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The true cost of owning a Ferrari

The true cost of owning a Ferrari

Published 2024-03-07 by Peter Ternström

This is how much it really costs to own a Ferrari. I’ve had a lot of supercars in my life. I bought my first Ferrari already in the summer of 1999. It was a yellow 348 Spider. I only kept it for a few months before I upgraded to an F355 Berlinetta.

Those were the days! The acceleration, the sound and all the attention the car got was incredible. I was 25 years old, single, and lived in Stockholm. My gosh that was fun.

I quickly got used to the attention. As well as all the questions. Many people want to talk to me when I refuel my car, or when I stop for any reason. There is always someone who is curious about the car and has a lot of questions. If I have time, I always answer politely.

The second most common question? How much horsepower, and how fast does it go?

The most common? How much does it cost?

The car’s price fascinates most of all. Therefore, in this blog post I would like to give you an unique insight into what it really costs to own and drive a supercar. I suspect you’ll think it might not be that bad after all. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

In this example, we are buying a nearly new supercar. I have set a budget of 250.000 EUR. That might sound like a hell of a lot of money, but wait a while and you’ll see.

For 250.000 you get an insanely nice car. Ferrari 488 Spider, McLaren with complicated model designation, Porsche GT3, Porsche Turbo, or a Lamborghini Huracan Spyder. The money might even be enough for an Aventador. Any of these, a couple of years old and in perfect condition. A real dream car, take your pick.

The dealer you buy the car from will help you with financing. 20% must go into the down payment – That is 50.000 EUR. If we count with 3% interest, 60% residual value, and a contract period of 36 months, the monthly car payment is 1.800 EUR.

If you can put 75.000 EUR into the down payment, the monthly cost becomes 1.000 EUR. Many people have houses that are undervalued, and can take out an extra mortgage based on a more current valuation, thus getting money for the down payment on the supercar at a very low interest rate. According to my sources, this was the most common way to finance a down payment of a supercar in the Scandinavian countries the last ten years.

Service on the car is, on average, 2.000 EUR a year. Except if you choose a Ferrari, then it’s actually free for seven years from purchase.

Furthermore, you must have insurance. This varies a lot in price, depending where you live. With a little trickery, such as putting all your policies at the same insurance company, you can probably get down to 3.000 EUR per year. If you live in the wrong neighbourhood, the insurance can cost 7-8.000 EUR per year. Full casco, of course.

It usually costs significantly more to insure a BMW M3 or Mercedes-AMG than a Ferrari. The reasons for this I will explain in a coming post.

Short version: there are much more accidents with high performace BMW or Mercedes-AMG cars per policy holder. Ferrari or Lamborghini owners generally drive very carefully with their car and seldom get in trouble.

Tip: Check with your insurance company before you buy the car. Let’s count with 4 000 EUR per year.

Then of course you must drive the car. Let’s say 10.000 km per year. At 20 litres/100km, we can count with 2 000 litres total. Sorry Greta. With a fuel price of 2 EUR/L, the annual budget for petrol is 4 000 EUR.

Last but not least, depreciation. Here it becomes very difficult. The depreciation is higher on a Porsche or Mclaren than on an Italian supercar. Some Ferrari models have almost no depreciation at all. Let’s not include it in the calculation.

Instead, we assume that after 36 months the car is worth more than the residual value of the finance. If it is worth more than the residual value, you actually get your money back. The entire reduction in value is then included in your monthly payment.

Installment: 1.000 – 1.800 EUR / month.
Fixed costs: Road tax, service and insurance: 7.000 EUR / year or approximately 600 EUR / month.
Petrol: 4000 EUR / year or 330 EUR / month.
Monthly cost: 1000/1800 + 600 + 330 = 1930 to 2 730 EUR

Tires should be accounted for, but they normally last over 10.000 km. For simplicity, I have not included this in the cost.

Furthermore, in some countries, you can deduct interest costs in your tax declaration. I have also not taken that in my very simplified calculation.

Then, there is depreciation. A Ferrari or Lamborghini does not depreciate. If you treat it well, chances are that your car keeps its value, or even increases its value over the years.

I have never owned a Ferrari or Lamborghini that I could not sell at the same price, or higher, as when I purchased it. This is important to remember, but I have not included it in my calculation. If this would be included in the calculation, the true monthly cost of ownership goes down to about 1 000 euros per month. You get your money back when you sell the car.

There you have it. What it costs per month, to own a supercar for 250.000. Many people are surprised how low it actually is. Buy your dream car, already this afternoon.

This post was printed in the Swedish edition of auto motor & sport in February 2018. The editor in chief, Alrik Söderlind, got many angry emails from readers demanding my dismissal as columnist for the magazine.

"Completely disconnected from the reality", they said. I almost got fired, on the spot. Turns out, 2 730 EUR is not considered an affordable monthly cost for the average reader of the magazine. Kids cost a fortune. Bummer.

Peter Ternström
Peter Ternström
peter@granturismo.org

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