Official state car


Official state car

An official state car is a car used by a government to transport its head of state in an official capacity, which may also be used occasionally to transport other members of the government or visiting dignitaries from other countries. On a state visit, the official state car might be transported for official use by the head of state upon their arrival. It also may serve as an automotive symbol of the head of state and their country. Part of the criteria for an official state car is to have adequate security, capability and stateliness for its duty. A limousine, executive car or sport utility vehicle is usually selected.

Due to the high security risk for the passengers, these vehicles are often heavily secured and protected. Vehicles may be armored by the manufacturer or an after-market specialist. When dignitaries are on board, state vehicles will usually be surrounded by a motorcade consisting of police and/or military personnel. The vehicle's driver might also be from the law enforcement or military pool, with the driver of the United States Presidential State Car being an experienced agent from the Secret Service.

Official state cars are often those of domestic manufacturers, allowing the head of state and the government of each respective country an opportunity to show confidence in their nation's automotive industry, and allow their automakers a chance to demonstrate their technology and skill by creating a special vehicle for the task.[1] For example, the President of the United States rides in the domestic Cadillac, the Emperor of Japan uses a Toyota, the British monarch uses a Bentley[1] and the Prime Minister of Italy uses a Maserati. Some countries alternate between vehicles made by each of their domestic manufacturers, and it is considered an honour for a car manufacturer to be selected to provide a state car for their respective country.[1]

For countries without indigenous manufacturers, an official state car may be purchased from a suitable manufacturer in a nation with strong economic and diplomatic ties. Canada exclusively uses state cars manufactured by the Detroit Three, many of which are made in Canadian factories, with the United States and American car manufacturers having a historically strong relationship with Canada. The Canadian government also holds shares in General Motors and Chrysler following their restructuring in the economic downturn of 2008.

Contents

Argentina

The President of Argentina uses a fleet of armored Audi A6 with standard registration plates.

Australia

A motorcade transporting senior members of the official party to an event in Canberra in November 2009. The black car at the left with the numberplate ADF1 carried the Chief of the Defence Force, the white car behind it with the numberplate C1 carried the Prime Minister and the black car second from the right carried the Governor General

Governor General

The Governor-General of Australia travels in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI limousine for ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament.[2] She more commonly uses Australian-built luxury cars when on official business. The official cars of the Governor-General fly the Flag of the Governor-General of Australia and display St. Edward's Crown instead of number plates. A similar arrangement is used for the Governors of the six states. When the Queen is in Australia, the Queen's Personal Australian Flag is flown on the car in which she is travelling.

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Australia is usually seen in a white Holden Caprice tailed by multiple Ford Territory and Toyota Yaris models. It is also escorted by police vehicles from state and federal authorities. The Prime Minister's car bears the number plate "C1" (meaning "Commonwealth 1") and a centrally mounted Australian flag.[3] The vehicles are heavily armoured and, unlike many overseas counterparts, the Prime Minister is frequently seen in the front passenger seat.

Austria

Senior government figures in Austria use Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class models.

Azerbaijan

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev travels in an armored Maybach 62 limousine.[4] Sometimes he uses a heavy armored, custom-built Mercedes-Benz W221 S600 Guard Pullman.

Bangladesh

The President of Bangladesh is usually driven in a white armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class while the President also has use of a black Mercedes Benz W126 limousine that is used on state occasions, such as the Independence Day parade.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh uses either a white B7 Level armoured BMW 7-Series or a metallic silver, armoured Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV.

The Elite Special Security Force & Army Guards Regiment in the President/Prime Minister's motorcade use specially modified Lexus LXs and Nissan Patrols equipped with advanced communication systems.

Barbados

The Official vehicle of the Prime Minister of Barbados - license plate 'MP2' is a 2009 Mercedes Benz S-Class, which is used for official functions.

Bhutan

The former King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, drove a Toyota Land Cruiser when travelling around the kingdom. Present King of Bhutan, driven in Range Rover.

Bolivia

The President of Bolivia is driven in a BMW 7 Series and a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 series. The president also is driven in Chevrolet Suburban and he is escorted by 10 Toyota Sequoia.

Brazil

The ceremonial state car of the President of Brazil is a 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, reserved exclusively for Independence Day commemorations, state visits and the presidential inauguration. The current official state car used by the president for regular transportation is a 2011-model armored version of the Ford Fusion Hybrid.[5] The car is also used as escort car for the presidential motorcade. The Fusion was first used on 17 June 2008 when it replaced a 2004 Chevrolet Omega.

The federal government's most important officials (President, Ministers, Magistrates, etc.) use yellow-green brass plates adorned with the Coat of Arms of Brazil and their titles engraved on them (i.e. President of the Republic, President of the Senate, Defense Minister, Supreme Court President, etc.).

British Virgin Islands

The current Governor of the British Virgin Islands is driven in Royal Service Gray Range Rover from England with a crown license plate symbolizing the Queen

Brunei

The ceremonial state car of the Sultan of Brunei is a 1992 state landaulette Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. On non-ceremonial occasions, the Sultan of Brunei personally drives a black Mercedes Benz W163 ML55 AMG, usually escorted by either a Secret Service BMW E39 540i or a BMW E61 545i, and a few Lexus LX470. On other occasions he drives a Maybach 62. Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei, owns several thousand luxury and exotic cars and has one of the largest car collections in the world.

The member of the Royal Family are usually escorted by a Secret Service escort Volvo S80 V8 models, or Mitsubishi 380.

The Cabinet Ministers of Brunei and visiting foreign dignitaries are driven in a black Mercedes Benz W221 S350L, while other senior ranking officials are driven in a black Mercedes Benz W211 E280.

Canada

The motorcade of Queen Elizabeth II passing through Winnipeg; the sovereign's car (second in line) is a claret coloured Lincoln Town Car bearing her personal standard for Canada, with a licence plate showing a gold St. Edward's Crown on a red field

The Canadian monarch and Governor General of Canada are driven in a Lincoln Town Car or a Lincoln MKS bearing the flag of either office on the right hand fender. The sovereign's car bears a licence plate showing a gold St. Edward's Crown on a red field. The Governor General's car bear a plate similar to the Flag of the Governor General of Canada or standard auto plates of the province of Ontario with flags of the Governor General on the front hood. The governor general also has a Cadillac DTS stretch limousine at his/her disposal.The Governor General has also been seen in a 2010 Ford Flex.

Prior to the use of the state car, a 1911 Canadian state landau was used to transport the Queen from Rideau Hall to Parliament Hill.

The Prime Minister of Canada is driven in a motorcade of three cars or more. The motorcade is adjusted for certain public events, as seen fit by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The prime minister usually rides in an armoured long-wheelbase Cadillac DTS or Chevrolet Suburban but has also been seen arriving at various events in a Toyota Sienna minivan when travelling with members of his family. The Prime Minister is also eligible to use the governor general's Cadillac stretch limousine at various times. The Prime Minister's car bear standard Ontario car plates. The Prime Minister's motorcade is usually led by a Chrysler 300, a Dodge Charger, or a Mercury Grand Marquis.

