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Red Line Rentals offers you high performances packages in Buffalo

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to drive a car that goes for $120,000. There are those out there however that would jump at the opportunity to drive a high performance automobile, especially if they didn’t have to drop their life’s savings on the experience. That’s where Red Lines Rentals comes in. Similar to what you see in other cities, the business specializes in renting out dream cars for the day, the week, etc.

I spoke to company co-owner Gregory Straus who offered to take BRO for a test drive of their new product line:

When did you start the business?

My partner Matt Bona and I have been developing our business plan for almost a year now. Officially we opened less than a month ago and filed all of the paperwork. Last week, we received the green light to start buying cars and we’re still out buying while we try to promote our business at the same time.

How did you arrive at the idea that Buffalo was in need of a high performance and status symbol rental market for cars?

Matt and I were working for the same company out of college and were sent to NYC to work for a Wall Street client in fall of 2008. This is where we were initially exposed to companies renting high end vehicles. What was really interesting to us was the growth of the industry in the decline of the economy – it seemed that people were actually choosing to rent vs. buying such expensive cars – and the companies offering high end rentals have expanded at record rates since then. The biggest one is now servicing some of the largest cities in the country with millions of dollars in inventory. We’ve been lucky to have a chance to talk with them. Being car guys, we thought – how could we make this work in Buffalo? With a short summer season how could a business like this work? The answer is what showed us the market potential… with long winters and high cost ownership, buying these cars might not be practical for everyone. “So Rent it” especially if you just want to try it for a day before spending a small fortune. You won’t see the pure exotics in our fleet, yet. We have hand selected popular models to build the base of the fleet starting at ‘affordable’, to see where the market wants us to go. But make no mistake, our cars perform with the best!

On another interesting note – We’ve seen all the recent Groupon offers, with cars that travel around the North East coming to Buffalo for a weekend. People pay to drive the cars in a parking lot. We aren’t doing that. We think taking the car on the open road is what Buffalonians desire.

Right now you have three cars to choose from. What are they?

Yesterday we took delivery on our first car. A Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. But we aren’t done. Our 6 figure shopping list still includes a Porsche 911 Cabriolet (Convertible) and a Dodge Challenger. Our three cars have three different price levels and offer three different types of vehicle. From an Autobohn-ready German auto in the Porsche, to an American icon in the Corvette, to the Reborn ode’ to muscle car era of the 70’s in the Dodge Challenger… The goal is to fill that desire in everyone, whatever that might be.


In what way do you anticipate growing the business?

We’re hoping to go a few routes with our business. First and foremost we’re aiming to make things easy for people, up to and including home delivery. We’re looking for people locally and even those coming to town who have a desire to drive something beyond the airport rentals. They don’t do what we offer. We encourage people making a nice weekend getaway, to take our car anywhere from the Finger Lakes to Niagara Falls. We’re working with some local restaurateurs to offer what we’re calling “A Night on the Town” – date night has never been this much fun. There might even be a hotel package coming soon. Car, Dinner, Hotel. Who wouldn’t want to live a night in style? We’re even in preliminary talks to include this as a corporate reward as well, where top performers can get a car for the day, on the company’s dime.

How has the response been so far?

We’re almost overwhelmed by the positive responses from our first few events. People seem to love the idea but we also know this is definitely a niche business. We need to get the word out and find the right people. People are coming to us and talking about it more every day, and we’re excited about it. Over the next few weeks we hope to hear from many more people that they like the idea. We’re locally born and educated entrepreneurs and I think a lot of people respect us for trying something new –  even if they never would rent a car.

Who is your target customer?

The target customer for this type of experience comes from several different walks of life.

We’re hoping to cast a wide net. From the young professional wanting a date night, to the new coolest thing to do for a bachelor party vs. golfing, to the middle-aged people who just always wanted one of these cars but never found it feasible to buy it, to the corporate clients looking for new ways to experience our great city and get out of the office doing it.

What do you need to rent a car?

These are serious cars with serious horsepower. Driving them requires complete control and responsibility at all times for the safety of the renter and those around them on the road. The requirements are 25 years old +, a clean driving record, full coverage personal auto insurance, and a valid credit card that will hold a $5000 refundable security deposit. We get a good number of questions on the last one – typically “why such a high deposit if you have my insurance?” It’s quite simple, the security deposit is meant to encourage the renter to act responsible and treat the vehicle as their own.

Red Line | 12 Knox Ave | Buffalo, NY 14216 – just off Delaware in the City



Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is ‘queenseyes’ – Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world’s largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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  • Captain Picard

    I wish you the best of luck, but this may be a tough sell in blue-collar, beer-swilling, low-brow, broke-ass Buffalo.

  • BuffaLife

    I was looking for something like this for my wedding a few years back.  I wanted to drive my bride to and from the venue in style – like Bentley style.  I was looking for a high-end car, but the only option was to rent from NYC and spend a half million dollars in rental fees and insurance to make it happen.
    As a car enthusiast and young professional, I like this idea a lot.  It changes the mentality that Buffalo can’t have nice things.

  • flexme

    lol you clueless wonder you

  • Captain Picard

    Nah, not clueless. Just intelligent. And thinking about the future. And have had experience working for a place like this in another major city.

