Official state car
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An official state car is a car used by a government to transport its head of state or head of government in an official capacity, which may also be used occasionally to transport other members of the government or visiting dignitaries from other countries. A few countries bring their own official state car for state visits to other countries. 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. (In this article the term "armored car" invariably means a reinforced civilian vehicle, not the military vehicle often so named.) When carrying an important passenger, state vehicles may be surrounded by a motorcade consisting of police or military personnel. The vehicle's driver might also be from the law enforcement or military pool; the driver of the United States Presidential State Car is an experienced agent from the Secret Service, and the British Prime Minister is driven by a Specialist Protection officer from the Metropolitan Police Service.
For state visits and international conferences, the host country usually supplies the ground transportation and security personnel. However, a few countries transport their official state cars to the destination.
In countries that have indigenous automobile manufacturers, the government will usually commission one of the national automakers to provide a state car, or allow several to provide cars for an official state fleet. It is considered an honour for a car manufacturer to be selected to provide a state car for their respective country and a demonstration of the confidence of a government in their national industry. For example, the President of the United States currently uses a Cadillac with special undisclosed security features commissioned by the United States government and built by General Motors, with Lincoln, manufactured by Ford Motor Company and Chrysler vehicles having being used in the past, representing the three major American manufacturers. The Emperor of Japan uses a Toyota Century, the Prime Minister of Italy uses a Maserati, the President of the Czech Republic rides a Škoda Superb, the Prime Minister of Australia, senior cabinet ministers, the Governor General, Governors and all Members of Parliament are driven in either a luxury Holden or Ford and the British monarch uses a Bentley. Members of the Australian Royal Family are driven in Holden Caprice models and when they are in their British capacity members of the Royal Family are driven in Jaguars. The President of France can choose from cars manufactured by Renault or PSA Peugeot Citroën, and all major German manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen Group) are represented in Germany's pool of vehicles available for use by state officials.
For countries without major 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.
In some cases state cars may bear standard number plates; in others special or no plates are used.
The following information lists some state cars and their users of sovereign states and other territories; the list is likely to be out of date in some cases as incumbents and cars change.
- 1 Afghanistan
- 2 Argentina
- 3 Australia
- 4 Austria
- 5 Azerbaijan
- 6 Belgium
- 7 Bhutan
- 8 Bolivia
- 9 Brazil
- 10 Brunei
- 11 Bulgaria
- 12 Cambodia
- 13 Canada
- 14 Chile
- 15 China
- 16 Colombia
- 17 Costa Rica
- 18 Croatia
- 19 Cuba
- 20 Czech Republic
- 21 Denmark
- 22 Dominican Republic
- 23 East Germany
- 24 Ecuador
- 25 Egypt
- 26 El Salvador
- 27 Estonia
- 28 Finland
- 29 France
- 30 Germany
- 31 Greece
- 32 Grenada
- 33 Hungary
- 34 Hong Kong
- 35 Iceland
- 36 India
- 37 Indonesia
- 38 Iraq
- 39 Ireland
- 40 Israel
- 41 Italy
- 42 Jamaica
- 43 Japan
- 44 Kenya
- 45 Kuwait
- 46 Laos
- 47 Latvia
- 48 Liberia
- 49 Lithuania
- 50 Luxembourg
- 51 Malaysia
- 52 Malawi
- 53 Mauritius
- 54 Mexico
- 55 Moldova
- 56 Morocco
- 57 Monaco
- 58 Mongolia
- 59 Montenegro
- 60 Nepal
- 61 Netherlands
- 62 New Zealand
- 63 Nicaragua
- 64 Nigeria
- 65 Norway
- 66 Oman
- 67 Pakistan
- 68 Panama
- 69 Peru
- 70 Philippines
- 71 Portugal
- 72 Poland
- 73 Romania
- 74 Russia
- 75 Serbia
- 76 Singapore
- 77 Slovakia
- 78 Slovenia
- 79 Somalia
- 80 South Africa
- 81 South Korea
- 82 Spain
- 83 Sri Lanka
- 84 Sweden
- 85 Republic of China (Taiwan)
- 86 Thailand
- 87 Tonga
- 88 Trinidad and Tobago
- 89 Turkey
- 90 Uganda
- 91 Ukraine
- 92 United Kingdom
- 93 United States of America
- 94 Uruguay
- 95 Uzbekistan
- 96 Vatican
- 97 Venezuela
- 98 Vietnam
- 99 Yugoslavia
- 100 Zambia
- 101 See also
- 102 References
The Governor-General of Australia travels in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI limousine for ceremonial occasions, such as the State Opening of Parliament. He more commonly uses Australian-built luxury cars such as a Holden Caprice 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. During the Queen's 2011 visit to Australia, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were driven in a Range Rover Vogue.
The official state car of the Prime Minister of Australia is a white armoured BMW 7-Series, supported at all times by an armoured BMW X5. Prior to 2013, vehicles in the Prime Ministerial fleet were white Ford Territory and Holden Caprice models. The Prime Ministerial vehicle 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. The Prime Ministerial car fleet operates as part of COMCAR, a division of the Australian Government's Department of Finance.
In 2013, BMW was selected to provide a fleet of 7-Series High Security vehicles as part of a tender to replace the ageing armoured Holden Caprice fleet that formerly transported the Australian Prime Minister. The off-the-shelf replacements offer greater protection and better value for money. A BAE and GM-Holden Consortium also bid for the contract. Simultaneously Tony Abbott's daughter Bridget was made a "brand ambassador" for BMW Sydney Carnival.
The Belgian King, Philippe, uses a Mercedes Benz S600 or a BMW 7-Class mostly with the number plate, '1', because he is the commander in chief of the army. For the inauguration a Mercedes-Benz 600 Landaulette was used. All royal family members drive cars with only numbers. The Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, uses an Audi A6. Federal government officials drive cars with number plates starting with an "A" followed by one to three numbers. Regional government officials drive cars with number plates starting with an "E" followed by one to three numbers. Members of parliament and the senate drive cars with number plates starting with an "P" followed three numbers. For personal use, Queen Paola of Belgium drives a Fiat 500 with diplomatic plates. Prince Laurent of Belgium is famous for his speed driving and his fast cars. There is also a Mercedes-Benz 600 in the royal garage. The late Baudouin of Belgium ordered in the ’70s an armored De Tomaso Deauville. He had also an Aston Martin DB2/4. For their marriage in 1960, Baudouin and Fabiola used a 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible, with a bulletproof bubble-top.
