Carlo Mason is accustomed to looking after people who enjoy the finer things in life. A British citizen with Italian ancestry, he moved with his family to Marbella at the age of 14.
His professional career started as a PGA professional golf player on the European Tour Circuit. After his retirement from professional golf he then moved into the real estate industry and opened his own agency, Blue Sky Homes International.
Noticing that many of his clients who purchased high-end luxury holiday homes where then forced to drive around in small unexciting cars, as this was all that was available from the rental car agencies at the time, he realised that this was not the complete lifestyle experience that they were looking for.
In Carlo Mason’s opinion, a person who has invested in a multi-million Euro home in Marbella should be able to drive a Bentley, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini or any other super car when they so wish, without having to purchase one that is then left in a garage, unused, for many months of the year. They should also be able to drive a different car every time, if they so choose.
In 2005 Blue Sky Luxury Car Hire was born to offer luxury, exotic and sports car hire at competitive prices, backed by a company with its roots deep in Marbella, whose reputation for service and attention to detail had been established over many years.
Carlo Mason can be contacted by telephone on + 34 951 77 55 10, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: www.blueskyluxurycarhire.es. Alternatively you can visit his personal website: www.carlomason.com.
Ricky: Carlo, can you highlight what are some of the major concerns that some of your customers have when considering renting a super car?
Carlo: Security of their credit cards has to be right at top of the list and I don´t believe that credit card details should be held by the rental company. Clients who rent super cars are high-net-worth individuals, with very high limits on their cards and are always concerned about fraudulent use. In our case, in order to protect our customers, we have a strict policy that we never take the card details off our clients. For the reservation deposit that is required to rent a super car we direct our clients to a secure page on our website, that is linked directly to our bank via an encrypted connection. For additional security we work with La Caixa Bank for online payments, one of largest and most reputable banks in Spain.
Ricky: As far as I understand your clients sometimes have to put down quite sizeable deposits to cover any damages. What are your thoughts on the refund of deposits?
Carlo: It is quite normal in the luxury car hire business to request a guarantee in the form of a deposit to cover any damages; however, here at Blue Sky we are more than happy once the deposit is refunded in full to the client. It is a sign of a satisfied client.
In fact when a car is rented I consider it important for the client to take several pictures of the car using their mobile phone when the car is collected, for their own peace of mind. This ensures that, when the car is returned, there is absolutely no doubt as to the condition of the car. The client can feel confident that their card is not going to be charged for any damages that were not their responsibility.
A further security to clients is to process all refunds the moment the car is returned. I personally find nothing more irritating than to return a rental car and have to wait a day or even weeks to receive a final invoice, never sure what the amount of the invoice will be. This can be particularly aggravating when you have rented a car in a foreign country given that, if there are any discrepancies, they now need to be dealt with long distance.
At Blue Sky as soon as the car is returned we calculate the final invoice amount and refund the balance to your card immediately and issue you with a receipt. Within 24 hours you will also receive a final statement confirming the charges.
Ricky: Do clients sometimes feel that the charges are not what they expected?
Carlo: It is essential that rates are absolutely clear at the start of the rental. Aside from the daily rate, the only variable that they need to consider is an additional charge per kilometer over an agreed amount.
In fact, we understand that clients don’t rent our cars to park them in the garage, but to drive them and our daily allowances are very generous to allow for this, but one has to consider that a Ferrari may need a new clutch every 3,000 Km. That said our additional mileage charges are very reasonable and really are designed to cover our costs, whilst letting the client enjoy the car to the full.
Ricky: Luxury cars and super cars are by definition cars that are in short supply. Do you not sometimes have problems supplying the clients with the car of their choice and then choose to provide an alternative model?
Carlo: I am passionate about cars myself and know that it is more than disappointing to have reserved a particular brand, model or colour, only to arrive at the airport and find a different car waiting. This may not be an issue if you are renting a small family run-around but a person who has rented a red Ferrari California is adamant that that is the car that he or she wants.
I believe that it is essential to specifically confirm to a client the car make, model and colour in advance. In fact, if the client has any doubts they can contact me personally prior to rental and I will send images of the car and even copies of the car papers. With Blue Sky the car that you ordered is the car that you get.