Cayman Islands

The Governor of the Cayman Islands is driven in a beige Cadillac DeVille sedan. Surmounted on the hood is the flag of the office, and instead of license plates the car has a crown on the front and back. It is likely that the car is armoured but this is not known for certain. Other senior officials and visiting VIPs utilize a fleet of armoured Ford Excursions.

Chile

The official presidential vehicle in Chile is a black Ford Galaxie XL Convertible, purchased in 1966. It is only used for official ceremonies celebrating national days on May 21, September 18 and September 19. It has a normal license plate (EL-2801).[6]

Chilean presidential car ready to go to the National Congress of Chile.

For daily transport the president was previously driven in a Lincoln Town Car, but President Michelle Bachelet used a 2008-model armoured Peugeot 607 saloon. Her motorcade was often seen driving 2006 Audi A4 and A6s. Various 2007 Dodge Durangos also compose the presidential motorcade.

The newly elected president Sebastian Piñera was arrived at the Presidential Palace in a brand new 2010 BMW 760Li F03 (armored). Various Audi Q7's, BMW 5 series, Audi's A6 were seen driving along with him.

In May, a Lexus LS 600h, was chosen by Piñera as the official presidential vehicle.[7]

People's Republic of China

As it is technically a communist state the President of the People's Republic of China's official car is a Nissan Civilian minibus.[8] The same arrangement goes for the Premier.

Historically, Chinese leaders have used the Hongqi for official occasions, such as the review of troops on National Day. During Hu Jintao's review of troops on National Day in 2009, he was seen in a Hongqi HQE Limousine.

Colombia

Since 1991, the Colombian Presidential vehicles have usually been BMWs. In 2006, the Presidential fleet included four armoured BMW 7-Series and several units of Toyota Land Cruiser 100, whose level of armour is a state secret. These BMWs and Toyotas are equipped with GPS and runflat tires.

Costa Rica

The President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, uses an armored Hyundai Equus Limousine as its official state car.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently uses Kia Opirus cars.

Croatia

The President of Croatia uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600.

Presidential motorcade in Zagreb: second car is the limousine of the President of Croatia

Denmark

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark uses a 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith seven-seater (LGLW 25 body no. 10181), commonly referred to as Store Krone (Great Crown). It was purchased by her father, Frederick IX of Denmark as new. The coachbuilder and seller was Hooper & Co. (Coachbuilder) Ltd, 54 St James Street, Piccadilly, London SW1.[9]

In addition she uses several lesser cars for more common occasions. Noteworthy are Krone (Crown) 1, 2 and 5, which are all Daimler DS420 eight-seater limousines made in 1970, 1989 (purchased 1994 with 1500 km on the clock) and 1986. Also a new Bentley Arnage, crown number 121.[10] She is trying a new environmental car: the Lexus LS 600h, a hybrid.[11]

The name Krone and number refers to the license plate used when carrying members of the Danish royal family inside Denmark.[12]

The Prime Minister of Denmark is driven in an armored Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ministers in the Danish government drive different kinds of VW Phaeton and BMW 7 Series. They are also seen in Volvo S80s.

East Germany

The former East Germany manufactured the Trabant and Wartburg, both deemed unsuitable for state car usage. The leaders of the country used Russian-made cars and Swedish Volvo models, while the Communist Party General Secretary, Erich Honecker, used a fleet of stretched Citroen CX models.

Ecuador

The presidential state car in Ecuador is an armored Lincoln Town Car purchased by president Lucio Gutierrez in 2005. An armored Chevrolet Trooper is also used.[citation needed]. The president travels in one of several armored Nissan Patrol scholastic level 7 for several Ford Explorers, Chevrolet D-Max. In the September 30, 2010 Nissan Patrol withstood high caliber ammunition in the midst of shooting the Police hospital in the city of Quito. Currently the Nissan Patrol fleet was changed by Toyota Land Cruiser 200.

Egypt

The presidential state car in Egypt used by Hosni Mubarak until February 2011 was a black armored Mercedes-Benz S-Class. An earlier model of it helped save his life back in Ethiopia in 1995.

El Salvador

The President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, uses an armored Mercedes-Benz W220 as its official state car. He also drives or is driven in a Lexus LX 570, a Hummer H3, a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8, a Chevrolet Suburban and a 200 Series Toyota Land Cruiser. The President is generally escorted by six Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Estonia

The President of Estonia uses an armoured Audi A8 4,2 TDI Quattro with the Coat of arms of Estonia as its license plate. The car is escorted by an Audi Q7 . The Estonian Prime Minister uses an Audi A8 registered in 2011.

Finland

The President of Finland uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600L with the Coat of arms of Finland as its "license plate".[13] A similar car is used by the Speaker of the Parliament, whereas the Prime Minister's official car is a grey armoured Mercedes-Benz S450 CDI.

Most Finnish cabinet members use Audi A6s, but there are also Volvo S80s and Saab 9-5s. The only armoured car besides the three most notable ones is the Foreign Minister's Audi A8.[14]

France

The President of France can choose between several armoured versions of high-end French cars including the Citroën C6, Renault Vel Satis and Peugeot 607. These are traditionally provided by the manufacturers and different Presidents will have their own preference. For example, Nicolas Sarkozy prefers Renault, while Jacques Chirac was a Citroën fan, occasionally using his own long-wheelbase Citroën CX model and the Presidential Citroën XM.

For his inauguration parade in 2007, Sarkozy used the one-off Peugeot 607 Paladine model, a stretched limousine with landaulette body, originally built as a concept car in 2000. The model was brought out of storage for the occasion and updated with a new grille and lights to bring it in line with the 2004 re-style of the mainstream model. It has since been returned to Peugeot and, as it effectively remains a concept car in its fit and finish, will not become part of the Élysée fleet.

The most famous association between a President of France and a single model was that of Charles de Gaulle with the Citroën DS, as portrayed in the film, Day of the Jackal. The President was saved in two assassination attempts by French Algeria supporters by the car's unique ability to drive on three wheels and to keep running when more than one tyre is punctured.

For ceremonial occasions, the President also has access to two unique Citroën SM Présidentielle landaulette models,[15] created for President Georges Pompidou by the coachbuilder Henri Chapron. Based on the SM Opera, itself a special edition four-door convertible, these cars are still used for state occasions and military parades, when the open-top layout enables the President to stand in the back seat and survey the crowd. Built for an official visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, the cars have a standard mechanical layout with the addition of a special gear for low-speed cruising. One of the these cars was also used by President François Mitterrand for the official opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994, when it accompanied the Rolls-Royce Phantom VI of Queen Elizabeth II. Number plates on these cars are standard French ones, although specially created for the model (2 PR 75 and 3 PR 75, '75' denoting the Paris region). Both are still maintained in working order, but are now rarely seen in use.