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. 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 (e.g., President of the Republic, President of the Senate, Defense Minister, Supreme Court President, etc.).
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 M-Class 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 cars of the President of Bulgaria include Mercedes-Benz S600 and BMW 5 Series and BMW 7 Series. The Prime Minister is being driven in a Toyota Land Cruiser, he very often drives it himself with the security guards sitting in the back of the car. The Prime Minister also is being driven in black BMW X5. The pilot cars are usually Ford, Toyota or Audi A6 and Audi A8. As on 18 December, the Prime minister and the President of Bulgaria are being transported in top class Mercedes S600 Guard, 517 hp.
The Royal King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni is driven in a black Mercedes-Benz 600 with the logo of Royal Standard of the King of Cambodia behind. His Majesty has owned two black Mercedes-Benz 600s and also a black Land Cruiser 100.
The Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia has owned more than 4 Mercedes-Benz guard cars and more than 5 Chevrolet Suburbans in his houses. He also has had a black Mercedes-Benz S600 (W221) Carat Duchatelet bullet proof with plate number
2Z-9999 and another black Mercedes-Benz S600 (V221) with plate number
2AA-9999 and two gold Mercedes-Benz S600 (W220)s.
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, while the governor general's car bears a plate with the crest of the Royal Arms of Canada (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 Prime Minister of Canada is driven in a motorcade of five 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 bears standard Ontario car plates. His or her motorcade is usually led by a Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, or Mercury Grand Marquis.
The official presidential vehicle in Chile is a 1966 black Ford Galaxie XL Convertible, given as a gift by the queen Elizabeth II on her visit to Chile. It is used only for official ceremonies celebrating national days on May 21, September 18 and September 19. It has a normal license plate (EL-2801).
For daily transport the president was previously driven in a Lincoln Town Car, but President Michelle Bachelet used a 2008-model 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 Sebastián 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.
Chinese leaders have traditionally used limousines produced under the Hongqi brand for official events. During former paramount leader Hu Jintao's review of troops on National Day in 2009, he was seen in a Hongqi HQE Limousine. The HQE is powered by an independently researched and developed aluminium V12 cylinder engine of Chinese design (designation CA12VG), with a displacement of 6.0 liters and producing 370 kW (470 hp) at 5600 rpm and 550 N m (405 lb·ft) of torque at 4400 rpm. It is bulletproof, completely hand built and comes with run flat tyres.
In recent years, Chinese leaders have switched to using minibuses, such as the Toyota Coaster, for short-distance trips.
When visiting a foreign country, Chinese leaders generally use vehicles supplied by the host country. This custom began to change in November 2014, when Xi Jinping used his own Hongqi L5 limousine on a state visit to New Zealand. Chinese premiers continue to use cars supplied by the host country.
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. The motorcade is made up of 3 BMWs plus 5 Toyota 100s all armored plus a Prado armored level IIIA for Police Escort and an ambulance and no less than 8 motorcycles. All the vehicles have presidential tags.
Other Ministers use similar cars.
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Queen Margrethe II 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.
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 in 1994 with 1500 km on the clock) and 1986. There was also a Bentley Arnage which has been replaced by a Bentley Mulsanne in 2012. The name Krone with a number, like Krone 121, refers to the license plate used when carrying members of the Danish Royal Family inside Denmark.
The current Prime Minister of Denmark uses an Audi A8 L. The former one was driven in an armored Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The ministers in the Danish government drive different kinds of VW Phaeton, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, Audi A6, Audi A8 and different Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
The President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina actually uses a black Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and a black Lexus LX 570, which can be seen normally with the 0-1 plate (Presidential Plate) and it's mostly chosen by the government for its reliability and bulletproofs armor, a black Ford Expedition which was used during his campaign and is now being used as a security car and back up, a black BMW 7 Series used the inaugural parade, only used to go to events in or near the Distrito Nacional, Santo Domingo. All of the cars have been modified with bullet-proof tires and bullet-proof windows. The Presidential Plate will be changed to the car that the president will use for the day. The Escorts teams uses blacks Toyota 4Runner fourth and fifth generation, Toyota Fortuner, and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J120 and the J150 on the motorcade.
Since 2013, the fleet of official state vehicles for the Governor of the state or province where changed from first generation Nissan X-Trail and Nissan Frontier D22 for new 2014 Mitsubishi Montero fourth generation. They also could use their own personal vehicles.
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 and Volvo 700 Series models.
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.. The president travels in one of several armored Nissan Patrol scholastic level 7 for several Ford Explorers, Chevrolet D-Max, Toyota Hilux. In the September 30, 2010 Nissan Patrol withstood high caliber ammunition in the midst of shooting the Police hospital in the city of Quito. The Nissan Patrol fleet was changed for Toyota Land Cruiser 200s.
The presidential state car in Egypt used by Hosni Mubarak until February 2011 was a black armored 1998 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. An earlier model of it helped save his life in Ethiopia in 1995. The current vehicle used by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is a black armored variant of the 2013 Mercedes Benz S-Class with a special black number plate with the presidential crest above an Arabic 1. Ministers and highly placed government officials are sometimes seen driving black BMW 7 Series, or Audi A8s, all with special government number plates. Parliamentary vehicles are often Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
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 Prados.
During the first republic (1918-1940), the first President, Konstantin Päts, preferred American cars, such as Studebaker Dictator. After officially becoming a President in 1938, he also bought a Packard Super 8 Touring Sedan, and in next year a Studebaker Commander Cruising Sedan.
The President of Estonia uses an Audi A8 L 3.0 TDI Quattro Tiptronic 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.
The President of Finland uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600L with the coat of arms of Finland in lieu of a license plate. 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.
