This is a question that is difficult to answer – however, that doesn’t mean we can’t answer it, just that it won’t be easy. There are so many variables involved that the only way you can even attempt to answer it is to generalize. Many people’s first reaction when they discover just how expensive these cars are is shock at just how much the thing costs. So are Ferrari’s prices just vastly over-inflated, designed for people with too much money? Or not?
Are Ferraris overpriced? No, Ferrari’s are not overpriced. Although this is a question that many people will have different opinions on, and indeed creates many arguments, Ferrari’s, in general, are made with very high-quality components, have extremely high-performing engines and aerodynamics and, let’s face it, look pretty awesome too.
When Is a Car Over-Priced?
It soon comes to light that there are many variables involved when trying to answer this question. It’s certainly not black and white and when you start looking at all the different variables involved, you will understand exactly why it’s just so hard to answer this question about a specific model.
So, let me give you an example of what I mean. Let’s take a look at the Ferrari 360, which was produced between 1999 and 2004. There were just over 17,000 of these cars produced during this time but they certainly weren’t all the same. There was the Modena, which had a hard-top and a Spider, which had a soft-top. They were both identical cars apart from the roof and some minor weight differences. However, there were slightly less Spider’s made than Modena’s, which might impact the value (and therefore whether it’s regarded as overpriced or not). Then, there’s the Challenge Stradale, only around 1,300 of these were built and they were quite different from the other variants. This was a track-focused car and the performance was superior to the others and this combined with the lower volumes, means it has a higher premium.
So, we know that the variant of the model impacts the price but of course so do other factors, such as:
- What year is the car, this could be any time between 1999 and 2004.
- What condition the car is in and whether it has been serviced according to the Ferrari schedule at their approved garages.
- Whether there’s been any upgrades to the car (for instance any carbon fiber anywhere).
- How many miles the car has done, this has a massive impact on the resale price.
The above is just for one model and there have, of course, been many different types of Ferrari produced over the last few decades. My point here is that any one of the above factors has a bearing on the cost and can cause the specific example to be deemed overpriced or not.
However, we need to be much more general than this for the purposes of this article. We are looking at Ferraris as a brand and not specific examples as this is just not a question that can be answered outright. So, let’s get a bit more general.
How Much Do Ferraris Cost?
Firstly, let’s take a look at how much Ferrari’s cost. We can examine the current line-up and then some slightly older varieties.
Current Ferrari Models
A lot of supercar manufacturers will only have a couple of models on the go at one time. Ferrari are big enough to have a fair few in production at the same time though and, as of 2019, the below models are currently being produced by Ferrari:
- 812 Superfast – utilizing the V12 engine this 6.5L Grand Tourer this will set you back around $360,000 before options. Manufacturing started in 2017.
- GTC4 Lusso – another V12 GT, produced from 2016 and before options you will need to find just under $300,000 to afford one.
- F8 Tributo (488) – powered by the V8 engine, this replacement for the 488 GTB will cost around $350,000.
- 488 Spider – this v8 will get you to 60mph in around 3 seconds, but you’ll be paying around $281,000 for the privilege.
- 488 Pista – The Pista is relatively new for 2019 and will cost around $253,000 before any options are added. There is also a Spider version which will cost you more.
- Portofino – Will cost you around $215,000 new and this is the entry-level Ferrari which replaced the California.
A point about the prices you see above – they are approximate and are the cost new but these retail prices do vary and doesn’t factor in any options. You will find that the majority of people who buy these high-value cars new actually add a fair amount of additional options. When you buy cars like this the majority of people are aware that when they need to sell them in a couple of years, you want to make it as easy as possible. Supercars can be very difficult to sell as there’s obviously a lot fewer people in the market for one. If you can give yourself an advantage, by adding some carbon fiber, front-lift, reversing camera, etc. it’s usually a good idea.
We can’t look at all the older models here as there are just too many but it is useful to look at the more recent Ferraris that are no longer in production and what their value is now.
The Ferrari 348 was produced between 1989 and 1995 and during this time, almost 9,000 units were produced. The original price was around $125,000 (depending on the year) and now you can expect to pay between $60,000 and $90,000 for a quality example.
