mercedes limo

Hooniverse Asks: Are stretch limousines still relevant?

There was a time when the rich and famous motored almost exclusively in stretched limousines. Limos trickled down to the rest of us by the means of rentals. Prom, wedding, fancy dinner date, a long ride to the airport, or a sporting event, limos were the best way to feel fabulous about commuting. Limousines were featured and movies and magazines. People posed for pictures with limos. Kids, myself included, would go crazy in them playing with all the things.

Limos were everywhere and some limo builders even became household names. But lately, with the increase of commuting options and in some places the social stances, limos have gone down in popularity. Factory luxury sedans and SUVs have gotten much better over the years, which could be considered a factor. For instance, a modern Lincoln Navigator L can comfortably sit as many people as a stretched Town Cars from the 80s.

Today we ask – Are stretch limousines still relevant? Pandemic aside, which basically prevents us from participating in the above-stated activities, have you even considered hiring a limousine?

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14 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Are stretch limousines still relevant?”

  1. Dabidoh_Sambone Avatar

    It is my heartfelt belief that only about 2% of Hooniverse readers will appreciate the absurdity of this Aphex Twin video – which incidentally features a limo of brobdingnagian proportions: (skip to 2:28 or so unless you’re a fan of interminable gutter talk)

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Great tune, but I’d advise skipping the entire thing unless you’ve a plentiful supply of eye bleach. Windowlicker is a rather unfortunate UK slang term that was borderline trolling in the 90s/early 00s, but pretty un-PC now,

      1. Dabidoh_Sambone Avatar

        I did not know that, will add it to my repertoire of things to not say. This video amuses me thx to its unwatchableness.

  2. GTXcellent Avatar

    Sheepish admittance here – I’ve never been in a limousine. Not a stretch Caddy or Lincoln, or even a party bus. Nobody rented limos for prom (I don’t know where the nearest limo rental company even is. Maybe an hour away? Two?). I drove my new bride around in the GTX on our wedding day. I’ve never been royalty, or a celebrity, or wealthy.

    So for this plebe – no, not relevant.

    1. Zentropy Avatar

      I’m in the same boat (or out of it, I guess). I’ve never ridden in any of those, either, and likewise I’ve never felt they were relevant. Plebeians unite!

    2. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      Never been in one either. We used a Saturn SL for my wedding. It really was the only way to travel in the mid ninties.

    3. salguod Avatar

      We were driven from the wedding venue to the hotel but in a Ford Tempo instead of a limo.

      A friend of mine in high school rented a limo for my 18th birthday. He blew all his money on it so we had dinner from the McDonald’s drive thru.

    4. crank_case Avatar

      I’ve been in loads of Limousines, but only in the German meaning of the word..

  3. 0A5599 Avatar

    The overwhelming majority of my stretch limo experience has been as airport transportation. That was in the days when a taxi was the alternative, and a flat-rate limo trip generally cost no more (and often less) than a metered taxi fare. Rideshare services have kind of changed the economics, though, by making cab fares even less competitive and offering cheaper alternatives. I had a trip out to Hollywood last fall, and the studio sent a black car, not a limo.

    I think stretch limos still have their place, though, particularly with a large group of people. I know someone who rented two stretches for her teenage kid’s birthday party, divided the guests into two groups, and sent the on a scavenger hunt. They’re good for bachelor/ette parties, and weddings, too, particularly if the bride and groom don’t already have a photogenic “getaway” vehicle (I suppose that’s true, for my own wedding day, my wife and I used FOUR of our vehicles).

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    Culturally I think they’ve fallen out of fashion. Stretch limousines were only ever popular with the under-30 crowd and the generation that developed them is “so over that” now. The new cohort of 20 year olds grew up watching the stretch limo go from luxury statement to hackneyed, formulaic joke.

    Technologically, as you point out, there’s no need for limousines at all, and there never really was a practical need for a stretch other than seating capacity. Kids today are perfectly happy to show up in a minibus.

  5. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    I think the stretch limo’s time has passed. The practical needs met by the airport limo was filled by vans decades ago and the passing of the BOF luxury car has eliminated the classic base vehicle. These days ostentation is expressed by other vehicles and stretches are just bigger SUVs for the junior prom crowd.

  6. crank_case Avatar

    Use of the word “still” implies they were relevant at some point..

  7. E34less Avatar

    I drove limos and party buses for a while during my post-college job hunt. The party bus is vastly superior for general debauchery and, well, partying. Limos are just super awkward to move around in, especially when you’re all dressed up.

  8. John Brenner Avatar

    There is a great article about the limo trends in Los Angeles here: