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Why Are Ferraris So Expensive? Are They Overpriced?

Even if you’re not a supercar enthusiast, you will have heard of Ferrari and their legendary vehicles. Everyone at one point will have flirted with the idea of owning one someday. But you might be wondering why Ferraris are so expensive and if they’re overpriced.

Ferraris are expensive because they are made with extreme care and are of limited quantity. Their quality assurance is incredibly tight, their racing legacy is legendary, and there are simply not enough of them for everyone who can afford to have one. Even among supercars, they can seem overpriced.

This doesn’t fully encapsulate how complicated the pricing of a Ferrari is. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, and just looking at things from the surface would not paint an honest picture. We take a closer look at all of these factors in more detail below. 

How Much Do Ferraris Cost?

Ferraris cost anywhere from $215,000 to $70 million. This massive range in cost is due to the differences in rarity between different Ferraris. Some models only have a few hundred of them produced, being available at a cost of millions for a single vehicle. Others are even rarer.

There’s a huge financial range where one can acquire a Ferrari, and it begins at the more affordable and common Portofino. However, this model will still cost you over $200,000. Yes, you read that right. As Ferraris go, that’s the entry-level one. The most expensive Ferrari sold was a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, one of which went for around $70 million. 

Ferrari held the record for being the most expensive car ever sold for years. It was only recently broken when a rare 1955 Mercedes was sold by a private collector for over $140 million. The cost of a Ferrari is highly dependent on the history of the vehicle itself, and a lot of these cars were popularized by their circumstance.

Ferrari 250 GTO

The 1963 250 GTO won the 1964 Tour de France and was sold to the CEO of WeatherTech, David MacNeil, a German collector. These cars are more than just cars, like all sports vehicles, they are symbols. The Ferrari GTO series specifically is a symbol of power, status, and wealth. Collectors with a GTO are the elite of the elite and are universally recognized among supercar enthusiasts. 

Because of this, the cost of GTOs will continue to rise. They’re simply not vehicles anymore. To see it as a luxury machine is to miss the point of the purchase. Owning one of these Gran Turismo Omologatos is cementing your status as a multimillionaire or billionaire to others and as a force to be reckoned with. That’s why when people purchase these cars, they’re doing so to make a statement.

Ferrari 275 GTB 1964

A total of 450 of these cars were manufactured, and an even smaller number of them survived today. They have the classic Ferrari look with the long nose and P-shaped body. They also have a Spider series which had maybe a dozen vehicles made in total. These supercars go for millions of dollars each, and the Spider series go for several million. Ferrari is no joke. 

There are also variations of the 275 GTB that are “long nose,” which can be distinguished as a different series. They still retain that Ferrari look, and it’s such a considerable collector’s item that Gooding & Company purchased a long nose for over $3 million in an auction in 2020. It’s hard to treat Ferraris as cars, as they get treated and handled like pieces of art instead. 

Ferrari 360 Modena 2004

The Modena 360 is an ‘entry-level’ Ferrari model for those individuals looking to purchase their first Ferrari. This car is worth nearly $140,000 and is among the most cost-effective models Ferrari has to offer. Despite this, you may assume that maybe the work done on the vehicle is just not as good as the other series, but that’s not the case.

The Modena is just as good as every other modern car that was released at the same time, and in some cases, it’s better. It is an impressive piece of machinery, with an interior and finish that makes the old classics look dull by comparison. It even has the sleek look that most modern supercars have, and it is also popular in media and video games for having that red Ferrari shine.

Why Are Ferraris So Expensive?

Ferraris are so expensive because they keep their cars at a low inventory to increase demand, they’re handmade, and they have rigorous quality control for every car they produce. Among supercar enthusiasts, they’re a status symbol due to their history in racing.

Ferrari has never mass-produced cars. They are very painstakingly made, with lots of quality hurdles, and they don’t make a lot of them. Everything around the car that goes into its pricing is a genius marketing ploy. They’ve leveraged everything they have to earn their reputation.

Other automobile makers make decisions to hike up their vehicles, but they simply cannot compete with the name and legacy of Ferrari. Ferrari’s biggest strength is their racing legacy. They are also renowned for having the most impressive and incredible material quality, with surprising and intense rumors circulating about how they secure their leather and aluminum. 

Low Inventory 

Ferrari keeps the number of its vehicles on the road and in showrooms low. This is a deliberate measure. As a luxury item, having more of them in the market cheapens their value, so they keep their production low. This means that no matter what Ferrari model you have your eyes on, odds are, it’s going to be a part of a rare collection. The only exceptions are some specific models.

With the nature of supercars, there are only 2 kinds of commercial consumers they have. Firstly, the people who wish to brag about owning a supercar and don’t have the means to maintain it long term. Secondly, the people who wish to flaunt and announce their success in life. Ferrari’s limited stock means that the former simply cannot compete, and its niche value skyrockets further.