Replacing the 348 in 1995, the 355 was produced until 1999 (where it was replaced by the 360). At the time, it would have cost you around $135,000 but now you might be able to pick one up for somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000.
The Ferrari 360 was produced between 1999 and 2004 and around 16,000 were produced (split roughly between the Modena hard top and the Spider). There were also around 1,300 360 Challenge Stradale’s built (which was more of a track focused car). At the time, you would have had to have paid around $150,000 before options for the 360. Now, you’ll need to spend around $60,000 – $120,000 and a little more if you want the Spider.
Replacing the 360 in 2004 was the Ferrari F430 and was manufactured until 2009. The 430 was sold around $190,000 to $220,000 in the US, depending on the exact model and options. Now, a 430 will set you back at least around $65,000 but some models have been known to move hands at over $400,000!
There are many other Ferraris, of course, but showing them all and their current values will take us away from the point of this article. What I needed to do is emphasize the original price and how much they are worth after a period of time.
Do Ferraris Hold Their Value?
A Ferrari is no different from any car that you drive away from the forecourt after buying it brand-new. The moment it’s yours you can say goodbye to several thousand pounds. Although it’s worth mentioning that there can be some exceptions to this rule as some models are so rare, people will pay more than the RRP rather than wait two years (or more) to be allocated one.
Although then, Ferrari’s will depreciate initially, this will level out over time and especially for those models that had a limited production run (I’m thinking 360 Challenge Stradale for example) – it is likely that they will continue to be an appreciating asset. Of course, mileage and service history play a big part, as we’ve mentioned earlier but if you want to find yourself a car that you won’t lose too much money on, get one that is quite rare and has already depreciated as much as it’s going to.
Do Ferraris Give You Value for Money?
This is a very subjective question and depends on how much you value your money! If you’re living in a mansion with a lot of excess cash then you’re going to be less worried about the purchase of a $200,000 car than someone who’s home costs less than this amount. For this person, it’s logical to say that no, a Ferrari does not provide value for money as they could generate a lot greater value (to them) by putting their money elsewhere.
The majority of Ferrari’s are special and so you could argue that considering the amount of time that has gone into the building of each one, yes – they do give good value…to a degree.
Another thing to consider is how long the Ferrari is kept for and how many miles you’re going to put on it. As mileage is linked so tightly to re-sale value with Ferrari’s, often you will see examples of them only doing a few hundred (or less) miles a year. Personally, I think that’s a shame as these cars were designed and built to be driven and driven well. They were not designed to be an ornament in your garage!
The general advice would be to buy a Ferrari that’s more than five years old or so, has less than 15,000 miles on it, has been serviced (by an authorized Ferrari garage), has nice options and had a limited production run (which may be hard to find these days as the limited edition models cost a fortune). By doing this, you are giving yourself every chance of selling the car in a couple of years for more than what you paid for it. This doesn’t mean you’ll come out of it in profit though! With insurance, servicing and gas just three large additional financial contributions that are required, you may not come out of it with more money than when you started – but it will most likely have been worth it!
Do You Get What You Pay For?
There are many reasons why Ferrari’s will cost you so much to buy. They are predominantly hand-built still, made of high-quality components, produced in low volumes and have exceptional performance. They will also make you feel like a celebrity when you’re out driving one, so many people will want to stare, take photos or just talk to you about it. Actually, this is one thing I’ve found with owning a supercar (I currently own a Lamborghini Gallardo 560-4) – everything you do takes longer. Whether it’s getting fuel or going shopping, you will have people coming up to you and chatting. Not everyone likes it – but I do 🙂
There are certainly a lot of people who think the Ferrari is overrated but so much depends on what type of car you’re looking for and what you want to get out of it. You could have the same argument about any manufacturer.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article as it wasn’t the easiest to write although I did find it quite enjoyable. It’s very difficult to say whether anything is overpriced, be it a home, the latest phone or indeed the latest Ferrari. It’s all down to the individual themselves, how much disposable income they have and what value they put on the object.
A lot of people want to use Ferrari’s as an investment. If you’re thinking of this then maybe you’ll be interested in my post about the Ferrari 360.