An international museum of official state cars also exists in France.[16]

Germany

The armored Mercedes-Benz W221 used by the President of Germany, with license plates 0-1
The Audi A8 sometimes used by the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, with license plates 0-2

Over the years, German presidents, chancellors and senior politicians have often used Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles and their predecessor models. The most famous variants were the Mercedes 300 series "Adenauer" and the stretched "Pullman" variants. Currently the State Car of the President of Germany is an armored Mercedes-Benz S600 with license plate 0-1, but he has also used an Audi A8. The President is the only German official whose official car shows a flag (a version of the President's standard) placed on the front of the hood.

All officials under personal protection from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany's equivalent to U.S. Secret Service protection, use transportation from the BKA pool of armoured cars and BKA driving staff. The car pool includes armored limousines from all German car manufacturers, usually high-end models such as the Audi A8, Volkswagen Phaeton, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Some German politicians choose to express their regional origins through the make of car they use. In particular officials from Bavaria customarily prefer cars from Munich-based BMW over the more common Mercedes brand. Some high-ranking politicians from Alliance '90/The Greens (Germany's green party) have chosen Audi, VW or BMW cars to avoid the posh and elitist image of Mercedes models[citation needed]. While in office, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder initially used an Audi for his official car, a brand he is known to prefer as his personal car as well. Later during his administrative term, Volkswagen presented him with a VW Phaeton which found its way into the car pool. His successor in office, current Chancellor Angela Merkel is known to alternate between brands as to project neutrality and support for the German car industry in general.

One of the earliest links between a leader and a particular marque was the association of Adolf Hitler with Mercedes-Benz. The Führer was known for his love of luxury cars and ordered a succession of custom vehicles from Mercedes, culminating in the 770K model of 1941, which was rumoured to weigh up to five tonnes.[17] These cars and their predecessors became synonymous with Nazi parades and Hitler's visits to conquered cities such as Vienna and Paris.

Greece

The Prime Minister of Greece currently uses a heavy armoured, custom-built W221 Mercedes-Benz S600 escorted by custom built Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicles. Past PMs have also used a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Long-Wheelbase Limousine. The president, also, uses a W221 Mercedes-Benz S600, wearing the Greek coat of arms. The monarchs in 1930s were using a Maybach Zeppelin.

Grenada

The current Governor General of Grenada is driven in a white BMW 750Li with a crown license plate symbolizing the Queen while the Prime Minister drives in a black BMW 750Li bearing a Grenadian flag and a coat of arms license plate, escorted by police motorcycle outriders and two black Mitsubishi SUVs.

Hong Kong

The Lexus LS 600h L bearing the HKSAR crest in place of a license plate, the official transport of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong

The Chief Executive of Hong Kong Donald Tsang is usually driven in the Lexus LS 600h L hybrid vehicle, without a license plate and bearing the Emblem of Hong Kong. Occasionally, he is also seen using a 1997 Mercedes-Benz S500L.

The British Governor of Hong Kong used a Rolls-Royce Phantom V as his ceremonial car and a Daimler DS420 limousine for day to day transport. The Rolls-Royce was a Phantom V, chassis number 5BV7, originally intended as a Park Ward bodied seven passenger limousine for the British ambassador in Tokyo. During production the order was changed to a State Landaulette (Design number 1000) for the use by the Governor of Hong Kong. The car was also used by Queen Elizabeth II during an official visit in 1975. Having dropped the governor at the dockside for his departure on the Royal Yacht Britannia on the night of the handover to China, these vehicles were removed by a Royal Navy transport ship, RFA Sir Percivale (L3036). The car did not have license plate, instead bearing an image of St Edward's Crown on the front and rear bumpers.

Other senior government officials, including the Chief Secretary, Chief Justice and Commissioner of Police, are each assigned a Volkswagen Phaeton.

Iceland

The President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, is driven by a chauffeur in a Lexus LS600hL with the license plate of "1."[18] For special occasions the president also uses a 1942 Packard.[19]

India

The President of India travels in a Mercedes Benz S600 (W221) Pullman Guard . It's a custom-built, heavily armored limousine for the Indian state which meets the requirements of the highest protection class VR6/VR7 - an effective defense against terrorist attacks. The armor is specially designed to rifle projectiles from military weapons. It also offers resistance against fragments from hand grenades and explosives. The S600 Pullman Guard is perfected in the principle of integrated protection.

The Prime Minister uses the B7-level armored BMW 7 Series High Security saloons. It's escorted by the SPG in the BMW X5 Security Plus which are a permanent part of the Prime Minister's convoy.

Earlier, Hindustan Motors' Ambassador was used as the official state car for all purposes. It was up-armored and modified considerably for the use by the President and the Prime Minister.

Indonesia

The President of Indonesia is driven in one of two black, armored 2008 Mercedes-Benz S600L W221 models, bearing the license plates "RI 1". The President rides in one vehicle, while the other is commonly used as a decoy. The Vice President is driven in a similar car, bearing the "RI 2" license plate.

The previous official car, two black, armored 1994 Mercedes-Benz S600L W140 is now used as a backup vehicle. Two black BMW X5 is also available for use, notably during the Jakarta floods of 2007.

The President's motorcade is accompanied by security personnel in Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW X5, Land Rover Defender and Toyota Land Cruiser models, sometimes also accompanied by a number of Toyota Camry, Nissan Patrol and Ford Expedition models carrying his entourage.

A Volkswagen Caravelle and a Toyota Alphard is also present in the motorcade, carrying his security guards. The motorcade is escorted by either a number of Mazda6, Mitsubishi Galant, or Ford Focus police cars and also police motorcycle.

Cabinet ministers are driven in black Toyota Crown vehicles, escorted by security guards in black Nissan X-Trail cars, while members of the parliament are given either Toyota Fortuner or Toyota Kijang Innova models without security escort.

Governors of various provinces in Indonesia are usually given Toyota Camry vehicles as their official car, although some provinces such as DKI Jakarta use the Volvo S80.

Iraq

The Iraqi President uses a BMW E67 760 Li escorted by Nissan Patrol models. The Prime Minister uses an armoured Chevy Tahoe along with a Toyota Land Cruiser and Chevrolet Suburban.

While in power, Saddam Hussein normally traveled in a Mercedes-Benz W126, and also bought a large fleet of luxury cars for himself and his family. Ironically, some were classic American cars, many from the era of Al Capone of whom Saddam Hussein was an admirer.[20]

Ireland

The official state car in Ireland is a 1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith. Douglas Hyde, the first president of Ireland was provided with a state car, but his near fatal stroke early into his term of office meant that he rarely travelled in public. When he retired in 1945 the Irish state decided that his successor, Seán T. O'Kelly, needed a special state vehicle for formal occasions.

The daily transport of the president of Ireland and the Taoiseach are un-armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloons W221. The vehicles are driven by armed Gardaí (special branch police force). The Taoiseach and his Government Ministers usually sit in the passenger seat of their official cars. The presidential motorcade is led by a garda patrol car, then the presidential limo (with Irish flag and State Harp flag) followed by one or two unmarked garda cars usually BMW 5 Series. The presidential fleet also includes an Audi A6 and a Volvo S80. The Garda Traffic Corp also provide motorcycle escort around the motorcade. When the President or Taoiseach visit Northern Ireland they are driven in bulletproof SUVs.