The President of France can choose between several armoured versions of high-end French cars including the Citroen DS5 Hybrid4, 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 preferred Renault, while Jacques Chirac was a Citroën fan, occasionally using his own long-wheelbase Citroën CX model and the presidential Citroën XM. Current President François Hollande is usually chauffeured in an armoured Citroën C6, although he has been known to make private trips by moped.
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. President Hollande used a one-off convertible version of the Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 for his inauguration parade on May 15, 2012. The car, owned by Citroën, has since been displayed at various events throughout the world.
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 special open top Citroën SM Présidentielle models, created for President Georges Pompidou by the coachbuilder Henri Chapron. Based on the SM Opera, itself a special edition four-door coupé, 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 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.
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 (besides the Minister of Defense) the only German official whose official car shows a flag (a version of the President's standard) placed on the front of the hood. (That's wrong we have used a stander for our minister-president on official occasions too.)
All officials under close personal protection from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany's federal police; are transported by 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. 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 Paul von Hindenburg and Adolf Hitler with Mercedes-Benz. Especially Hitler 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. These cars and their predecessors became synonymous with Nazi parades and Hitler's visits to conquered cities such as Vienna and Paris.
The Prime Minister of Greece used to use a heavy armoured, custom-built W221 Mercedes-Benz S600 escorted by custom built Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicles. George Papandreou displaced it with a standard Toyota Prius. On official events the car of the state president was used.
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 used a Maybach Zeppelin. The official state car of King of Greece in 60s was a 1959 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith (LHLW44 chassis).
The 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 Prado SUVs.
Hungarian public key dignitaries and security personnel use armored Audi A8 Ls. Also used in official convoys are the Audi A7, Audi Q7, and Audi A6. The Prime Minister, however, prefers to ride in a Volkswagen Multivan. Members of the Government use the Škoda Superb, while lower-ranking officials use Škoda Octavias.
As a special administrative region, official vehicle of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong bear no license plate but the Emblem of Hong Kong. This follows the practice of the British Governor, as the representative of the British Crown, the laws of Hong Kong did not apply to him, including the need for a number plate on his car. Hence the official limousine simply had a Crown emblem front and rear in place of number plates. The current Chief Executive CY Leung is usually driven in a Lexus LS 600h L hybrid vehicle. Occasionally, the Chief Executive is also seen using a 1997 Mercedes-Benz S500L.
Senior government officials, including the Chief Secretary, Chief Justice and Commissioner of Police, are each assigned a Volkswagen Phaeton. The President of the Legislative Council is driven in a Lexus GS450h, with the number plate "LC1".
Prior to 1997, the Governor of Hong Kong used a Rolls-Royce Phantom V for ceremonial occasions and a Daimler DS420 limousine for everyday use. Both were removed from Hong Kong by the Royal Navy immediately following the handover to China on 1 July 1997. The Phantom V displayed St Edward's Crown instead of a front license plate.
The President of India, travels in a black Mercedes Benz S600 (W221) Pullman Guard. It is a custom-built, heavily armored stretch limousine which meets the requirements of the highest protection class VR6/VR7. The armor is designed to not only protect against military rifle shots but also offers resistance against fragments from hand grenades and explosives. It is designed specially to resist missile attacks or bombs. It also has its own oxygen supply and is escorted by the president's body guards. The president's motorcade also always consists of the former presidential car, a black Mercedes-Benz W140 armored limousine, which is used as a spare vehicle. Along with it is a white Mercedes Benz ambulance, black Tata Safari SUVs whose number vary from 5 to more and a few black sedans. The presidential car displays the National emblem of India instead of the number plates.
The Prime Minister of India, the head of the government, uses two black, BR7-level highly modified armored BMW 7 Series High Security saloons, with one of them acting as a decoy vehicle. It is specially designed to deflect any heat seeking missiles and bombs. It also has state-of-the-art communication and protection systems and a gas-proof chamber for protection against gas attacks. These vehicles also have a protected fuel tank that does not explode when damaged. It also has its own oxygen supply. The Prime Minister's lead protective agent (from SPG) usually sits in the front passenger seat. These are escorted by the SPG in six armored black BMW X5s, and a few Tata Safaris with one equipped with a jammer which are a permanent part of the Prime Minister's convoy. Number Plate used in his car. When visiting a foreign country, Indian leaders generally use vehicles supplied by the host country. This custom began to change, when Narendra Modi took with him 2 of his own BMW 7series limousine and a jammer while on a state visit to Bhutan and then to Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius and Turkmenistan. On all domestic visits of the Prime Minister, his complete convoy of cars also accompany him.
The Chief Justice of India travels in a black Mercedes Benz S600 (w221) high security bullet proof car. It is escorted by the NSG with 4 armored black Tata Safaris vehicles and the 3 Police vehicles and one BMWseies ambulance. It has the National emblem(Coat of Arms) instead of the number plates.
Earlier, Hindustan Motors Ambassador was used as the official state car for all purposes. It was custom built, highly armored and modified considerably for the use by the President, The Chief Justice of India, Vice-President,the Prime Minister, and Justice of High Court and Supreme Court,Governor
The convoy's of both the President and the Prime Minister vary in number depending on whether they are in the capital or elsewhere. The convoy's have a limited number when inside the capital but when outside, the officials and ministers of the respected states, join in as escort increasing the size. In recent times the large number of cars in the respective convoys of both the President and the Prime Minister have come under criticism with many deeming it unnecessary.
The President and Vice President of Indonesia are escorted by the Presidential Security Forces in a number of cars depending on the security detail, where the fleet consists of BMW X5, Ford Explorer, Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Nissan Patrol, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Fortuner, and Toyota Land Cruiser models as well as a Volkswagen Caravelle carrying a communications jammer device.
The Presidential Fleet also contains other vehicles such as BMW 760Li Security, BMW X5 Security, the previously used Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard as well as a newer Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard, and Toyota Land Cruiser models, all armored and in black.
For trips outside Jakarta the SUV models are preferred to the usual Mercedes limousine. During military exercises, the President of Indonesia is driven in armored personnel carriers bearing the 'INDONESIA 1" license plate, usually in the Anoa. An older BMW X5 was notably used by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the 2007 Jakarta flood.
The Indonesian National Police is present in all motorcades.
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.