Quality Control 

The other thing about Ferrari is that their quality assurance and quality control team are ridiculously precise. There are stories of how there are specific breeds of cows that Ferrari looks after, feeds, and cares for, just to use their leather for their vehicle car seats. If the cow is unwell or gets any wear or tear, its leather is not used for the car. That’s how particular they are.

This leather is used in seats, paneling, steering wheels, and gear shifts, so it needs to feel incredible to the touch. Ferrari also uses aluminum despite the industry moving onto carbon fiber, and this makes their vehicles robust, metallic, and a bit heavier. Of course, not everything is made out of aluminum, as steel is also used, but you can rest assured that it will be of the highest quality.

An Investment

Ferrari has a unique trait, being that it’s a collector’s item. This means that even though supercars tend to be a chunk of change that’s just gone forever, you can use it as an investment. Aged Ferraris in good condition have gone for millions even when they were purchased for a tenth of the price initially. People balk at the idea of supercars because of their resale value.

Ferrari doesn’t suffer the same way. Individuals tend to purchase Ferraris even if they’re not fans of cars because they recognize it as an investment. The consumer market for the car is larger than simply supercar enthusiasts, which makes their demand even higher. If your financial situation gives you the means to own a Ferrari, you will have the foresight to utilize it as an investment.

Custom Model

Ferrari has one more thing that modifies and affects the pricing: its custom models. See, one of the things Ferrari does is that it offers buyers the ability to order their own custom-made, one-of-a-kind Ferrari. For enthusiasts who can afford one, they will probably want to get the best of the best if they have the option to. These cars are not easy to get a hold of.

The wait time to get one of these vehicles is close to 5 years, and they can cost millions to get made. After all, it’s a custom Ferrari that is made entirely for you. If that’s not a flex, what is? The custom model access that Ferrari offers makes it even more sought after, and that’s why you hear people throwing around a crazy high price tag whenever one of these vehicles comes up. 

Race History 

Ferrari also has an impressive legacy that other cars simply cannot compete with. They were race cars, and in the 60s, Ferrari was known for making beastly racing monsters. Formula One races all had Ferrari engines, and that fact alone makes Ferrari a luxury among luxuries. There’s even a dedicated Ferrari racing team called the Scuderia Ferrari which competes extensively in these races.

Alfa Romeo is another popular racing car manufacturer that has turned to luxury supercars, but its racing legacy isn’t as famous as Ferrari. They have entered over a thousand races and won almost a quarter of them. Their first win was half a century ago in 1956 when they won the Argentine Grand Prix. Since then, Ferrari has always been a contender for victory in every race they’ve been in.

Symbols Of Status

They’re more than just vehicles, they’re symbols of power and status. It’s one thing to own a supercar, it’s quite another to own a Ferrari. People who purchase these vehicles aren’t the average supercar enthusiast. Because of their pricing, the only people who can afford them are people who are doing ridiculously well for themselves financially. That’s what these vehicles are worth.

These symbols of status cannot compete the same way other things do. When you’re that wealthy and powerful, you surround yourself with items and symbols that show people how well off you are now, and how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are. Everyone understands the implicit meaning of owning a Ferrari, so even those who are not fans of cars will go out of their way to acquire one. 

Are Ferraris Overpriced?

Ferraris can seem overpriced, but the reason for it is their symbolism of power, status, and wealth. If you can afford it, it can absolutely seem to be worth the high price that comes with purchasing a Ferrari. Their high price point is down to the high quality of the car.

Are Ferraris Worth Buying?

Whether Ferraris are worth buying depends on your financial situation and why you want to buy one. If you’re purchasing one for their performance, then your investment will be well placed, as Ferraris are some of the best supercars around, but many of them are also practical cars.

Whether it’s McLaren, Lamborghini, or Mercedes-Benz, none of the other car brands carry the same kind of repute that Ferrari does. Simply by competing against a Ferrari you garner the kind of dignity and respect that people talk of for years to come. Lamborghini, for example, is well known for constantly and regularly competing with Ferrari in races and manufacturing.

Ferrari Outperforms Lamborghini

When it comes to engine power, comfort, and obscene luxury, a layman might think of Lamborghini as the most popular and ideal supercar. Among these vehicles, it has the most iconic of looks, with the sleek, ground-hugging model that all Lamborghini cars have. And yet, Ferrari outperforms it in every single parameter. The engine power, comfort, and obscene luxury are all higher in a Ferrari.

The only thing Lamborghini has over Ferrari is its innovation. They’re always trying new things, always trying to make their cars faster, sleeker, stronger, and lighter. Whatever technology they develop is soon understood and developed by other brands as well, but there’s no doubt that Lamborghini is leading the charge. But their innovative nature does not close the gap between them and Ferrari.

Final Thoughts

Ferraris are so expensive because they are the embodiment of luxury, status, and power, aiming to showcase the immense wealth that goes into the production of the cars. They can seem overpriced, but their racing history makes them one of the best car brands for supercar enthusiasts.