Israel

The Prime Minister of Israel uses a fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers, Audi A8 and Volvo S80. The President of Israel uses a Volvo stretch limousine and Audi A8.

Italy

Lancia Thesis official state car

The then President of Italy, Giovanni Gronchi, personally ordered four custom-built Lancia Flaminia limousines for a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II in 1961. The cars, all of which are landaulettes, were designed by Pininfarina and based on an extended wheelbase from the standard saloon. Two of the cars are still in service today for state occasions.[21]

Sandro Pertini drove a Maserati Quattroporte III during his tenure.

The current presidential car is an armoured Maserati Quattroporte complete with Italian flags, while the prime minister uses a similar vehicle. The government fleet also includes Audi A6 and A8, Lancia Thesis and Lancia Thesis Stola S85 (limousine), BMW E60 and E65, Mercedes-Benz W211, W212 and W221, Alfa Romeo 159 and 166 models.

Jamaica

The Governor-General of Jamaica is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S600 bearing the Jamaican flag and the flag of that office. Its license plate is "GG1". The Prime Minister of Jamaica is driven in an unmarked dark green Mercedes Benz C300 .The Prime Minister's car uses a civilian license plate. It is unknown if these cars are armoured..

Japan

Toyota Century Royal

The official state car currently used by the Emperor of Japan and the Empress of Japan is a specially prepared Toyota Century Royal, a one-off $500,000 custom car. Custom built by Toyota, it stretches around 20 feet in length and 6.5 feet across, with extra amenities such as bulletproofing and a granite entryway.[22] The emperor was previously driven in a Nissan Prince Royal(1967–2008), Cadillac Series 75(1951–1970), Mercedes-Benz 770 W07 Series(1932–1968), Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost(1921–1936), Daimler(1913–1927). From 1935 to 1963, the royal household also possessed a fleet of five 1935 Packard Eights, one of which was Emperor Hirohito's personal car during that period.

The Prime Minister of Japan travels in a Lexus LS 600h L,[23] the official transport for the head of government, or a regular Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade which comprises numerous Toyota Celsiors.

Kenya

President Kibaki in the ceremonial Land Rover 109

The President of the Republic of Kenya travels in an armoured Mercedes-Benz Pullman S600 with the Kenyan Coat-of-Arms instead of the licence plate. He also has a large fleet of vehicles including an armoured BMW 7 series, armoured Range Rover Vogue, armoured Toyota Landcruiser and several other Mercedes-Benz's at his disposal. Additionally, he has an open top military Land Rover 109 for state functions with licence plates CIC (Commander In Chief). His escort includes several Mercedes-Benz E-classes, BMW 5 series, a Range Rover, Toyota Landcruisers and an ambulance. Cabinet ministers are supplied with Volkswagen Passats and toyota Landcruisers in addition to other vehicles in the ministerial car pool. The Prime Minister is equipped with similar vehicles to the president; Mercedes-benz limousines, Range Rovers and Landcruisers, however, he has a substantially smaller escort.

Kosovo

The presidential car of Kosovo is a specially prepared, heavily armored, black Chevrolet Suburban, with licence plates 000-KS-001 or 1Z-001-01 (the new official licence plates of the Republic of Kosovo), escorted by support vehicles including, but not limited to, 5 other Chevy Suburban's, BMW 5 Series (E60), Audi A8, Volkswagen Touareg. The vehicle features bulletproof windows, state-of-the-art protection systems, a stowable desk, and a gas-proof chamber for defense against gas attacks. However, the current President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga does not use the Chevy's. She uses heavily armoured Audi a8 for her trips throughout the country, escorted by an Audi a4, Toyota Land Cruiser's and of course police support vehicles.

The speaker of the Parliament also uses heavily armoured Toyota Land Cruiser v8 with licence plates 000-ks-002 or 2Z-001-01 (the new official licence plates of the Republic of Kosovo).

The Prime Minister of Kosovo travels in a bulletproof BMW X5 (E70) or Mercedes-Benz E-Class with licence plates 000-KS-003 or 3Z-001-01(the new official licence plates of the Republic of Kosovo).

The president, the speaker of the parliament, the prime minister, and all members of the cabinet are escorted by BMW R900RT police motorcycles.

The foreign dignitaries are mostly driven in VW Touareg, Mercedes-Benz W221, BMW 7-series, Toyota Land Cruiser. They are escorted by the Secret Service and by the BMW R900RT police motorcycles.

Kuwait

The Emir of Kuwait uses a BMW 7-series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class on a daily basis. His motorcade consists of three identical cars escorted by Chevrolet Suburbans and marked police vehicles. For state occasions, he uses a Rolls-Royce.

Laos

The daily transport of the president of Laos is a Toyota Crown. Prime Minister official cars include Mercedes Vito and Toyota Crown, while Politburo members travel in Audi A6 (C6).

Cabinet ministers and vice minister official cars is Toyota Camry (XV40) and Toyota Corolla respectively. Visiting heads of state or government are chauffeured in Toyota Crown.

Latvia

The President of Latvia is traveling in Mercedes-Benz S-Class, bearing the number plate with coat of arms of Latvia and front mounted Latvian flag.

Most of Latvian Parliament members use Audi A8, but also Volvo S80 and other luxury sedans are in use.

Liberia

The current President of Liberia is driven in a black Mercedes-Benz W220 S-class. The presidential car is often escorted by several Nissan SUVs carrying security personnel. Previous presidents such as Charles Taylor and Samuel Doe were also driven in Mercedes-Benz. Some claim that Doe has purchased over 60 luxury Mercedes, which cost over US$ 60,000 each[citation needed].

Malaysia

Royal heads of states

The current Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the elected King of Malaysia) most commonly travels in a bulletproof stretched red Bentley Arnage, a dark blue Bentley Continental Flying Spur, or dark blue Mercedes-Benz S-Class (for Her Royal Highness) bearing the Royal emblem as the license plate. All royal heads of states in the nation are also transported in official/get-around cars bearing their respective royal emblems; common choices include Rolls Royce Phantoms and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Maybach 62.

Federal and state governments

Proton Chancellor

Under guidelines of Malaysia's automotive policies, cars for use by federal and state governments are required to be of national makes[24] (primarily Proton and Perodua). The Prime Minister has historically used a Proton Chancellor bearing the license plate Chancellor 13, although he has also been driven in a BMW 740Li bearing the license plate Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister). He is also sometimes being driven around in a black Proton Perdana Executive, a stretched mid-size sedan larger than the Proton Chancellor, also bearing a license plate with the number "13".[25] His car is usually escorted by traffic police outriders as well as Volvo XC90 security cars.

