Have you ever switched on the news and watched some world leader driving through a city in a huge motorcade? If so, did you ever wonder what car they were in?
We did! That’s why we tracked down the official state cars for the most important political and royal leaders in the world!
Government: The Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, uses an Audi’s flagship luxury saloon, the Audi A8L. This one comes with runflat tyres, satellite navigation and bullet-proof armour capable of stopping armour-piercing rounds. The car is rumoured to have cost the government around $520,000.
Royal Family: The Spanish royal family has a fairly large fleet of cars, which includes Cadillac Broughams, Audi A6’s, Mercedes-Benz S-Class models and the exclusive Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Interestingly, only 18 Phantom IVs were ever made and Rolls Royce only sold them to buyers they deemed ‘worthy’. In other words, that meant very rich and very powerful heads of state. On a day-to-day basis, the Spanish royals will use a Mercedes-Benz S600.
Government: The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, uses a Mercedes-Benz S-Class with added armour. He occasionally uses an Audi A6 and has previously used a BMW 7-Series.
Royal Family: The Dutch royal family has a pretty lengthy history with outstanding state cars. I’m talking Cadillac limousines and customised Rolls-Royce Silver Wraiths! Nowadays, King Willem-Alexander has a custom built stretched Audi A8L and the former Queen Beatrix uses a custom built stretch Volvo S80 limousine.
The President of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain, and Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nasirul Mulk, both use a heavily armoured Mercedes-Benz W222, which are variants of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
When either the president or prime minister drives in a motorcade, composed of seven identical decoy components, each component has one traffic police car at the head, one armoured Mercedes W222 in the middle and three Toyota Land Cruisers at the rear.
Government: The Prime Minister of Sweden, uses the same model Audi A8L as the Dutch King and Spanish Prime Minister.
Royal Family: The King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, uses a stretched Volvo S80, which is escorted by the Swedish Security Service in a mix of BMW X5, BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars. The King will also use an English-built Daimler DS420 for official occasions.
The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, has two identical armoured Lancia Thesis. Previous premiers have used custom-built Lancia Flaminia limousines, Lancia Flaminia 355 Presidenziale and a Maserati Quattroporte III.
Government: The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, uses a ballistic and bullet-proof armoured BMW 7 Series.
Royal Family: As a part of the Commonwealth, the British monarch appoints someone to be their representative in Australia. This person is called the Governor-General of Australia and is currently General Sir Peter Cosgrove. The Governor-General travels in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI for official events and a BMW 7 series fitted out with bullet-proof armour.
President: The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, uses a custom-built, heavily armoured Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard.
Prime Minister: The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, uses a BMW 7 Series fitted with enough bullet-proof armour to stop an armour piercing round.
The current President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has used a bizarre range of cars over the years, including a Toyota Cressida, BMW 5 Series and Peugeot 607.
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan, and the Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali YÄ±ldÄ±rÄ±m, both use Mercedes-Benz S-Class models.
Government: The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, uses a number of vehicles depending on the situation. For most situations, he usually uses an armoured long-wheelbase Cadillac DTS or Chevrolet Suburban.
Royal Family: Like Australia, Canada is also part of the Commonwealth so it also has a representative from the British Monarchy. The Governor General of Canada is currently Julie Payette and she uses either a Lincoln Town Car or a Lincoln MKS.
The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, uses an armored Hyundai Equus VL500.
Prime Minister: The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, of Israel has a fairly extensive fleet of state cars, which includes a Toyota Land Cruiser, Lexus IS 250, Audi A8 and Volvo S80 cars.
President: The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, uses either a Volvo stretch limousine and Audi A8.
Royal Family: The Emperor of Japan, Akihito, and the Empress of Japan, Michiko, currently use a custom built Toyota Century Royal. This one-off custom car cost around about $500,000.
Government: The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kushida usually uses a Lexus LS 600h L. In some situations, he may use an unmodified Toyota Century that is escorted by police.
The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, can choose between several luxury French cars, including the CitroÃ«n DS5, CitroÃ«n C6 and Renault Vel Satis. All vehicles are fitted out with heavy duty armour.
The President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, currently uses a heavily armored Mercedes-Benz S600. In the recent past, the president has also used an Audi A8.
Government: The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, is usually driven in an armoured Jaguar XJ Sentinel and is escorted by security in Range Rovers Land Rovers. The Jag costs around £300,000 and features an explosive resistant steel underbelly, Kevlar cladding in the cabin, bulletproof glass and ‘gun ports’ to allow bodyguards to return fire should the car ever be attacked.
Royal Family: The British royal family has a lot of cars. However, on state occasions, Queen Elizabeth II usually travels in one of two armoured Bentley State Limousines. Other state cars include a Rolls-Royce Phantom IV and stretched Jaguar XJ limousines.
Since the middle of the 20th century, Chinese leaders have used limousines designed under the Hongqi brand for official occasions. These cars include a special stretch version of Hongqi CA72, CA770, L5 and HQE.
The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, uses an armoured Mercedes S-Class stretched limousine.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, travels in a heavily armored, custom-built limousine called Limo One or, informally, The Beast. The vehicle is based on the GMC Topkick platform a medium-duty truck platform! and is designed to look like a beefed up Cadillac DTS limousine.
The car is equipped with many life-saving, offensive, and defensive measures, and is built to the United States Secret Service’s standards