Why did celebrities fall out of love with the stretch limousine?

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Jordan Page

Jordan Page

Life & Culture Feature
September 15, 2023

Limos were once a symbol of wealth and status, but today it’s rare to spot celebrities pulling up to red carpet events in these luxury cars

Ever since their invention in the 1920s, stretch limousines have been viewed as a glamorous symbol of wealth and status. By the 2000s, whether they were parading A-listers to red carpets, after parties, or just to Starbucks for a midday frappuccino fix (Juicy Couture tracksuit and chihuahua in-tow, of course), rattling around in a limo was the absolute apex of celebrity. However, 100 years after their invention, things have changed. A quick look at this year’s red carpet arrivals from the Cannes Film Festival to the BAFTAs to the BRITs tells us everything we need to know: blacked-out SUVs and sprinter vans are in, and the stretch limousine is out.

In the UK, it’s nearly impossible to hire a limousine from a legitimate luxury chauffeur company (as opposed to a party company), while according to the National Limousine Association, the stretch limo represents less than one per cent of luxury chauffeur services today in the US – down from ten per cent in 2013. But when and why did the love affair between celebrities and the stretch limo end?


Brandishing stretch limousines as “tacky”, Jason Couvillion is one of the co-founders of Bruvion Travel, a luxury travel management company based in LA. Since its establishment in 2001, Bruvion has provided ground transportation, private jet charters and high-end tours for names including Britney Spears, Robert Pattinson, Janet Jackson and Taylor Swift. “We’ve offered limousine services since the beginning, but it started to trickle off by 2010,” Couvillion says. “Most clients didn’t want them anymore – and many would even refuse to get in one.” 


“These people are still making tons of money and living lavish lifestyles, but this super ostentatious consumption is becoming more and more frowned upon” – Erin Meyers

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