The daily transport for the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland is a dark coloured 2013 Audi A6, a 3.0 TDI Quattro model with 242 bhp, replacing the previous 2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. He is driven by specially trained and armed members of the Garda Special Detective Unit (SDU). The Audi A6 the Taoiseach travels in is always accompanied by a follow car, usually an identical Audi A6 or an unmarked BMW 5 Series (2.5 Petrol), containing armed close protection officers from the SDU and staff/minders. The Taoiseach's car is usually escorted by motorcycle outriders from the Garda Traffic Corps, and further marked and unmarked patrol cars are added to the escort when the Taoiseach is attending sensitive events or during times of a heightened security risk. The Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) also travels in an identical Audi A6.
The daily transport of the President of Ireland is a black 2006 Mercedes-Benz S-Class (3.5 Petrol). The President receives the highest protection in the land by law. His car is driven by a specially trained and armed member of the Garda Special Branch. His motorcade is led by Garda motorbikes to fend off traffic for the oncoming motorcade. A marked patrol car follows and then the President's car proceeds. Two unmarked cars from the Special Detective Unit follow, they are usually BMW 5 Series, Volvo S60 and/or Audi A6, containing armed bodyguards and the President's staff. The President's Aide-de-camp always travels with him in the cavalcade. The convoy occasionally contains a vehicle from the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) for increased security.
The Presidential State Car is a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith landaulette, license plate ZJ 5000, nicknamed "DeV's car" because of its association with former President Éamon de Valera. It is only used occasionally by the President for ceremonial occasions.
Full-time armed protection and transport is also afforded to; the Tánaiste, Minister for Justice and Equality, Attorney General, Chief Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions and Garda Commissioner. All government ministers and former Presidents and Taoisigh are provided with armed protection and transport when their security is deemed under threat, otherwise it is reserved for official state occasions. Ambassadors and high-ranking foreign diplomats in Ireland are given protection by the SDU when their safety or security is "at risk", such as the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, United States and Israel in Dublin. This fleet includes Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Volvo S60 and Lexus GS. A fleet of armoured vehicles are deployed for visiting dignitaries, such as heads of state.
When the President or Taoiseach visits Northern Ireland, they are driven in armored vehicles and security in their motorcade increases. The Garda SDU and ERU liaise with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Close Protection Unit (CPU) during visits to Northern Ireland.
In 1960 the then President of Italy, Giovanni Gronchi, personally ordered custom-built Lancia Flaminia limousines for a state visit by Queen Elizabeth II. Four Lancia Flaminia 355 Presidenziale were delivered, coachbuilt by Pininfarina with landaulet body on an extended wheelbase. All of the original four cars survive today, with two being leased to different automobile museums and two still in service for most solemn state occasions, like the Republic Day parade or presidential inaugurations. 
The current presidential cars are two identical armoured Lancia Thesis, with a third unarmoured one kept as backup. In 2012 a fourth armoured Thesis was delivered by Lancia. A Lancia Thesis Stola S85 limousine and three Maserati Quattroporte are at the disposal of visiting foreign presidents.
There is also a curious three-wheeled Piaggio Ape Calessino, in service at the presidential summer residence Villa Rosebery and therefore rarely seen. It was donated in 2008 by Roberto Colaninno, head of Piaggio industries, on the 60th anniversary of both the Italian Constitution and Calessino. Its blue livery is decorated with the emblem of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, while the interior is trimmed in wood and white leather.
The Governor-General of Jamaica and the Prime Minister of Jamaica are both driven in a Mercedes-Benz W221 bearing the Jamaican flag and the standard of that office. The Governor-General's car carries license plate is "GG1"; whilst the Prime Minister's car carries government plates (yellow plate with black letters). Ministers generally use a gray Toyota Prado or Mitsubishi Pajero, bearing either government plates or civilian plates with tags.
Previous vehicles used by holders of these offices include:
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 is 20 feet (6.1 m) long and 6.5 feet (2.0 m) wide, with extra amenities such as bulletproofing and a granite entryway. The Emperor was previously transported in multiple vehicles including a Nissan Prince Royal (1967–2008), Cadillac Series 75 (1951–1970), Mercedes-Benz 770 W07 Series (1932–1968), Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1921–1936) and a 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, the official transport for the head of government, or an unmodified Toyota Century escorted by a police motorcade of numerous Toyota Celsiors.
The President of the Republic of Kenya travels in an armoured Toyota land cruiser 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 in office from 2008-2013 was equipped with similar vehicles to the president; Mercedes-benz limousines, Range Rovers and Landcruisers, however, he had a substantially smaller escort.
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.
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 had purchased over 60 luxury Mercedes, which cost over US$60,000 each.
The first official Lithuania state car was bought in 1919 from war-losing Germany. It was a Benz 25/55PS with four cylinder, 6.3 liter engine. The car had a Vytis symbol on the left back door and Lithuania flags in the front. The car was used by Antanas Smetona and Aleksandras Stulginskis. Later Lithuania bought a French-made Delauney-Belleville 12 CV which was used along with Benz 25/55PS by third Lithuania president Kazys Grinius. After that Antanas Smetona became president of Lithuania again and ordered to buy a new car - Fiat 519, however soon it was replaced with armored Lincoln K-series due to his wife wishes. None of these cars remained until nowadays. After the restoration of Lithuania independence, leader of The Supreme Council, Vytautas Landsbergis used Soviet-built Čaika M14, after some time it was replaced with armored Opel Senator. Later Lithuania bought armored Mercedes-Benz W126, which was used by Vytautas Landsbergis and Algirdas Brazauskas. The car is now owned by businessman Robertas Dargis. During Algirdas Brazauskas term of office, two brand-new Audi V8 Lang arrived, later they were replaced with newer version Audi A8 Lang. Valdas Adamkus was driven in a long-wheel base BMW 7 for a short amount of time, however later it was replaced with Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220), which was used until 2013. In 2013, four armoured BMW 7 (F01) was purchased.
The grand-duke and family are driven in Audi A8. For official occasions like state visits and royal weddings there is a Daimler DS420 and also a Bentley Mulsanne. Most of the royal cars are dark blue.
