The Reality of Supercar Ownership

7 days ago

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The Alsager Italian day

I was at the Alsager Italian Festival at the weekend (NOT the Slasher Festival - as my Car Spotter posts suggested - blame autocorrect!). I've been going for a few years now and it's a great day when the weather is fine. There's Italian music, food, drink and scooters. Personally I'm about as interested in Lambrettas as I am in civil engineering (Check the Yellow Pages, their entry says 'See boring').

Luckily there's also a regular display of Italian Supercars. This year was no exception and I spent some time perusing the vehicles on show:-

As you can see there were some really immaculately kept cars on show there. I'll be honest, I'm not a Ferrari man. I aspire to the brand about as much as I aspire to become a Dental Hygienist, it's not something I'm desperate for, but ultimately I wouldn't lose any sleep if I HAD to...

Ferrari, like being a professional teeth brushing expert - I can take or leave.

The thing is though, when you're standing amidst a selection of these kind of machines, you sense a kind of magic. I don't know if it's because they are expensive, because you know MOST people aspire to them, or simply because we've all been socially conditioned since Magnum PI came out, to want a Ferrari. The thing is, they DO make you want one, even if only fleetingly.

Image Source:- https://www.maxim.com/entertainment/cbs-rebooting-magnum-p-i-2017-10

I recently mad two posts on Poverty Petrolheads about affordable Ferraris. One on an old LHD Mondial and one on a fairly low-rent Toyota MR2 based F355 Repilca.

The thing is, no matter how desperate I was for a prancing pony, I couldn't be tempted to a LHD classic that was only really for garaging, and probably not driving. Neither could I be swayed by the idea of faking it with an ancient Japanese Sportscar plastered in plastic and bootleg branding.

But ultimately, COULD I genuinely, honestly drive a Ferrari, as my daily drive if I wanted to?

Looking at the Autotrader and committing myself to nothing older than 10 years old, I found this:-

Now that makes actually quite a lot of sense. It seats 4 so it's good for the family, it's a convertible so it'd be fun in the summer and it has a decent boot. So it's for all intent purposes, a pretty practical car.

But is it?

Let's look at the REAL costs of trying to use this as your daily.

The Autotrader Standard Finance Quote.

Okay, taking a five year HP contract out isn't for everyone. But, technically I could probably afford to pay £1629.08 a month. Just.

However, I'd feel a bit annoyed that over the five years I'd basically spent about as much interest as I could have bought a new-ish Focus RS for! To take this basic finance deal out on this car is more or less having a 5 year mortgage on a property that will go down in value. If it depreciates £30,000 in 5 years, which is quite conceivable, then add that to the interest and divide it by 5 and you get £12,000 a year. So you're burning £1000 per month, for 5 years, for the privilege of driving that car.

Let's add tax! This is a top bracket car, so it'll be another £555 a year or £46.25 a month.

They can also be pricey to insure. In 2009 Andy Murray paid £100,000 for a Ferrari 430, then he paid another £100,000 to insure it for a year!

Luckily, I've been quoting for car insurance recently. So I got a quote by just changing the reg to another California I saw on Autotrader. The results were quite surprising.

Let's be honest - a little box would defeat the object of buying this car...

Now I'm ignoring the £1059.52. Black boxes are great for young drivers I'm sure, but there's no point in buying a Ferrari California if you're NEVER going to exceed the speed limit or drive enthusiastically!

Even so, £1143.52 with a £750 excess is NOT as bad as I thought it might be! Let's call it £95.50 a month for the non-telematic box Admiral quote. Now we're up to £1141.75 per month, but we haven't looked at servicing or fuel!

If I stuck to my current 6000 miles a year and I got 20 mpg average (Come on! You buy a Ferrari to have FUN!) then we're talking around a nominal £1800 a year or £150 per month. So now we're up to £1291.75 a month.

Looking at a Ferrari Fixed Price Servicing list:-

I would say it's fair to estimate at LEAST £2400 a year servicing and maintenance on average over the 5 years. That's probably being conservative - bear in mind were talking an ex-warranty 2009 car here. That takes the running total to £1491.75 per month.

