Get in Your Dream Car ... For a Fraction of the Cost

If you've ever pictured yourself driving off in a Lamborghini or Ferrari, but didn't think you could afford it, there's a way you can enjoy the thrill of driving one without shelling out a year's income: Rent an exotic car for the weekend.

If you’ve ever pictured yourself in a really high-end luxury car but knew you could never afford to shell out a year’s income to put one in your garage, you may still be able to enjoy the thrill of driving a Lamborghini or a Ferrari -- for a limited time. For a fraction of the sticker price of a Bentley or a Mercedes Benz, you can rent one for a day or for a weekend.

Many of the big nationwide car rental firms are now offering drivers the chance to ride in upscale automobiles like the Chevy Camaro or the Cadillac Escalade, but to get into an ultra-prestigious set of wheels you have to go to a rental company that specializes in exotic cars. Most of the luxury car rental agencies operate near major cities, such as New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Lamborghini GallardoFor example, at Players Car Rental in Miami, you can rent the Maserati GT Cabrio, which sells for more the $200,000, for $1,200 a day. At Gotham Dream Cars in Englewood, N.J., you can drive away in a Lamborghini Gallardo -- suggested retail: $195,000 -- for $995 a day during the week (weekends will cost a bit more).

Porsche CaymanIf you’re looking for something a little less pricey, you can get behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper SRT10 at Exotic Rentals Houton for $499 a day. A Porsche Cayman can be rented for just $239 a day at Beverly Hills Rent-a-Car in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Dodge Viper SRT10In addition to the rental fee, however, you should be prepared to hand over a security deposit that could be as a high as $10,000, typically charged to your credit card (though, obviously, you won't lose the deposit if the car is returned safe and sound).

Some firms even offer a luxury-car time-share program, which will let you “own” your dream car for up to eight weeks a year for a flat annual fee. To start your search for a high-end car rental, plug “exotic car rental” into your favorite search engine and find your dream car.