    A fleet of ten vehicles costing an average of $60k (on the low end) constitutes a minimum $600k investment in hardware, and god knows how much in maintenance, repair, storage, security, and insurance costs. I’m thinking that accounting for all of this and adding in marketing and advertizing you’re looking at $1 million for a modest rental company of this type. So, even if the vehicles were rented at an exorbitant fee of $100/hour, you’d need ten thousand rental hours to break even–a hell of a lot more if you add in a salary and/or benefits for the proprietor(s). Folks are likely going to rent during fair weather weekends, meaning at maximum six months in this arctic wasteland. How long do you suppose it will take to turn a profit on such a venture with those kind of numbers?

    I’m not saying it won’t work. I’m saying it will not be easy. Most things are not easy, especially when they involve a financial payoff.

  • jim1234664

    I’ve done this in vegas before.
    website really blows except the pictures.
    have prices for specific time intervals listed, no one wants to email you and then see pricing
    list rental terms on site, especially hidden potential fees these companies like to gloss over
    a 911 cab only costs 95k new, and I would be surprised if they bought a brand new one
    $5,000 deposit is a bit steep, a lot of places do it with 2-3k and a few have no deposit.
    $700 a day is way too much for a base 911, I payed $260/day for a 911 s cab in vegas. You can get an F430 for a little more than 1k/day
    $500 a day is too much for the vette
    $295 while still more than it should be is sort of about right for the challenger, as long as its an srt or maybe an r/t

  • brownteeth

    You couldn’t pay me to drive a corvette.  I know they’re fast and expensive, but nothing says I’m a 50 year old man who’s bored, has money but no taste like a corvette.  Or any new American muscle car for that matter.

  • sobuffbillsfan

    brownteeth  It’s funny this perception is so prevalent, that people don’t even realize the cliche has actually shifted towards black European sports sedans.  At least a ‘Vette says screw it I don’t need to fit in, in the board room.

  • LouisTully

    There’s a guy in Chicago that charges like $200/hour to drive around with him in a Corvette.  The dude is a total choad and looks like a poster child from the 80’s, and has never left the 80’s.  But, it makes for a hilarious video on youtube.  Tried hard to find it but came up empty.

  • hockeyhips83

    only three(3) cars to rent:
    porche 911
    dodge challenger
    chevy corevette

    if there were cars of interest: lamborghini’s, lotus’, mclaren’s, bugatti’s, aston martin’s, ferarri’s, jaguar’s, etc.etc. i’d definitely go.

  • brownteeth

    sobuffbillsfan brownteethYeah, if you actually think that thought occurs to vette owners.  Just not my cup of tea personally,  if you’re going to spend the scratch I want something with a little more cache’ and rarity personally.

  • brownteeth

    hockeyhips83 Exactly, I can go test drive any of those cars for the day and save myself the trouble of paying.  I want something rare and truly exotic.  However I do honestly wish this business the best of luck, just because its not my thing doesn’t mean it’s not someone else.

  • LouisTully

    hockeyhips83  Gotta start somewhere.  Besides, startup costs are a bit different than other businesses.  It’s not like starting a pants store where you can stock your shelves and build your inventory for low 5 figures.

  • John Dickens

    Do they know Buffalo CarShare?

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    A Corvette, Z28, SRT Viper, Mustang Boss, or a SRT 8 Challenger are are the best bang for your buck performance cars in the world. They recently track tested a Z28 against a GT-R and the Z28 was faster around a track. Even thought the GT-R is one of the top four fastest production vehicles in the world. Also, the new GT 500 has the highest hp producing V8 in history. SO BACK THE F OFF AMERICAN MUSCLE CARS!!!!!!! lol

  • bfranklin

    BeardedBuffalonian  I generally agree with brownteeth… but I agree with the dollars for performance argument.  Doesn’t hurt that the Corvette engine is made here in town.  Add the new Chevy SS to your list.  If it’s not American made, it won’t find it’s way onto my driveway.

  • justannotherone

    I wonder what a Porsche 918 Spyder would cost for a day???

  • brownteeth

    BeardedBuffalonian I can’t argue with the performance per dollar amount with American muscle cars.  However for me it’s not just how fast it can go from 0-60, I’m more about the aesthetic and lines of car as much as its performance.  I’m strictly into European and mostly BMW, I’ve had about 7 of them since I was 18 and drive one now.  
    I can see how people in Buffalo would gravitate towards American muscle cars, we’re pretty much a Bon Jovi Springsteen Union card town where those cars are king and  “imports are for fags” as I’ve actually seen on a bumper sticker. 

    But if I’m going to drop a grand on renting a car for a day it better be something I can’t even buy locally if I had the money.

  • brownteeth

    bfranklin BeardedBuffalonianI’m not sure any car is 100% American made these days.  I only buy used cars so in my book 100% of that money goes to an American dealer or private seller.

  • bfranklin

    brownteeth BeardedBuffalonian  With a gm employee discount, your monthly payment on a Corvette would be in the ballpark of what they’re charging per day.

  • Dwolp

    LouisTully It’s a Ferrari.

  • priv823

    I just did business with Redline to book the Porsche for my wedding weekend in August and to use it as the “getaway” car after our reception ends. Greg was professional, friendly, and helpful and helped us make our decision. For people who want something fun but don’t have the means to buy something like that, it’s fun and an awesome cherry on top to our wedding weekend. We’re excited to get in it and go!

  • Dwolp

    priv823 Glad to hear. They seem like smart, entrepreneurial guys, which I love (face it, we need as many of these types of  guys and gals here taking risks, pushing our experiences, tastes, and ideas) and hope they succeed. I just worry about the business model and some of the decisions (do people really get excited over the Challenge?).