Lower ranking government officials typically travel in Proton Perdanas. Like the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and state governments were obligated to use Proton Perdana Executives. The only exception is the Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is driven in a bulletproof Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow bearing Ketua Menteri Sarawak (Chief Minister of Sarawak) plates. The Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series are also commonly seen as optional cars transporting Chief Ministers. In July 2008, claims of unreliability were brought forward against the Perdanas by the Terengganu state government, which opted to replace its fleet of Proton Perdanas with Mercedes-Benz E200K as the Perdanas were prone to breakdowns, but later considered auctioning the cars away. The Perak state government followed suit in December 2008 by purchasing 16 Toyota Camrys to replace its fleet of Perdanas, and recently the state of Sabah has also purchased 12 Volvo S80s, but the Perdana's will still be in use by lower ranked officials.

Mexico

File:ChevroletFC.jpg
Mexican State Car.

The President and the First Lady have available for their use an official fleet of 15 to 30 armoured Chevrolet Suburban vehicles, managed by the Estado Mayor Presidencial.

Mauritius

The Prime Minister of The Republic of Mauritius uses an armored BMW 7 Series on a daily basis. He is escorted by a decoy BMW 7 Series, several BMW 5 Series and five police motorcycles. The President of the Republic of Mauritius uses a Mercedes S600. He is escorted by a decoy S600 and two police motorcycles.

Morocco

The King of Morocco, Muhammad VI Normally, when inside Morocco he uses his Mercedes 600 Pullman. The royal fleet also includes Range Rover models (when he goes to mountainous places only), Mercedes-Benz S500 and various Lexus models. One BMW 5-series, which travels in the King's motorcade, contains a communications jammer. An ambulance is always present in the royal motorcade, which is usually escorted by police motorcycles.

The Prime Minister of Morocco is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S-Class like all other ministers. The King also has a personal garage, which consists of a lot of sports cars, including three Laraki Fulgura models, and an Aston Martin DB7.

Monaco

Albert II, Prince of Monaco acquired a Lexus LS 600h hybrid sedan, making it one of his official transports. In addition he owns a Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 400h,[26] and has also made use of a vintage Bentley. He also owns a Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and has recently purchased a BMW Hydrogen 7.

Mongolia

President of Mongolia uses a Mercedes Benz S-Class with number plate 0001 and 0002 with Mongolian National Symbol on the regular road and uses a Toyota Land Cruiser as an off road vehicle.

Montenegro

The Prime Minister of Montenegro and senior state officials of Montenegro use a fleet of Audi limousines, notably the Audi A8 models, and lower ranked officials travel in Mercedes-Benz E-Class models.

Nepal

Nepal's First Hon. President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav uses a Mercedes Benz W210 E-Class for is daily or personal use while the national emblem embedded car is a full armored Jaguar (stretched).It is used by his excellency during the important ceremonies.

Netherlands

Royal Family

The first car to be owned by the Dutch royal family was a 1908 Renault, purchased by Prince Hendrik. In the years that followed it would be joined by nine royal limousines from the Amsterdam-based carriage maker Spijker. Between 1925 and the late 1950s, the royal limousines were supplied by Cadillac, after which the royal household switched to the Ford Motor Company. However in 1957 a customized Royce Silver Wraith was commissioned by Queen Juliana and delivered in 1958.

The current official royal limousine is a stretched Volvo S80 model, although other members of the royal family use different cars. Visiting heads of state are chauffeured in a stretched Lincoln Continental.[27] Other cars include a Mercedes-Benz 500[disambiguation needed ], 2 non-stretched Volvo S80s, and - strangely enough - a lime-green Ford C-max.

Most royal automobiles are painted in blue, with standard Dutch number plates, as well as a plate beginning with AA, a special designation for the royal household. The royal vehicles are armored. Other vehicles used by the royal family is an armored Audi, BMW or a Mercedes.

Dutch Government

The Prime Minister of the Netherlands uses a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Previously, a BMW 7-Series was used. Both cars are owned by the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service (DKDB).

New Zealand

The official vehicle of the Governor-General of New Zealand in 2010.

The Governor-General travels in a Jaguar XJ Sovereign.[28] Before 1996, he or she traveled in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI.[29] During official travel it is the only vehicle in the country not required to use standard number plates.[30] The official flag of the Governor General[31] is flown on the car in which he/she is travelling, The Queen of New Zealand has her own flag, which is used when she is travelling in the country,[32] but there are no specific cars reserved for her use.

The Prime Minister used to travel in one of two cars, one being a Holden Statesman/Caprice sedan or Ford Fairlane, followed by the other vehicle containing their security detail (usually a VY or VE Holden Commodore SV6). But as of December 2007, New Zealand has bought a fleet (34) of BMW 730Ld limousines as its new fleet of ministerial cars which were commissioned in 2008. This was the first time in recent decades that the government had not gone with Australian Ford or Holden vehicles. The Prime Minister's Wellington based car has the number plate CR1 and all other cars in the fleet for Ministers have number plates starting in the CR series. The estimated purchase price per unit is NZ$ 69,900[33][34] In 2011 the Government upgraded the ministerial fleet with 34 new BMW 730d limousines.[35] The retiring fleet is being kept on for use during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Nicaragua

The President of Nicaragua uses a Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In the past the Somoza family used several luxury cars during their 43 years in the presidency. A Mercedes-Benz Type 300 was used to for official ceremonies. Others were Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac limousines.

Nigeria

The President of Nigeria and other high profile government officials use a black armoured Peugeot 607 adorned with the Nigerian flag. Other luxury cars like the BMW 730Ld and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class all armoured are used. The President travels in a motorcade of 30 cars and ten escort motorcycles along with police cars. Foreign visitors also travel along in the president's car.

Norway

The King of Norway, Harald V, uses a Lexus LS 600h limousine, acquired in early 2008.[36] The Royal Family of Norway also uses a 2007 Audi A8, an E65 and E67 BMW 7 Series and a stretched Volvo S80. The BMWs are often driven by The King of Norway, Harald V, and The Queen of Norway, Sonja, themselves.[37]

The Prime Minister of Norway uses an armored BMW 750Li. The previous BMW 7-Series was not used since its weight exceeded certain regulations. The Prime Minister of Norway are escorted by various BMW X5s and Audi A6s driven by SMK Agents and The Norwegian Police Service.

The various government officials are usually being transported in an Audi A6, a Mercedes E-Class or a Volvo S80.

Oman

Sultan Qaboos is seen driving around the country with the following cars:

  • 2 Maroon colored 2007 model Mercedes S-Class pullman.
  • 4 Red colored 2003 model Mercedes S600 pullman.
  • 4 Maybach 62.

In addition to this, his Garage contains:

Pakistan

The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan both have armoured Mercedes-Benz W221 cars. Both the PM and the President travel in a motorcade with up to seven decoy components, each component exactly identical – one traffic police car escorting the flag bearing armored Mercedes followed by a Toyota Land Cruiser with electronic jamming devices, and two other Land Cruisers of guards. The head and tail of the overall motorcade is usually protected by many rapid response police vehicles. The motorcade is escorted by at least half a dozen traffic motorbikes, and is trailed by a military ambulance and a firefighting truck. When the PM and President travel out of city, the motorcades are additionally escorted by further vehicles of the local police. The convoy comprises 20 to 100 vehicles depending on the location and destination.

