Buying an exotic supercar is not a decision to be made lightly. On the low end, these vehicles can cost well into the $100,000-range––and that’s not even accounting for limited-edition, limited-run models. Aside from looking cool and inspiring fear and adoration among your friend group, there’s a lot of things to consider when making this investment.
Continue reading to learn more about the dark side of buying an exotic supercar. The following isn’t meant to derail your lifelong dream of owning a Ferrari or Lamborghini but instead, some considerations as you make a decision.
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Let’s get the most obvious downside of owning an exotic supercar out of the way. They’re extremely expensive––like more than what most people make in a lifetime. However, if you’ve landed your dream job, been saving for years, or just came into a lot of money, then sure, you should treat yourself.
Yet, here are some things to keep in mind before you go to the dealership:
- You could be paying off that car for years––and you might not get what you put into it.
- The down payment itself could be tens of thousands of dollars.
- Missing a payment can seriously affect your credit.
Sky’s the limit if you’re ready for this type of financial commitment. However, cost could be among the least of your concerns when driving your car off the lot.
Supercars Generally Don’t Retain Their Values
U.S. News & World Report notes that within the first five years of ownership, a car will generally lose about 50 percent of its value. But for some luxury cars, like the Maserati Ghibli, this could be even quicker. This car, in particular, loses 70 percent of its value within the first five years.
So picture this: you spent $70,000 on a Maserati Ghibli in 2015. Per U.S. News & World Report, within a five-year period, the car would be worth $21,701. You’re certainly not getting your money back if you decide to trade up for something else.
Why Don’t Supercars Retain Their Values?
Honestly, everything––whether it’s supercars, gold, homes––depends on the market. So, within a few years, supercars could end up retaining most of their values. However, for the most part, you’re not going to get your money’s worth because:
- People want new supercars––not ones that are a few years old.
- Technology in supercars can become quickly outdated. Sometimes, certain brands just can’t keep up with in-car technology and innovations.
- It’s a specialized market. You’re probably not going to post your exotic supercar on OfferUp and expect a fair offer. You might end up selling it at a lower price just to get rid of it––as many people have done.
This, of course, does not pertain to all supercars. To learn more about luxury car models that retain their vehicles, check out this article by Investopedia.
Exotic Supercars Usually Don’t Get Great Mileage
Consider the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. This baby looks like a kid’s Hot Wheels come to life. On the outside, it looks like it’s made for speed with its aerodynamic design, sleek curves, and light frame.
However, if you opt for this car, you might find yourself standing at the pump more often than you’d like. That’s because this car literally gets 12 miles per gallon––and it’s not the only car in its class with not-so-great mileage.
Here are some other examples, per the U.S. Department of Energy:
- The Bugatti Chiron, which starts at $3 million, gets 10 miles a gallon.
- Lamborghini Avenatador Coupe, which goes for upwards of $421,000, also gets 10 miles a gallon.
- The Rolls-Royce Ghost (which is admittedly, the biggest car on this list) gets 14 miles per gallon.
Again, while this is not the case for every supercar, it certainly seems to be a disconcerting trend.
Why Do These Cars Get Such Poor Mileage?
These cars are built for speed. Its internal components thrive off gallons and gallons of gas––even if you’re just coasting around the neighborhood. Perhaps this is why the New York Times recently did an article reporting on a supercar auction.
Many of the cars had less than 100 miles on them––even those cars that were decades old. For many collectors, these cars are fun to post on social media, wax every Saturday, and drive around town, but they are simply not made for long-distance travel.
The Cost of Maintenance Can Rival the Cost of the Car Itself
Most (if not all) supercars are imports. Ferraris are made in Italy. Bugattis are made in France. Rolls-Royce is manufactured in the United Kingdom. The list goes on. But so what? Why would maintaining these cars be expensive?
American mechanics are sometimes not trained to perform work on these vehicles––and if they are, usually, they have to order special parts. Some mechanics will see that you’re bringing in a foreign car and may suggest that you go elsewhere.
Here are some reasons why maintenance can get expensive:
- Supercars are handmade. You don’t just want any mechanic working on these cars––and these professionals know their limits. You want someone who understands the ins-and-outs of these vehicles and is comfortable working with their oh-so-delicate parts. For that expertise, you’ll find yourself paying a little extra.
- The parts themselves are expensive. If you need a replacement auto part, that device might have to come from overseas, and the cost of the part alone (especially if it’s only available for certain models) could be pricey. That’s not even factoring in the cost of shipping and labor.
- Some cars need specialized service. According to a testimonial given to Motor1, one supercar owner found himself paying $1,500 for a simple oil change and engine bay cleaning. You won’t find yourself needing to clean out your engine if you’re driving your mom’s mini-van, that’s for sure.
So now that you know about the downside of owning an exotic supercar, you can make an informed decision regarding your next purchase. As long as you understand that these cars need specialized maintenance, get less-than-average mileage, and could cost you in the long run, you’re well on your way to buying your next exotic car––or not.
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