What Is a Stretch Limousine?

Dan Cavallari

A stretch limousine is a luxury vehicle driven by a chauffeur that can usually accommodate numerous passengers. The wheelbase of the vehicle has been lengthened so the vehicle is much longer than a typical luxury car. Traditional stretch limousine models were designed after smaller luxury cars, and they were most often available in only black or white, but modern models may also be designed after other vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, and so on. The amenities and added features available in the limousine can vary significantly by manufacturer.

Stretch limousines are larger than standard automobiles.
Stretch limousines are larger than standard automobiles.

The length of the stretch limousine can vary significantly according to the manufacturer's specifications. The amount of interior space will often vary according to the limousine's length, and the seating arrangements within the limo will also change depending on the size of the vehicle. Some stretch limousine models feature forward facing seats at the rear of the cabin, backward facing seats at the front of the passenger cabin, and sideways facing seats lining each side of the cabin interior. This maximizes seating capacity and makes seating more comfortable for many guests. Some limousines are equipped with amenities such as wet bars, radios, enhanced lights, and so on to make the luxury experience more enjoyable.

Large SUVs have now been stretched into a limousine style vehicle.
Large SUVs have now been stretched into a limousine style vehicle.

Novelty stretch limousine models are often based off other car models that are less traditional than luxury automobiles. Large SUVs have been "stretched" into a limousine style vehicle, as have trucks or off-road vehicles. Taxicab models have also been made into limousines, as have other, less common automobile models. These limousines are usually rented for their eye-catching aesthetics as well as for the comfort and luxury of a limousine.

It is possible for a stretch limousine to be highly customized. Some limousines, for example, feature hot tubs at the rear of the vehicle. Other limos can be customized for more utilitarian purposes: armored limousines are commonly used to escort the President of the United States from place to place, and other dignitaries may also travel this way as well. Communication devices such as phones or radios can be installed in the vehicle as well.

Limousines are most often driven by a hired professional driver. Limousine rental services will provide the limo and the driver when the limousine is rented, while private owners of a limousine may hire a driver specifically to drive that person around when needed. The limo driver usually sits in a separate part of the cabin, divided from the passengers for privacy.

Stretch limousines are driven by hired professionals.
Stretch limousines are driven by hired professionals.

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