Lindsay Lohan

What is the deal with celebrities driving their own cars? Why not hire a driver?
—Michelle, N.J.

Because it's their car! Theirs, theirs, theirs! Cue meltdown!

Seriously, bodyguards and other insiders say, celebrities don't like to pay for cars unless they can also drive them. (Then again, stars don't like to pay for anything.) Otherwise, people may think that the Maybach or Bentley belongs to the chauffeur company, and, for a celebrity, that's $200,000 in prestige and snobbery rights, down the drain.

There are plenty of other reasons why stars would rather drive and get arrested, rather than hire a chauffeur and remain free to fill up on Adderall Mojitos all the live-long. And I have all the dish, from Lindsay Lohan's former security guard, no less. Read on...

Younger stars are particularly stubborn when it comes to driving, says Antonio Almeida, a former bodyguard who has worked with everyone from LiLo to Gloria Estefan. As part of his security service, Almeida tells his clients to avoid driving, a dictum that older clients like Estefan don't question. Not so LiLo, says Almeida, who remembers accompanying the actress when she first went to the Santa Monica DMV to get her license.

"We all celebrated her license for the first time," says Almeida, whose relationship with the family soured a few years ago. "Her mother was there, I was there, it was a big deal."

Naturally, Almeida points out, a kid who just got the right to drive isn't likely to throw away the privilege on a chauffeur—spending, as I have reported before, an estimated $65,000 to $125,000 yearly in the process.

And don't forget the zeppelin-size ego most celebrities have. Years of ass-kissing from publicists, managers and entourage members can leave a star feeling that they are, literally, better than everyone else. At everything. Including driving.

"They say, 'Screw you! I'M driving my car,' " Almeida says. "It's a thing about control. They want to show off their toys."

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