The Government of Pakistan has also arranged for armoured cars equipped with jamming devices for the Senate Chairman and Speaker of the National Assembly. The Pakistan Foreign Ministry also operates up to ten of these identical armoured cars which are used to transport VIPs and visiting Heads of States. Politicians are also seen in Toyota Land Cruisers. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in a Toyota Land Cruiser while campaigning for re-election.

Panama

The President of Panama uses two armored Toyota Land Cruiser 200.The Ford Explorer is used for the Institutional Protection Service (S.P.I.) as escort presidential motorcade and 400cc motorcycles. Motorcades of high-security involve as much as 10 vehicles. The vice President uses a blue armored Lincoln Navigator.

Philippines

The President of the Philippines uses two black, heavily armored Mercedes Benz S600 Guards, with one acting as a decoy vehicle. In motorcades/convoys, the President is escorted by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) using a number of black Nissan Patrol SUVs and a combination of the following vehicles: Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Suburban, BMW 7 Series and Police 400cc motorcycles. High-security motorcades involve as much as 40 vehicles, but the number of security vehicles really depend on the president's destination. The presidential cars are designated and registered with the plate number "1" and bears the Flag of the Philippines and the Flag of the Presidential Standard. Occasionally, the President boards a Toyota Coaster during provincial trips. The Vice President of the Philippines on the other hand uses a Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class, also backed up by the Presidential Security Group.

The current president, Noynoy Aquino, prefers to use his own personal vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 over the black Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard limousines.

Other cars used by Office of the President in previous decades include a 1937 Chrysler Airflow, which served as the country's very first Presidential vehicle/limousine for Manuel L. Quezon.

Portugal

Portugal Official State Cars

One of several Portuguese Presidential State Cars, a Mercedes S600, in Porto. The license plate reads POR with the 'O' being the armillary sphere of Portugal and the PR for 'President of Republic'.
Another Portuguese Presidential State Car, a BMW.

The President of Portugal is usually driven in an armored Mercedes S600. The President has been seen in a BMW, what seems to have been a BMW 7 Series.[38]

The Prime Minister of Portugal is driven in a VW Phaeton.

Poland

The President of Poland uses an armoured E67 BMW 760 Li.

Romania

The President of Romania rides in his Mercedes-Benz S-Class, escorted by a motorcade consisting of black BMW 5-Series (E60) models. He is also often seen driving his personal Dacia Duster.[39]

Russia

The President of Russia is usually seen in an armoured Mercedes S-Class[40] stretched limousine. The first such model, a W140 variant, was purchased by Boris Yeltsin and has recently been superseded by a W221 model. The presidential motorcade will usually be escorted by police motorcycle outriders and a series of support vehicles including, but not limited to, the Mercedes G-Class, Mercedes E-Class, standard S-Class models, BMW 5-Series and Volkswagen Caravelle.

Under the USSR, the General Secretary of the Communist Party was always driven in a Russian-built ZIL-41047,[41] escorted by Chaika models. Two of the Zil limousines are still maintained in the Kremlin garage and occasionally seen in use.[42]

Singapore

The President of Singapore alternates between a 2010 Mercedes Benz S350L and a 2001 Lexus LS430, both of which are white like all of Singapore's previous state cars. When travelling to official events such as the National Day Parade, the Presidential crest is displayed in place of a license plate, while normally it carries the plate SEP1.[citation needed]

The Prime Minister usually travels in a white, short-wheelbase Mercedes Benz S280, with civilian plates. The Prime Minister's Office keeps four official cars, all white Mercedes, ready for state occasions and visiting foreign dignitaries.[citation needed]

The President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, are the only political appointees to be given official cars and not given car grants unlike other members of the cabinet.[citation needed]

Slovakia

The Slovakian president uses various cars from the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Officials and Diplomatic Missions which have more than 230 cars for the president, prime minister, ministers and state visits. For states visits the president uses an armored Mercedes Benz Pullman, for normal driving one of the 230 cars (armored Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Volkswagen Phaeton, Range Rover, BMW X5, Škoda Superb and other vehicles.

Slovenia

Slovenian president Danilo Türk uses a Toyota Prius for driving in Ljubljana, and a BMW X5 or Audi A8 (extra-stretched version) for longer distances.[43]

South Africa

The President of South Africa is driven in an armored BMW 7-Series or on occasion a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. A similar car is used by the Deputy President of South Africa.

The presidential motorcade is composed of numerous Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz ML-Class models, followed by a number of Mercedes-Benz V-Class and police cars.

South Korea

The President often rides in an armoured BMW 7 Series limousine which was purchased in 2005. Previously, a 2002-model Mercedes-Benz W220 was used, also used during peace talks with North Korea. The presidential motorcade is escorted by Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Excursion, also with several identical Mercedes-Benz W220s. Recently, his administration has purchased 3 armoured Hyundai Equus limousines, as these are the first vehicles manufactured in South Korea to be secured from the factory at a level approaching that of BMW or Mercedes-Benz factory limousines.

Spain

Royal Family

The Spanish Royal Family has one of the largest fleets of cars in Spain. Various armoured vehicles are used by the family, including Audi A6s, Mercedes-Benz S-Class models and the exclusive Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Only 18 of the latter were ever built, all being reserved for royals or heads of state. Three were ordered by General Franco for his personal use and are now available for use by the Spanish Royal Family. One is a landaulette and the other two are limousines. A special order was placed on the marriage of the current Prince of Asturias when a Phantom IV was rebuilt to include armoured protection. Modifications included heavy-duty air conditioning and a special glazed armoured bubble to protect the rear passengers. The modifications cost over 360,000.

The Spanish Royal Family currently uses mainly Mercedes-Benz S600 models for its official transport, with BMW 5-Series (2007–2008) cars as escort vehicles. The motorcade is composed of around 15 cars[citation needed]. The personal car of the King Juan Carlos I is an especially customised Maybach 57 S.[44]

Spanish Government

The Prime Minister of Spain and Deputy Prime Minister of Spain both use Audi vehicles. The premier's Audi A8L was purchased in March 2005 shortly after retiring the former A8 used by PM José María Aznar. The vehicle, which then cost the Spanish government well over 380,000 Euros (aprox. $520,000 USD), is said to be equipped with the latest features, runflats, level B7+ armouring, satellite communications and various special items that are kept secret by the Spanish officials. The fleet has been renovated and now includes various new Audi A8L, Mercedes-Benz S600 and A6s, although the president, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wanted to swap those cars for the hybrid Toyota Prius to save fuel oil.

Sri Lanka

The President of Sri Lanka is driven in an armored Mercedes-Benz W221, armored BMW 7 Series escorted by a number of Land Rover Defender, Toyota Land Cruiser and Nissan Patrol cars. On special occasions, such as travelling on dirt roads, the President would use armored BMW X5 armored Ford Everest, armored Land Rover Defender.