Royal Heads of State
All the Sultans in Malaysia are also transported in official cars bearing their respective royal emblems; common choices include Rolls-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, BMW 5 Series (E60), (Saga FLX series [Proton], Lexus LS and Maybach 62.
The former President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, was driven in an armored Black Mercedes Benz S Class, a Toyota Land Cruiser or Range Rover, the security features remain a state secret. The President traveled in a motorcade of four Hummer H3 and eight escort motorcycles, along with police cars.
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.
The President, the Prime Minister, and the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova have three long-wheelbase Mercedes Benz S500s at their disposal, all of which were purchased in 2012 and are operated by the State Protection and Guard Service. The vehicles are not armoured.
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.
In 2011, Prince Albert II acquired a one off Lexus LS 600h L Landaulet hybrid sedan, making it his official state car. In addition, he owns a variety of eco friendly cars including a Lexus LS 600h, BMW Hydrogen 7, Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h, Fisker Karma, Tesla Roadster, and a limited production Venturi Fétish. He also owns a collection of vintage cars, which number over 100, and include prestigious models from Maserati, Jaguar, Mercedes, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
The President of Mongolia uses a Mercedes Benz S-Class with number plate 0001, the Speaker of the Parliament a S-Class with number plate 0002 and the Prime Minister a S-Class with number plate 0003, all escorted by a traffic police car and either a Land Cruiser Series 100 or 200, all protected by the State Special Protection Agency. For trips to the countryside, either Toyota Land Cruiser Series 200 or Lexus LX570 are used.
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. Mercedes M-Class, Volkswagen Passat are also seen. They are escorted by BMW 5s, and additional police Mercedes A-class and VW Golf 4 and VW Golf 5
The first state vehicles were a fleet of vehicles, unknown by model names, probably from Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Russia and the United Kingdom. They were bought in the period 1908-1910 and most are seen in a 1910 Coronation video from an archive where Knyaz Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš was proclaimed King of Montenegro
The President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav uses a Mercedes Benz E-Class W210 Bullet Proof Car for his daily transport, while the Nepalese state car is an armoured stretched Jaguar XJ. The former Prime Minister of Nepal, Baburam Bhattarai used a Nepali-made Mustang bullet proof Max four-wheel drive. All the State Cars in Nepal are international standard giving all the facilities.
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 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 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was commissioned by Queen Juliana and delivered in 1958.
The current official royal limousine is a custom built stretched Audi A8L model, to be used by King Willem Alexander. This stretched A8L is 45 cm longer compared to the normal A8L. A custom built stretch Volvo S80 limousine is still being used by the former Queen Beatrix. Other members of the royal family use different cars. Visiting heads of state are chauffeured in a stretched and armoured Cadillac DTS which replaced the 20-year-old Lincoln Town Car.
Other cars are a few non-stretched Volvo S80s and a V70, Audi A6 and A8 and Ford Focus, Mondeo and Galaxy for the royal household. The Royal Stables have also a Ford Scorpio Landaulet, a Mercedes W126 4-door convertible, and a blue coach and a blue Mercedes-Benz Viano and Volkswagen Crafter vip bus. The royal bodyguards are driving in Audi A6 models
All royal automobiles are painted in royal-blue, with standard Dutch number plates, as well as a plate beginning with AA, a special designation for the royal household. Other vehicles used by the royal family are Audi or Mercedes. Of course the members of the royal family also have private vehicles for their own use. Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange has owned a red Volvo XC90. The late Prince Bernhard, the former Queen’s father had a collection of Ferraris, and other exotic cars.
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands uses an armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class and sometimes an Audi A6. Previously, an armoured BMW 7-Series was used. Both cars are owned by the Royal and Diplomatic Security Service (DKDB).
The Governor-General travels in a Long wheel base BMW 7 Series (F02). Although this vehicle has been debadged, it is most likely a 730Ld as are all other state BMWs. However while all other state BMWs are Silver, the Governor-General's BMW is black. Between 2011 and 1996, the Governor General used a Jaguar XJ Sovereign. Before 1996, he or she traveled in a Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. During official travel it is the only vehicle in the country not required to use standard number plates. The official flag of the Governor General is flown on the car in which he/she is travelling. The Queen of New Zealand, Elizabeth II, has her own flag, which is used when she is travelling in the country, but there are no specific cars reserved for her use.
From the 1960s up until 2011, The Prime Minister used to travel in one of two cars, one being a Holden Statesman/Caprice sedan or Ford Fairlane, usually followed by the other vehicle containing their security detail. 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 main motorcade vehicles consist of Toyota Highlanders operated by the New Zealand Police Diplomatic Protection Service. The estimated purchase price per unit is NZ$69,900 In 2011 the Government upgraded the ministerial fleet with 34 new BMW F02 730Ld limousines. The retiring fleet was kept on for use during the 2011 Rugby World Cup. In October 2014 it was announced the BMW limousines were to be replaced, however many of the 2011 Models remain in service. The Prime Minister still uses a 2011 model, even though other ministers use 2014 models.
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 for official ceremonies. Others were Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac limousines.
The President of Nigeria and other high profile government officials use a black armored Mercedes Benz S-Class 2012 adorned with the Nigerian flag and official party flag. Other luxury cars, like the BMW 730Ld and the Range Rover, all armoured, are used. The President travels in a motorcade of 30 cars and ten escort motorcycles, along with police cars and 6 Mercedes S-550 of SSS surrounding the presidents car . Foreign visitors also travel along in the president’s car.
New "parade" limousine 2012, a Binz limousine, first seen on Christmas 2012. The King of Norway, Harald V, uses a Lexus LS 600h limousine, acquired in early 2008. The Royal Family of Norway also uses a 2007 Audi A8, an E65 and an E67 BMW 7 Series, an old Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, a couple of stretched Cadillac Deville (Superior Commercial Glass) and a couple of stretched Volvo S80 (Nilsson). The BMWs are often driven by the King and Queen themselves.
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 agents of the SMK and the Norwegian Police Service.
Sultan Qaboos drives around the country in 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:
- Several Rolls-Royces
- A line of Lamborghinis
- A couple of Ferraris, SRTs and Aston Martins
- More than 20 Mercedes
- Up to 10 BMWs
The President and Prime Minister of Pakistan both have armoured Mercedes-Benz W222 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 10 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.
