‘Dream machines’ outshine mainstream family cars in belt-tightening Britain

DREAM MACHINES, like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, out-performed every other vehicle on Britain’s roads when it came to secondhand values over the past 12 months.

Increasing demand from wealthier motorists kept average used values in the so-called ‘Supercar’ sector almost unchanged on a year ago – while every other sector fell by as much as ten per cent.

The figures, released by independent car information experts CAP Automotive, reveal a nation divided when it comes to price pressure on secondhand cars.

As most motorists increasingly tighten their belts on running costs, demand has soared for secondhand examples of dream cars like the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the Lamborghini Aventador.

CAP analyses used values daily for every car on Britain’s roads and monitors changes in demand via its free valuation and motoring cost calculators used by thousands of motorists each month at cap.co.uk.

Benchmarking average used values against their position a year ago, CAP analysts reveal that when comparing exactly like-for-like cars, overall market values are down by 9.2%. But singling out the Supercar sector reveals average values down by only 2.2%.

In contrast, average small family car values in the so-called ‘Lower Medium’ sector have fallen by 9.1%.  Typical small ‘runabouts’ from the ‘Supermini’ and ‘City Car’ sectors are also down by 8.7% and 9.2% respectively.

Even the more affordable ‘Sports’ sector – which has also outperformed the market as a whole – saw average values dip by 6.3%.

CAP’s figures are calculated at the industry benchmark three years and 60,000 miles. Artificial increases in the figures caused by new models dropping into the sample – and the impact of new plates in September and March – are factored out to reveal the true ‘underlying’ performance of the market.

When the impact of newer, more desirable, models – and the September and March plates – are taken into account the so-called ‘headline’ market performance reveals that the Supercar sector rose in value by almost seven per cent.  Even allowing for those factors in the Lower Medium small family car sector, values are up by less than one per cent and Superminis and City Cars are down by 0.5% and 1.3% respectively.

CAP’s Supercar specialist editor, Clive Wilson – himself a former Ferrari dealer – said: “What we are seeing is just an extension of the economic trend that saw so many luxury goods and high value properties weather the storm of recession a few years ago.

“These cars, and their customers, seem to be largely immune from pressures which see so many of us now focusing ever more closely on the running costs of the cars we drive.

“This part of the market is not subject to the same economic factors as ordinary family transport and so we would not expect secondhand values for these exotic vehicles to perform in the same way either.”

So, what are the stars of the show when it comes to Supercars? Clive Wilson singles out two models for special mention, in his analysis of this sector.

“This is such a specialist field that you would be arguing forever about the ‘best’ cars of this type. It is simply not possible to crown one model over all the others, but two models I personally love are the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the Lamborghini Aventador.”

Here are Clive’s thoughts on both cars:

Ferrari F430 Scuderia

"Based on the highly successful F430 this car was made in limited numbers towards the end of the F430 production and will have been purchased by true Ferrari enthusiasts/collectors. This model is very likely to have been acquired by some as a long term investment as well as a serious toy as it is one of the greatest driving cars ever built – and the fastest Ferrari had ever produced at that point. Even Ferrari claimed it would match their previous hypercar –  the Enzo – around their test track in Fiorano. Not bad, considering that Enzos can now change hands between £800,000 and £1 million.

"For these reasons it currently sits at the top of our depreciation lists for this sector and it is likely it won’t depreciate at all before too long. Like all great Ferraris the depreciation curve will turn and become an appreciation curve. Because it is around in such small numbers it could potentially one day provide a reasonable pension for someone willing to invest, whilst providing in the meantime one of the most exciting drives you could ever wish to have on its annual outing for the MOT.  What’s not to like!"

Lamborghini Aventador

"One of the Aventador’s predecessors, the Countach, now commands ten times what it cost new, as a secondhand car.  I believe the Aventador is likely to provide similar returns over time, especially in the UK. The clue to that is the waiting list in its first year of production and the fact that a large percentage of right hand drive cars were exported to the far east as some customers who were lucky enough to get an early car couldn’t resist the temptation of a quick profit. That leaves very few over here, which undoubtedly means more demand than supply.

"The initial cost of this car (without options) was around the £270,000 mark and with worldwide production allegedly limited to 4,000 units I will not be surprised if it eventually breaks the million pound barrier. When you consider that fabulous, unique stealth-like design, fitted with a mid-engine V12 that has become synonymous with Lamborghini, why would it not follow in the footsteps of the Countach?"