there are 797 cars. And according to TrueCar, about one million of those cars are luxury vehicles, which make up 15% of the U.S. auto market. So, yes, Americans really do love our cars. After all, we did invent them.

And the professional car brokers at Miami personal car concierges have seen every kind of auto lover. There’s the speed freak, who’s likely to be interested in the Lamborghini Murcielago (top speed: 211 miles per hour). There’s the eco-conscious car lover, who wants the latest Tesla invention. There are brand loyalists, who want whatever BMW or Bentley happens to be working on at the moment.

But across the Atlantic, English exotic car buyers are going nuts over an unusual trend among luxury car brokers. While a luxury car concierge in Miami might help American buyers track down classic muscle cars or the most luxurious luxury automobile to ever roll off the test track, English luxury car brokers and auto buying services are catering to a particular emotion — paranoia.

The Economist reports this summer that on July 30 a West End car broker and showroom opened for the exclusive purpose of offering “ultra-wealthy residents luxury vehicles that will protect them from deadlier threats: bombs, gunfire and kidnapping.”

The financial magazine claims the trend will quickly spread Stateside, too. Mark Burton works for International Armoring, a U.S. company that armors luxury automobiles, and he estimates the global market for “deluxe armored road-cars” is about 7,500 autos a year. Although, it seems that the specialty armor is nothing more than a status symbol for most wealthy buyers.

The head of a Texas firm that also specializes is transforming luxury cars into armored vehicles “says that 5% of his projects are for rich and famous people whose threat levels simply do not justify the armor plating.” To prove the bullet proof glass and plating really works, the Texan lets his customers shoot at him while he sits in the car.

And you thought insurance couldn’t get any higher on luxury cars.