Latest reports suggest that the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif has recently acquired two BMW 760Li High Security sedans, which cost PKR 119.742 million and PKR 124.995 million respectively. The Cabinet Division’s Central Pool of Car (CPC), BMW 750Li High Security and 760Li High Security. Both of them were certified with BRV 2009 and VR7 ballistics protection. The non-transparent sections have been certified as having VR9 levels of protection. This is the first set of cars to be granted such high levels of security. It included undercarriage Armour, 6 cm safety glazing at multi-layer laminated glass it was told that the import duties and taxes had been exempted from the price of the cars.
Pakistan's Members of the National Assembly have government maintained Toyota Corollas.
The President of Panama uses a black armored Chevrolet Suburban.The Ford Explorer and the Toyota Land Cruiser are use for the Institutional Protection Service (S.P.I.) as escort presidential motorcade and 400cc motorcycles. High-security motorcades may include up to ten vehicles.
The President of the Philippines uses two black, bulletproof Mercedes Benz W221. When travelling in a motorcade or convoy, the President is always escorted by the Presidential Security Group in a number of black Nissan Patrol. These high-security motorcades involve as many as 25 vehicles, but the actual number is dependent on the destination.
Presidential cars are registered and bear the licence plate number "1", while the National Flag and the Presidential Standard are mounted on the bonnet. Occasionally, the President boards a Toyota Coaster, Mitsubishi Rosa or Nissan Civilian during provincial trips.
The Presidential convoy may consist of the Presidential Car, a backup car (either a second Mercedez Benz W221 (S600 Guard) or a Hyundai Equus), five to six black Nissan Patrol vans, two Toyota Fortuners, two to four Chevrolet Suburbans, a Ford E-150 ambulance, up to four police vehicles (Toyota Corolla Altis or Toyota Vios) and about eight to a dozen motorcycle escorts.
The incumbent President, Benigno Aquino III, prefers to use his personal Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus LX570 instead of the official fleet, and observes regular traffic rules, such as stopping at the red light. He also does not use sirens when travelling in convoy.
The Vice-President uses a Mercedes Benz W140 S-Class, with almost the same number of vehicles as in the presidential security convoy. The Presidential Security Group is also responsible for the Vice-President's security detail.
Pres. Manuel Quezon used a 1937 Chrysler Airflow Custom Imperial CW as the first presidential car. After the American colonial period, Pres. Manuel Roxas used a 1940 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75, which was also used by his successors. A 1946 Packard Clipper was used by Vice Presidents Quirino and Lopez.
The Prime Minister of Portugal is driven in a Mercedes-Benz S350 BlueTec or in a Volkswagen Phaeton 5.0 V10 TDI.
The President of Russia is usually seen in an armoured Mercedes S-Class stretched limousine. The first such model, a W140 variant, was purchased for Boris Yeltsin and has been superseded by a W221 model. The limousine is bulletproof, has solid rubber tires, and carries an array of communications equipment. On state visits, it is airlifted to the destination using an Il-76.
Historically, presidents Yeltsin and Medvedev were driven in Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines stretched and armored by the Belgian Carat Duchatelet, while President Putin prefers Mercedes-Benz Guard limousines. For President Medvedev's inauguration a special Carat Duchatelet limousine with raised roof was ordered.
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, Mercedes SLK-Class, BMW 5-Series and Volkswagen Caravelle. Generals and officials of the armed forces drive Volgas which mostly have other engines from better cars and other technical modifications.
Under the USSR, the General Secretary of the Communist Party was always driven in a Soviet-built ZIL-41047, escorted by Chaika models. Two of the Zil limousines are still maintained in the Kremlin garage and occasionally seen in use by the military parades on the Day of Victory.
The exact definition of an "official state car" is extremely blurred in Russia. Thanks to clandestine ("grey") and "black" acquisition of emergency light and siren kits by state officials of all levels, businessmen, celebrities and even their family members, they are likely to number in the thousands. That, their drivers' complete disregard for traffic regulations in heavily congested streets, and several high-profile accidents involving them followed by apparent aggressive police cover-ups have caused the rise of the Society of Blue Buckets.
The President of Singapore usually travels in a white 2010 Mercedes Benz S350L. When travelling to official events such as the National Day Parade, the car displays the Presidential crest in place of a license plate. Normally, it carries the plate SEP1.
The Prime Minister usually travels in a white 2013 Lexus LS600hL. The Prime Minister's Office has three cars in total (S1-S3), because of the growing ministerial posts such as Senior Minister and Minister Mentor, and after the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in 23 March 2015, Lee Kuan Yew's car became a spare reserve car. The Speaker of Parliament usually travels in a white 2013 BMW 730 Li carrying the plate SP1.
The President, Prime Minister and Speaker of Parliament, are the only political appointees to be given official cars. All other ministers of the cabinet travel to work in cars like Toyota Camry, Toyota Corolla Altis, Honda Civic, Ford Mondeo, Ford Galaxy and Chrysler Voyager.
The State also maintains a small number of state cars for the transport of visiting dignitaries. These cars carry car plates bearing a single S prefix, following by a single digit and no suffix. (E.g. S1, S2, S3). Some of the cars used include armoured Audi Security A8 W12, BMW L7, etc.
The President of Slovakia uses various vehicles from the Office for the Protection of Constitutional Officials and Diplomatic Missions which has more than 230 cars for the president, prime minister, ministers and state visits. For state 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.
Slovenian president Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek use Audi A8 (extra-stretched version), while their security officers use BMWs X5 as protection vehicles. Speaker of Parliament and ministers are mostly driven in Audis A6 or A8, apart Minister of Defence who uses BMW X5.
The President of Somalia is driven in various state-owned armored vehicles. A Nissan Patrol often leads the motorcade, which is guarded by the presidential corps. Instead of a number plate, it features the flag of Somalia. A similar vehicle is used by the Prime Minister of Somalia.
The President of South Korea often rides in an armored Hyundai Equus VL500(550) limousine, 3 of which were provided in 2009 by Hyundai Motors. 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. The president also uses 2008-model Mercedes-Benz W221 Pullman Guard.
