Beverly Hills Car Rental Founder David Sajasi.

Beverly Hills Car Rental Founder David Sajasi. Photo by Thomas Wasper

David Sajasi, founder of Beverly Hills Car Rental, has been in the exotic and luxury vehicle rental business for about 30 years. “As the pandemic hit, and the shutdown from the government started, we realized this business was going to change forever,” Sajasi said during a recent Business Journal visit to the company’s location on South Santa Monica Boulevard, about a half-mile from swanky Rodeo Drive.      

Before Covid-19, many of the company’s customers were leisure travelers, mostly from the Middle East and Asia. The company also often rented its candy-colored Porsches, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces, and high-end SUVs for movie and TV shoots.

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The Rolls Royce Dawn is the most expensive car on the lot at $520,000.

 
With both leisure travel and Hollywood production at a virtual standstill, Sajasi said the company has managed to scramble back to about 30% of its prepandemic income with “road trip” rates encouraging locals to drive in style for a weekend or day trip. “We have joined with … hotels close to us from Santa Barbara to San Diego to Beverly Hills (to offer) special rates for the clientele,” Sajasi said.


He said business also is returning for local renters who want the cars for a special occasion or a spectacular selfie.


While the company serves the luxury mark
et, Sajasi also said he wanted to find a way for Beverly Hills Car Rental to serve frontline health care workers in a way that was unique to the company’s business model. 

“There are restaurants that pack lunch and take it to frontline heroes — we call them heroes (because) they put their lives on the line to save lives,” Sajasi said. “We (decided) as a small business we could do the same thing.”


In June, the company launched an Instagram campaign for the public to nominate their favorite frontline health care workers to win the opportunity to drive a luxury car for three days.


“The cars, we were paying the payments, and they were just sitting there,” Sajasi said. “(We thought) let’s put them out there and put a smile on somebody’s face and thank them for what they do.”

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Thomas Wasper

Salima Thobani, a doctor, was a winner of the luxury car experience.


The five winners included EMTs, physicians and nurses whose choices included a Ferrari Portofino, Porsche models, a BMW 750 and a Mercedes E450 Cabriolet. The program was so popular the company expects to repeat the offer during the holiday season.


Sajasi fell in love with fast cars as a child living in Germany, a stopover on an eventual move from Iran to the United States. “I remember I saw a Corvette Stingray on the Autobahn. It mesmerized me how beautiful it was and how fast it was going,” he said. “From there, I always wanted to follow these cars and realized later on maybe I can rent them.”

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David Sajasi's personal vehicle is a BMW i3 electric sedan.


His own car choice is an eco-friendly BMW i3 electric compact sedan. Sajasi has enjoyed breathing cleaner air since the coronavirus has cut the number of daily commuters. “I was very much surprised by how quickly Earth can rebound if we allow it,” he said.

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