Sweden

One of the Swedish police's armored BMW E67s was used at the wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling 2010.

The current official car of the King of Sweden is a stretched Volvo S80, escorted by the Swedish Security Service in BMW X5, BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models.

The current prime minister is driven in armored BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, also escorted by the Swedish Security Service.

Republic of China (Taiwan)

The President of the Republic of China has historically travelled in Cadillac sedans, reflecting the ROC's close relations with the United States. The current president Ma Ying-jeou uses an armored Cadillac DeVille. However, his predecessor Chen Shui-bian discontinued use of a Cadillac, preferring a Lincoln in his first term and a BMW 7-Series in his second term.

Thailand

Royal Family

HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej travels in a Maybach 62 limousine, with police motorcycle outriders, and an escort of Mercedes S-Class (W221) and BMW 5-Series (F10) police cars. Other members of the royal family usually travel in different models. Most of them are Mercedes S-Class (W221). The other models including Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine, Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Park Ward, Lexus LS460L, BMW 7-Series (E38 & E66), BMW 5-Series (E60), Cadillac DTS stretch limousine, Volkswagen Caravelle TDi and Mercedes E55 AMG (W211). All of the royal cars are in Ivory colour.

From the fleet of royal vehicles, apart from the fleet of Mercedes S-Class some royal family member usually travel in different type of cars.

HM Queen Sirikit mostly travels by Cadillac DTS stretch limousine and Cadillac Fleetwood stretch limousine.

HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn usually travels by Rolls-Royce cars. These Rolls-Royce's used to be HM the King's official cars. These Rolls-Royce collection including Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn usually travels by Lexus LS460L, BMW 760Li (E66) and Mercedes S-Class (W221). For unofficial journeys, she also travels by Toyota Granvia.

Other royal family members mostly travel by Mercedes S-Class (W221) for official journeys.

HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn also has a large collection of cars, including many classic models. Many vehicles formerly belonged to his father, and a few modern cars such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Cadillac etc.

HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha sometimes drives herself in a red Mini Cooper S and a lime Volkswagen Beetle in the motorcade.

There are also royal cars in convertible form for the royal ceremonies, such as a Rolls-Royce Corniche and a Cadillac STS (The hard top was transformed into convertible top).

On important official Royal journeys, there are a group of more than 20 official cars in the motorcade including: Mercedes S-Class (W220), Mercedes E-class (W210&W211), BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 and E60), Honda Accord, Nissan Cefiro and Nissan Teana. These cars are painted in ruby red.

For unimportant official Royal journeys, the cars in the motorcade are a group of about 5 cars including: BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 & E60), Mercedes S-Class (W221 & W220), Mercedes E-class (W210 & W211) and Nissan Teana. These cars are all in ivory colour. Some of these cars are the ex-royal vehicles.

The Bureau of The Royal Household also has its own vehicles. These cars are mostly Nissan Teana, BMW 5 Series (E39 and E60) and Mercedes E-class (W210 and W211). These cars are painted in cream.

Thai Government

The official cars for Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva are armored black Mercedes Benz S (S600L-W220), black BMW 730LI (E66) and a black armored Range Rover. However, Vejjajiva is also using his own BMW 5-Series ( 523I-E39). The Prime Minister's motorcade is led by two police cars, followed by the Security Services in silver Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and midnight blue Mercedes Benz E-class Estate (W211).

Since the 14th ASEAN Summit in Hua Hin. The government has bought the fleet of armored black Range Rover to be official car of the Prime Minister and also for the guest of official state visits.

Trinidad and Tobago

The President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago presently use, amongst a vast collection of vehicles, a black, armoured, 2008 Toyota Crown. It carries the license plate with a gold coat of arms for the President and PM-1 for the Prime Minister. Each motorcade also includes a decoy car, two police motorcycles, two 2008 Toyota Land Cruisers as support vehicles and a leading Toyota Camry police vehicle.[45]

Turkey

Most senior politicians use Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The President of Turkey and the Prime Minister of Turkey use Mercedes-Benz S-Class models.

President Rauf Denktas of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, a state recognised only by Turkey, has a red BMW 750Li with gold crests replacing the number plate.

Ukraine

The President of Ukraine uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class and an armoured VW Phaeton Model 2011 in a V12 long Version, and for the Motorcade amoured VW Touareg by Centigon.

United Kingdom

Bentley State Limousine

The British royal family has a long history of bespoke limousines stretching back to Daimler models owned by King Edward VII. On state occasions, Queen Elizabeth II usually travels in one of two custom-built Bentley State Limousines.

Delivered in 2002 to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee, these unique vehicles are based on the Bentley Arnage floorpan, with a twin-turbocharged 6.75 litre V8 engine that produces 400 bhp (298 kW) and 616 lbf•ft (835 N•m) of torque, giving a maximum speed of 130 mph (210 km/h). The state limousine is three feet longer than a standard Bentley Arnage, 10 inches taller and six inches wider. It is equipped with broad suicide doors, which are hinged at the rear and open almost 90 degrees. The car also has opaque rear window panels that can be removed to allow increased visibility when the occupant is attending a public event or installed for increased privacy when needed.[46][47]

Other state cars

The Royal Mews contains a rare Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, which was purchased by Princess Elizabeth in 1950, becoming a state car upon her accession to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. There are also two Rolls-Royce Phantom VI models, including the bespoke Silver Jubilee Car, with a raised roof for enhanced visibility, presented by the British motor industry in 1977, as well as a standard model from 1987. The fleet is completed by three Daimler DS420 limousines, one of which was previously owned by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother until her death in 2002, which are normally used as support vehicles. The state cars are sometimes used when the Queen is travelling abroad and are also made available for visiting heads of state and other members of the royal family on official business. Under British law, the monarch's State vehicles do not possess registration plates (although the three Daimler models do have them); but the monarch's personal vehicles and those of other members of the Royal Family do.

A retired 1962 Rolls-Royce Phantom V state car, as owned by both the Queen and the Queen Mother until 2002, can be seen in the purpose-built garage aboard the former Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh and a state car (commonly the rarely used Phantom IV model) is usually on display at the Royal Mews in Buckingham Palace.

