Ferrari unveil the new 488 GTB to the public today in Geneva – but how do you go about getting high on the Ferrari waiting list for a future classic?
The early cars in any supercar production run are without doubt the most desirable, not least because of the potential profit/investment opportunity and the kudos – early Ferrari 458’s were sold by speculators for premiums of up to £50,000, but these are eroded by time reasonably quickly and manufacturers really don’t like people cashing in and are quite open about it.Consequently, with the launch of the Ferrari 488 GTB we will see a scramble by potential owners to get an early build slot for the all important “first car in the country”. We’ve all met someone who “got the first car in the UK” even though it would be all but impossible to verify.
The reality is that if you’ve waited to see the car before ordering it you are already too late. It has long been common practice for supercar owners to provide a letter of intent to purchase and a small deposit (think a few thousand pounds) for the next generation of whatever they already have before it is even announced. The first Ferrari 488s should start to arrive in the UK in the last quarter of 2015 and the Ferrari dealer network has already taken a significant number of orders – the only problem is that they don’t know how many cars they will get so predicting lead times is tricky. Expect to take delivery a couple of years after the first cars arrive if you order now.
Top tips for getting an early car
- Buy a lot of Ferrari’s from your local Ferrari dealer. The first people to get the heads up on any new cars and an early build slot are Ferrari’s best customers. A decade or so of good custom should do the trick.
- Put your money where your mouth is & commit early – generally speaking dealers won’t let customers place a substantial deposit too far in advance. Get a letter of intent in to your dealer as early as you can and pay the required deposit as soon as it is requested. Remember that as soon as dealers start taking sizeable deposits to secure a car many orders will evaporate as speculators lose their nerve and genuine buyers face the reality that a £25,000 deposit can bring. Make sure you understand where you are on the order list – they have a habit of moving around. Luckily the Ferrari world is a small one, so keep your ear to the ground and you should spot if you are leapfrogged.
- Stay on top of your dealer. Don’t wait for a call from the salesman to let you know the order books are open, ring them regularly to check on progress and make sure you develop a relationship with them – it can make all the difference.
- Cancellations. If you don’t get one of the first build slots then all is not lost, there will inevitably be cancellations. Regular communication with a dealer and flexibility on specification could see you into an early car.
- Buy one, get one fast. When the Ferrari 430 was launched, one of the ways to get an early car was to buy a slow selling Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. In return, dealers would often be able to pull a 430 out of the hat for customers. Maybe a little extreme, but if you are willing to pay a substantial premium anyway then worth considering.
- Consider a demonstrator. A demo may be even harder to get hold of than a factory build but it’s worth a try.
- Go outside the dealer network and pay a premium. This is the course of action that manufacturers will definitely not want you to take! It’s a fact of life that early cars will be traded almost immediately for profit and owners that are caught will not be popular back at the factory – we’ll let you read into that what you will. Well connected dealers and brokers both large and small such as Redline Specialist Cars and Elms Collection (other dealers are available) will always have early cars available and the price will be fixed – if the premium for a car goes up rather than down, take it as a warning that the transaction isn’t going to be simple…..
Forward planning in this game is everything. If you are lucky enough to have an early car on order then it’s also important to consider your exit strategy far in advance. It is quite possible to get some decent use out of the latest supercars and still sell them for a profit at the end . Just don’t count on it and if someone promises you that you will get the first car, take that promise with a pinch of salt – you won’t be the only one.
If you need advice or help sourcing an early car, please get in touch – we will know someone who can help.