On social networks, very young drivers in French-speaking Switzerland show off behind the wheel of luxury cars. Vehicles often rented at knockdown prices, online, by agencies that set few conditions. Legal, but questionable for road safety.
These large engines – 400, 500, even 600 horsepower – are worth several tens of thousands of francs. At the wheel: very young drivers, who share their trips on Instagram. “We rented this magnificent E63SAMG. And frankly, I’m going to tell you something: it’s an impossible sex movie. Atomic bomb ! Full option, 612 horses”, boasts a young person on the social network.
These cars are slots. For a little over a year, agencies active in French-speaking Switzerland and not registered in the commercial register have been offering to rent these top-of-the-range cars in an ultra-simplified way. Payment is made in cash, without deposit, for prices ranging, depending on the model, from 700 to 1000 francs per day, rates lower than those of the market. And above all: without any age limit.
A father was amazed to discover that one of his sons, a young driver, regularly rented these luxury cars with his friends. “It shocked me, I was very surprised,” he laments. “We say, ‘Go and treat yourself to 560 horsepower, go ahead, take all your homies, you’re four in it.’ They wipe themselves at a speed of 180 km / h. We have 4 dead. And when there is a tragedy, we wonder how it is that young people have access to this kind of vehicle. “
The RTS contacted these rental agencies to confront them with the concerns of this father. None wished to answer the questions.
Legally, nothing prevents these powerful cars from being rented to young drivers, as long as they are 18 years old and have a valid driving licence. But the majority of rental agencies installed require a minimum age or a certain number of years of license. If the business is legal on paper, it raises questions of road safety.
In the field, Philippe Guiauchain, chief sergeant of the Geneva cantonal police, regularly checks these inexperienced drivers at the wheel of rented cars, especially during tuning appointments.
He cites the example of a young motorist who lost control of his vehicle and crashed into another vehicle. “These are vehicles that are powerful and that you have to master before exploiting all their power. You can’t entrust them to drivers without experience. The problem is that they behave inappropriately on the road. road, strong acceleration, massive speeding. They don’t hesitate,” he laments.
Another problem according to Philippe Guiauchain, the question of insurance: “Often these vehicles are leased. A lease is not supposed to be rented or sublet. Because the company that finances the vehicle finances a person. So these sublets are not announced to the finance company,” he explains.
“And you have another problem: the insurances that modify the vehicle are linked to the policyholder. I think that if the insurance came to know that the vehicle is passing from hand to hand, that would also pose a problem”, adds the policeman.
At the political level, in Bern, a motion was tabled in Parliament to limit the number of horses according to age.
TV survey: Flore Amos
Web adaptation: Antoine Michel