With only days until Joe Biden’s inauguration as the next president of the US, the keys to the White House are just about within reach. But, getting to this point and winning over the people writing the ballots is easier said than done.
And money is often the biggest driver in widening that gap in understanding, be it the clothes they wear, the company they keep or, of course, they cars they drive. Or sit in the back seat of.
So, to measure in real terms just how out of touch our politicians and world leaders are, we’ve compared their cars with their country’s bestselling motors and worked out the difference. Spoiler — it’s pretty sizeable.
What does the Queen drive?
Starting at £4,000 and rising all the way to £10 million, even we underestimated the numbers involved. Sitting in top spot is Queen Elizabeth II and her eight-figure Bentley State Limousine. If she was to sell it, she’d have enough cash to buy 610 Ford Fiestas and have change. Oh, and she has two.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could also get a fair whack for his Jaguar XJ Sentinel, but only enough for 18 Fiestas. Below him, it’s a little more even, though. Emmanuel Macron’s DS 7 Crossback, for example, was custom made and available 10 months before public release, but with only a few minor upgrades on the standard model we figure it can’t be worth that much more.
According to our findings, the most down-to-earth leader is Jose Mujica, former president of Uruguay. Opting against living in the presidential palace, Mujica also kept his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. In 2010, it was valued at less than £1,500 and by the time he left office was worth a quarter of the country’s bestselling Suzuki Celerio.
The gap between the UK's leaders and citizens
The Queen’s Bentley limos aren’t just worth a fortune because they’re the only two in existence, they’re also loaded with baffling defences.
The cabin is protected against gas attacks and explosives, and it runs on tyres that can carry the car to safety when deflated – paling in comparison with the 16-inch rims of the UK’s bestselling Fiesta.
Kim Jong-un and his luxury tank
Despite being worth nearly a tenth of the Bentley State Limousines, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un could sell his trophy car and have enough to buy 300 ‘normal’ motors – as there’s no publicly available sales data, we’ve went with the GAZ-24 Volga, believed to be one of the country’s more represented models.
But considering his Mercedes-Maybach features a full multimedia system inside a heavily armoured shell, we’re not sure why he’d want to cash in. With the strict sanctions on North Korea importing luxury goods, we’re also not sure how he managed to get it in the first place.
What does Vladimir Putin drive?
The Aurus Senat’s £440k price tag might look small alongside some of the other leaders’ cars, but it’s still worth more than 100 of Russia’s bestselling model of 2020’s first quarter.
And with nearly £150 million’s worth of research and development going into it, it’s not difficult to see why. It’s thought that Vladimir Putin’s model was upgraded with a load of additional defences.
German engineering and efficiency
The German government’s top level, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, are ferried about in the country’s own Audi A8. But the Security model is about as far from the standard edition as it’s possible to be.
Built with military-grade materials and powered by a 12-cylinder engine, there’ll be little doubt over this being the taxi of choice. Pricing and exact details are hard to come by, but by some rumours it’d take the sale of 54 VW Golfs to save the cash for one of these.
Donald Trump and the ‘Beast’
Despite arguably being the most known of all the models on our list, the ‘Beast’ only just made our top five. Widely considered to be the safest there is, this tank of a limousine has ferried several US presidents about on official business.
The latest version, a one-off Cadillac, has shielded Donald Trump behind five inches of military-grade armour and electrified door handles, and even stocks his blood type in case there’s need for an emergency transfusion. Whether Biden keeps the Beast or goes for a new state motor, it’s unlikely he’ll get a defensive downgrade.
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