Prince Charles uses an armoured Bentley Turbo R, Range Rover, Jaguar XJ or Audi A6. On state occasions, he is often seen in the Silver Jubilee Car, which lost the designation of "Number One State Car" (the vehicle most frequently used by the Queen) following the delivery of the Bentley State Limousines. On the evening of 9 December 2010, the car was attacked by student protestors as it carried the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Royal Variety Performance in London. The couple were unhurt, but the car, which was not armoured, was spattered with paint and one of the side windows was smashed.[48] The Duke of York uses a 2008 Bentley Arnage with a personalised number plate featuring the letters 'DOY'.[49]

Personal vehicles of the royal family

For non-official journeys, the Queen will usually be driven in an armoured Jaguar XJ, similar to that used by the Prime Minister. This is escorted by the same vehicles as a state car. She also occasionally uses a Range Rover, particularly for visits to rural areas and event such as county shows. On visits to Balmoral and Sandringham, as portrayed in the film, The Queen, she has been seen at the wheel of a Land Rover Defender. The Duke of Edinburgh owns a Land Rover Discovery and a MetroCab, the latter of which he uses for trips around central London. Other members of the royal family are usually driven in Audi A6 or Range Rover models. The Princess Royal owns a Bentley Continental Flying Spur which she uses for official and private engagements [1]. The Prince of Wales also has an Aston Martin V8 converted to run on biofuel made from surplus local white wine. His Jaguars, Audi and Range Rover use biodiesel made from recycled cooking oil.[50]

British government

2010 Jaguar XJ Sentinel Prime Ministerial Car

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is usually driven in one of a fleet of armoured Jaguar XJ Sentinel models, escorted by Range Rover or Land Rover Discovery vehicles and police motorcycle outriders. David Cameron arrived at 10 Downing Street following his appointment in a silver 2010 X350 model, but took delivery of his new X351 on 13 May 2010.[51]

Since the early-1980s, when Margaret Thatcher switched from the Rover P5 models that had been in use since the 1960s, all Prime Ministerial cars have been from the Jaguar XJ range of the day, or its Daimler-badged variant. For the first few months of his premiership in 2007, Gordon Brown reverted to the previous Prime Ministerial car, a navy blue (X308) model purchased in 2000, before starting to use the silver model.

The 2000 model replaced a British racing green X300 model, built for John Major, which gained international media attention when it bore Tony Blair to Buckingham Palace on the day after the 1997 general election. A British racing green X308 took Gordon Brown to Buckingham Palace on 6 April 2010 to request the dissolution of Parliament, but it was the 2000 model that took him on his last ride as Prime Minister.

All former prime ministers since 1975 have been provided with an armoured car, usually the same model as the current Prime Minister, along with police protection. Currently Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown enjoy this privilege. Blair currently uses a bespoke BMW 7-Series, which he paid for himself.[52]

The British government maintains the Government Car and Despatch Agency which provides transport for senior government officials. In December 2008, the service took delivery of a fleet of armoured BMW 760Li models for use by senior dignitaries and visiting politicians.[53] The service also uses vehicles from Jaguar, Rover, Ford and Vauxhall, while some ministers use Toyota Prius hybrid models.

United States

The President of the United States travels in a heavily armored, custom-built limousine, which is often referred to as Cadillac One, or its less formal nickname of "The Beast". The vehicle is based on a GMC Topkick platform, and has the outward appearance of an enlarged Cadillac DTS limousine, with styling elements from other vehicles in the Cadillac lineup.

2009 Cadillac Presidential State Car, commonly referred to as Cadillac One.

The vehicle features bulletproof windows, state-of-the-art communication and protection systems, a stowable desk, and a gas-proof chamber for defense against gas attacks.[54]

Unlike most other world leaders, with the occasional exception of Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Russia, the U.S. president is accompanied on all foreign and domestic trips by a full motorcade of US government vehicles, including several presidential limousines, escort vehicles and a military ambulance, all of which are transported by the United States Air Force using C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. The US vehicles are typically complemented with coaches, police vehicles, ambulances and limousines provided by local authorities.

Puerto Rico

The Governor of Puerto Rico currently uses a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. Ford Expeditions, Toyota Sequoias, and Nissan Armadas are available in the fleet from previous administrations. As part of the motorcade, one or two Ford Explorers, two white Ford Crown Victorias and at least one police motorcycle are used. They carry standard Puerto Rico license plates, including the Governor's specialty "LGF-051" numeration.

Governor Luis Muñoz Marín (1949–1965) used an armored Packard given to him by President Harry S Truman, which is on exhibition at the Muñoz Marín Foundation Library and Museum. Governor Rafael Hernández Colón (1973–1977, 1985–1993) ordered an armored Ford station wagon for which he was severely criticized and, thus, rarely used.

Each sitting Governor has the right to change the gubernatorial fleet as he or she may see fit, for example, Pedro Rosselló used a Mercury Grand Marquis and a GMC Yukon, Sila Calderón used a Ford Expedition and sometimes, for special occasions, a Buick Park Avenue, while Aníbal Acevedo Vilá used Nissan Armadas. As a tradition full size cars were used but since the late 1990s, SUVs are being used.

Uruguay

The presidential state car of Uruguay is an armoured 2005 Chevrolet Vectra, purchased by president Tabaré Vázquez when his term in office began on March 1, 2005. Previously, the Uruguayan head of state traveled in a Mitsubishi Galant procured from the government's fleet of diplomatic vehicles.

As of August 2007, the presidential motor pool includes Mitsubishi Galants, Toyota Corollas, Volkswagen Ventos, and Rover 75s.

Municipal intendants of Uruguay are transported in armored Peugeot 607s.

Uzbekistan

The state limousines of Uzbekistan are two special ordered 2010 Range Rover Supercharged with bulletproof windows.

Vatican

Venezuela

President Hugo Chávez sometimes drives a red IKCO Samand badged Centauro, or in red or green a Tiuna truck accompanied with some ministers or governors or mayors, depending the occasion when he travels, usually travels with a high security personnel around, with a large convoy of armored SUV conformed by Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Express, Ford Expedition, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Sequoia, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and an ambulance in case of any emergency, plus is escorted with the Presidential Guard that uses armored Toyota Land Cruiser (80&90 Series), the transit police and the Venezuelan National Guard motorcycle officers have the duty to escort the motorcade and to clear up the traffic.

Another fleet of vehicles includes a Cadillac Fleetwood that is used for national holidays like special parades, also the president uses 3 armoured black (W211), these vehicles carries the license plate with the national emblem, but this are used for special occasions or important meetings when Hugo Chávez reunites with other Presidents, another vehicle is an armored silver Lincoln Town Car that is used to shuttle the President visitors from the Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetia to the Palacio de Miraflores and vice versa.

For his vice president Elias Jaua is usually driven in an armored Nissan Patrol with a motorcade of 4 or 5 SUV, his ministers are usually seen in armored vehicles like: Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Tahoe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Fusion (Americas), Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition also escorted with the Venezuelan National Guard officers.

The last acquisition to the fleet is a Bentley Continental Flying Spur .[55]

Yugoslavia

The then-Yugoslav president, Marshal Josip Broz Tito had, at his disposal, a fairly impressive collection of limousines. Amongst the luxurious limousines he used were numerous Mercedes Benz automobiles, mostly Mercedes Benz 600 Pullman models, and a 540k and 770k seized from Ante Pavelić after WWII, several Rolls-Royces, Cadillacs, Chevrolets and many others.

Zambia

As of July 2011 the President of Zambia is driven in an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman limousine. His car is escorted by 30 officers of the Zambia Police, trained in diplomatic protection, on BMW motorcycles and in six BMW 3 Series E93 models. His motorcade also includes an ambulance at all times. For visits to rural areas the preident uses an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 100 Series.

See also

References

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  2. ^ USRS Australia: Blog for the U.S. Mission to Australia
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