Previously, the President rode in an armoured BMW 7 Series limousine which was purchased in 2005. Before that a 2002-model Mercedes-Benz W220 was used, the late president Roh Moo-hyun used it 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.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs keeps an armored Cadillac DTS limousine by Alpine Armoring and an armored Hyundai Equus limousine for visiting foreign dignitaries. Each vehicle was acquired between 2010 and 2011.
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, they belong to the Spanish Army. One is a convertible and the other two are limousines.
The Spanish Royal Family 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. The personal car of the former King Juan Carlos I is an especially customised Maybach 57 S and an Audi RS6
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 (approx. $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 former prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero wanted to swap those cars for the hybrid Toyota Prius to save fuel oil.
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.
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. For official occasions like state visits there is an Daimler DS420. There are also a number of different cars in the Royal Mews, which are used on special occasions. The first royal motor car in Sweden was a Daimler bought in 1899 for Crown Prince Gustaf.
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. Former President Chiang Kai-shek's two armored Cadillacs are on exhibition in the Lincoln Memorial-like National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in the capital city of Taipei. Former President Chen Shui-bian discontinued the use of the Cadillac DeVille, preferring a Lincoln in his first term and a BMW 7-Series in his second term. The current president Ma Ying-jeou's uses four BMW F01 750is, usually escorted by two BMW R1200RTs police bikes and two BMW E60 5-Series police cars.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej travels in a Maybach 62 limousine with special plate, with police motorcycle outriders, and an escort of Mercedes S-Class (W222) and BMW 5-Series (F10) police cars. He usually travels in different models. Most of them are Mercedes S-Class (W222). The other models including Rolls-Royce Phantom VI, a Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine,Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Park Ward, Lexus LS600L, 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.
Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn usually travels by Rolls-Royce cars. These Rolls-Royces used to be the King’s official cars. These Rolls-Royce collection including Rolls-Royce Phantom V, Rolls-Royce Phantom VI,Rolls-Royce Silver Spur stretch limousine.
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, Cadillac etc.
On official Royal journeys, there are a group of more than 20 official cars in the motorcade including: Mercedes S-Class (W222), Mercedes E-class (WW210 & W211), BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 and E60), Honda Accord and Nissan Teana, These cars are painted in ruby red. And Mercedes S-Class (W221-W222), Mercedes Vito and BMW 5 Series police car.
For unofficial Royal journeys, the cars in the motorcade are a group of about 8 cars including: BMW 7 Series (E38), BMW 5 Series (E39 & E60), Mercedes S-Class (W221 & W222), Mercedes E-class (W210 & W211) and Nissan Teana. These cars are all in ivory colour. Some of these cars are the ex-royal vehicles with motorcade.
The Bureau of The Royal Household also has its own vehicles. These cars are mostly Nissan Teana, BMW 5 Series (E39 and E60), Mercedes S-Class (w222) and Mercedes E-Class (W210 & W211). These cars are painted in ivory color.
General Prayuth Chanocha use his own car, black Mercedes Benz S600L bulletproof with registration plate, as an official car for PM. He also travel in Volkswagen caravelle in some oscassion. Thailand Ministers are some travel in Mecedes S-Class, Toyota Alphard, Volkswagen Caravelle and several models with registration plate.
Trinidad and Tobago
The President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago 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.
Ugandan Presidents have usually preferred to ride in European cars. Sir Edward Mutesa, first president of Uganda, drove in a 1960s Rolls-Royce. All succeeding ones drove in black Mercedes Benz limousines.
President Yoweri Museveni drove in black Mercedes cross country and 600 SEL stretch Limos up to the mid-1990s. His convoy now consists of a Toyota Landcruiser 200 presidential car. The Presidency has ceremonial cars that include a stretch 600 SEL mercedes, and a white G Wagon. Escorts travel on double cabin pick up trucks and Mitsubishi Pajero models.
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 armoured Bentley State Limousines. Delivered in 2002 to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee, these custom-built vehicles are based on the Bentley Arnage floorplan, with a twin-turbocharged 6.75 litre V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower (300 kW) and 616 pound-feet (835 N·m) of torque, giving a maximum speed of 130 miles per hour (210 km/h). The state limousine is 3 feet (0.91 m) longer than a standard Bentley Arnage, 10 inches (250 mm) taller and 6 inches (150 mm) 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 required.
Other state cars
The Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace has a rare Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, which was purchased by Princess Elizabeth in 1950, and became 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 1986. The fleet is completed by two stretched Jaguar XJ limousines, which replaced two Daimler DS420 limousines in 2012. Sometimes referred to as "semi-state" limousines, these carry registration plates NGN 1 and NGN 2 and have been adapted with fittings for a bonnet mascot and roof flag. One Daimler DS420 (NLT 2), which was owned by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother until her death in 2002, remains in the fleet. The Jaguars and Daimlers are used as backup to the main fleet for state occasions and foreign visits.
There is also a bespoke Range Rover for parades and other official rides. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family can stand up in the back seat for good visibility.
All the official royal cars are painted claret and black, and have a flagpole on the roof. As British law in general does not apply to the sovereign, the monarch's State vehicles do not possess registration plates (although the Jaguar and Daimler models do have them), but the monarch's personal vehicles and those of other members of the Royal Family do.
The state cars are sometimes used when the Queen is travelling abroad, and they are also made available for visiting heads of state and other members of the Royal Family on official business. One state car (commonly the rarely used Phantom IV model) is usually on display at the Royal Mews.
A pair of 1961 Rolls-Royce Phantom V state cars (retired from the working fleet after the Bentleys were acquired in 2002) can now be seen on public display. One is kept in the purpose-built garage aboard the former Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh, and the other at the royal motor museum at Sandringham.
Prince Charles uses an armoured Bentley Turbo R, a Range Rover, a Jaguar XJ or an 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.
Personal vehicles of the royal family
For non-official journeys, the Queen will usually be driven in a dark green Bentley Mulsanne or 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 events 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. Her Majesty also owns a Rover P5, which is on permanent display at the British Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon. The Duke of Edinburgh owns a Land Rover Discovery, a Land Rover Freelander and a MetroCab, the last of which he uses for trips around central London. The Duke sometimes drives a Land Rover Discovery around Windsor Great Park. Other members of the Royal Family are usually driven in Audi A6 or Range Rover models.