Technically I reckon I COULD afford that. It works out at £17,901 a year, over five years that works out at £89,505.

The trouble is, besides the fact I'd find it hard to convince the present Mrs. Stanley to agree to me spending nearly £20,000 a year on owning a Ferrari. (She'd probably prefer to spend that on holidays) I don't know if I cold justify it myself.

I suppose if I had the cash, that'd save £30,000 of interest payments and make it more reasonable, but then I could spend the £75k buying a house and renting it for £450 a month profit instead!

Summing up, I reckon Ferrari ownership probably really IS within the grasp of many people, who perhaps don't realise it is. However I suspect most of the people who COULD afford a Ferrari simply wouldn't be willing to make the financial sacrifice required to do so.

Do you think you could commit to £1500 a month for five years to own a Ferrari? Vote on the poll and tell me in the comments!

Martyn Stanley

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Comments (78)
  • I did a similar amount of research before buying my Maserati. Sure it costs, but I can afford it and the smiles from behind the wheel are worth it.

    I keep looking at Ferrari models to see what I could move into. I really want something practical for day to day and capable of using on a 2-3 week road trip. That seems to rule out the V8s completely. Sure I could use the California daily but, given the boot size once you fold the roof down, I'm not sure it would do for the 3 week trip to Italy.

    That really puts me into V12 territory. More specifically 612, 599, or FF. The ideal really is the FF, despite its bread van looks, but they are still a bit too rich for me.

    If you're only planning on running it for a couple of years and then shipping on I think you're better off looking at cars at the 5 year old mark. That gives you two years of inclusive Ferrari servicing and warranty which would reduce the maintenance costs. The price to buy might be higher but you may make it back in lower running costs. Good luck with 20 mpg as well. That's not going to happen. Realistically budget for 14-16.

    3 days ago
    • I think you could make the 3 week trip with 2 people using the great bench as extra luggage space. You’re rightvthou the 599 and 612 are a bit more practical. I think I need a bigger...

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      2 days ago
      1 Bump
  • Wow. Great research went into this article. Amazing. My respects.

    4 days ago
    1 Bump
  • Coincidentally, I had a 1985 Ferrari Mondial Q.V. cabriolet which I sold earlier this year... The exact same car of some 200-odd LHD examples that May referred to in his article about finding a budget Ferrari on the internet.

    I was attracted to what I thought would be a straightforward sports car to run- The same “easy” 3.0l engine from the 308.... Not a bit of it. I had engine problems a plenty, Problems with the electrics and all sorts of other highly frustrating problems.

    I go into a bit more detail in the other article, but in shorthand, I made the big mistake of falling in love with the ideal.

    I’ve done that with girls, not just cars- But the biggest lesson I’ve learned is how much of ourselves we lend to ideals.

    Do you ever see a nice car and imagine cruising it down the stelvio pass with the wind rushing through your hair on a perfect sunny day. It’s fantasy !

    Ferrari (classic) usually means year-round maintenance and associated costs.

    I was stuck with a car that I’d “bought well” but one which was fighting me daily.

    The love soon turned to bitter resentment

    4 days ago
    1 Bump
    • So what do you drive now?

      4 days ago
      1 Bump
    • I have a few cars on the go, but some needing more tlc than others. My daily is a 3 series but I have a Jag XKR, Testarossa, Corvette C3 and a couple of Bentley Turbo Rs’ in the garage.

      4 days ago
      1 Bump
  • I've recently bought a second car, an old 2003 MX5 NB - and I do love it. Price was minimal really, the drive is fantastic and simple fix & replace tasks can be done with upgrade parts making it "racecar. Anyway, would I own a super car with a lottery win? Sure, but it would come after home, kids and travel plans. Till then I'm happy with car that's engaging and fun and won't get me banned at the touch of the throttle.

    4 days ago
    1 Bump
    • I had an mx5 for 7 years. It was like s go kart for the road. Sadly I ended up needing more seats and luggage space and it needed the dreaded sills welding as well as some other stuff. If...

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      4 days ago
      1 Bump
  • In a word... YES. But I’ll take a 360 Modena coupe with a manual transmission

    5 days ago
    1 Bump

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