The Prince of Wales also has an Aston Martin DB6 volante, and 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.
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.
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. As of 2014[update] John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were provided with cars. Blair also bought his own bespoke BMW 7-Series.
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. The service also uses vehicles from Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford and Vauxhall, while some ministers use Toyota Prius hybrid models.
British Virgin Islands
The current Governor of the British Virgin Islands is driven in a Royal Service Gray Range Rover from Great Britain with a license plate symbolizing the Crown. He is usually driven by a Police Officer from the RVIPF (Royal Virgin Islands Police Force).
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 use a fleet of armoured Ford Excursions.
United States of America
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.
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.
On 24 May 2011, an earlier “Beast” failed to clear the driveway of the U.S. Embassy compound in Dublin, Ireland. Though President Barack Obama was the escorted official, he was in the second limo as the first noisily struck the pavement hump under the Embassy gate.
Unlike most other heads of state, with the occasional exception of the British Monarch and the President of Russia, the U.S. President is accompanied on all foreign and domestic trips by a full motorcade of U.S. 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 U.S. vehicles are typically complemented with coaches, police vehicles, ambulances and limousines provided by local authorities.
Members of Congress have an allowance of $1,000 per month in which the government may cover the cost of a lease, not including mobile offices. The preferred car for members of Congress was the Lincoln Town Car until its discontinuation. Executive cars are the most common type of car for Congressmen. The two most popular cars for Congressmen are the Town Car's successors: the MKS and the MKT. U.S. State Governors and Cabinet officials were often driven in a Cadillac DTS, but the modern XTS is now standard. Almost all senior officials use the Chevrolet Suburban as an alternative form of transportation.
Current Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has chosen a black Chrysler 300 from his government's pool of vehicles confiscated from criminals and sold to the Governor's office for a nominal $2,000. The former Governor of Puerto Rico used a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid. Ford Expeditions, Toyota Sequoias, and Nissan Armadas are available in the fleet from previous administrations. As part of the current Governor's motorcade, two large black SUVs, one white Ford Crown Victorias and at least one police motorcycle are used. They carry standard Puerto Rico license plates. Former Governor Luis Fortuño's specialty plate had the "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.
Former Governors are entitled to an official vehicle, which is replaced every four years throughout their life.
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.
The state limousines of Uzbekistan are two special ordered 2010 Range Rover Supercharged with bulletproof windows. Also, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is transported by an armored Mercedes-Benz S-class which is escorted by other similar vehicles.
The pope has several vehicles. Most famous is the custom-made white Mercedes-Benz M-Class with an armoured glass compartment at the back. When the pope goes to the weekly audience at Saint Peter's Square he uses a white open-top Mercedes-Benz G-Class. There is also an armoured Mercedes-Benz S-Class in the Vatican garage, and a custom-made Lancia Thesis. All the popemobiles and limousines have registration SCV 1. In September 2012 the Pope received an electrical custom-made Renault Kangoo for use around his Summer Residence Castel Gandolfo. The mini-van is white with the pope's crest on the door. There is a second electrical Kangoo, delivered in blue, for the Vatican Police.
As of September 2013 Pope Francis owns a 1984 Renault 4 and uses it for local travelling, refusing to use the Popemobile due to the need of humbleness amongst Vatican officials, as he says. It was given to him by its previous owner - Father Renzo Zocca, a priest in northern Italy. 
In 2014, Pope Francis shunned the use of the armored vehicle and opted for open-air Popemobiles so he may get close to the people more. He used an open-air, custom-made Kia Popemobile during his apostolic visit to Korea. He also used the same Kia Popemobile and two (2) other glass-less Popemobiles during his visit in the Philippines in January 2015.
Hugo Chávez, president until his death in 2013, sometimes drove a red IKCO Samand badged Centauro, or in red or green a Tiuna truck accompanied with some ministers or governors or mayors, depending on the occasion when he travelled, usually 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 used 3 armoured black (W211), these vehicles have license plates with the national emblem, but are used for special occasions or important meetings when Hugo Chávez met with other presidents. Another vehicle is an armored silver Lincoln Town Car used to transport the president's visitors from the Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetia to the Palacio de Miraflores and back.
The vice president is usually driven in an armored Nissan Patrol with a motorcade of 4 or 5 SUV. Ministers usually travel in armored vehicles including Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Chevrolet Tahoe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Camry, Toyota Fortuner, Ford Fusion (Americas), Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, also escorted by Venezuelan National Guard officers.
The President of Vietnam is driven in a Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed. Ministers usually travel in Mercedes-Benz S500, E500, Porsche Cayenne, Cadillac Escalade and Bmw 750LI and Lexus LS. The Prime Minister use the new Mercedes-Benz S500 W222, all government cars have blue licences plates but some have white civil licence plate with a government placard behind the windshield.
President Josip Broz Tito, used a custom-built Mercedes-Benz 600 limo with removable top for most functions. Tito also had several luxury cars in his private motor pool collection, including: numerous Mercedes Benz models, including a 540k and 770k seized from Ante Pavelić after WWII, a Rolls-Royce Phantom V, and several Cadillac and Chevrolet models.
As of July 2011 the President of Zambia was driven in an armoured Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman limousine, escorted by 30 officers of the Zambia Police trained in diplomatic protection on BMW motorcycles and in six BMW 3 Series E93 cars. His motorcade also includes an ambulance at all times. For visits to rural areas the president uses an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 100 Series.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Automobiles of heads of state.|
- Air transports of heads of state and government
- Royal Train
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- Royal and State carriages
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I also had the honor to welcome President Putin and shake his hand, but his visit stands out in my mind more for the story of his bulletproof Mercedes limousine. It was flown in from Russia especially for the visit and guarded night and day in the hotel underground parking lot. I took aside one of the English-speaking Russians in his mission and requested that he show me the limo. It was a great experience! The windows were made of two-inch thick glass, the tires were of solid rubber to prevent blowouts and the body was bulletproof. I was also amazed at how much communication equipment was in that limo -- like a travelling Kremlin!
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