Table of Contents:

CHEAPEST NEW FERRARI YOU CAN BUY TODAY

CHEAPEST USED FERRARIS YOU CAN BUY TODAY

SHOULD YOU BUY A SALVAGE FERRARI?

ARE CHEAP FERRARIS EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN?

ARE CHEAP FERRARIS A GOOD INVESTMENT?

ARE OLD FERRARIS CHEAP?

WHICH MODEL WOULD WE RECOMMEND?

CHEAPEST NEW FERRARI YOU CAN BUY TODAY

THE CHEAPEST NEW FERRARI YOU CAN BUY IS THE FERRARI PORTOFINO, THE ‘ENTRY LEVEL’ MODEL TO MARANELLO’S CURRENT RANGE. THE UK LIST PRICE IS £164,480 (AROUND $206,000). 

A Grand Tourer in traditional Ferrari style, the Portofino replaced the California. With a 3.9litre twin-turbocharged engine mounted in the middle, it’s been praised for its excellent handling and performance, reaching the magic 62mph in 3.5 seconds and boasting a top speed of 199mph (320km/h).

 

If you want a two-seat Ferrari – and one has to be the ultimate aim for any Ferrari lover – the Ferrari F8 Tributo is listed at £203,476 (around $255,000). The replacement for the venerable 488GTB, the F8 Tributo is a Ferrari that will surely set the standards for future models, with a 211mph (340km/h) top speed and reaching 62mph in just 2.9 seconds. It’s also very beautiful. Bear in mind the quoted prices are list and before you add any extras.

CHEAPEST USED FERRARIS YOU CAN BUY TODAY

THE CHEAPEST USED FERRARI YOU CAN BUY IS THE MONDIAL, AND MADE ITS DEBUT IN 1980. PRICES START AT AROUND £25,000 ($30,000), BUT SUFFERS THE STIGMA OF BEING THAT ERA’S ENTRY LEVEL MODEL, WITH EARLY MODELS BEING UNDERPOWERED.

Criticised for its lacklustre performance, the Mondial in all forms is powered by one of the most revered engines of all time, the magnificent V8 3-litre that had debuted in the 308GT4 back in 1974. Ferrari continued to build the Mondial in various forms – including a rather neat convertible – until the model was withdrawn in 1993.

Brand snobbery means the Ferrari Mondial is looked down upon as the ‘poor man’s Ferrari’. We don’t think that’s fair. The design, viewed as rather staid at the time, has aged well and the drophead in particular looks every bit a Ferrari. It may not be the fastest Ferrari – the original Mondial took 8.2seconds to reach 62mph, an age for a Ferrari – but it earned accolades galore from the motoring press for its finely balanced handling.

It is, then, a much better car than its given credit for. Looking around, we found a 1988 Mondial 3.2 – that’s the best iteration of the engine to have – for a shade less than £29,000. Sold fully serviced, it is described as being in good condition and has done 62000km. That’s a very good price as you should expect to pay around £35,000 ($44,000) for a decent usable example, and add around 15% more for the convertible. The best advice we can give is spend the most you can afford, and always look for a full-service history.

SHOULD YOU BUY A SALVAGE FERRARI?

NO, IS THE SHORT ANSWER TO THE QUESTION. YET, THERE’S MORE TO CONSIDER. UNLESS YOU HAVE VERY DEEP POCKETS, BUYING A SALVAGE FERRARI IS NOT GOING TO BE A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE. IF YOU DO HAVE VERY DEEP POCKETS, AND KNOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO PUT THE CAR RIGHT, THERE ARE SOME BARGAINS TO BE HAD.

For example, this 2012 Ferrari FF. For sale at auction with US salvage specialists Copart, the car is described as having ‘miscellaneous damage and missing parts’. Bidding stands at $51,000 (approx. £42k) and it is likely to be sold by the time you read this but is a good example.

Should you buy a similar salvage Ferrari? We would expect a good, full-service history Ferrari FF of this vintage to sell for around £130,000 in the UK, or $165,000. Depending on the damage that needs repairing, our $51k example is looking like a bargain. But beware: a Ferrari is a complex beast and needs specialist knowledge to work on. Why buy salvage when, as we have shown above, you can buy a good, usable, serviced Ferrari Mondial 8 for even less than this? The choice is yours.

ARE CHEAP FERRARIS EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN?

AN OIL CHANGE FOR A FERRARI 355 – ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR OF MARANELLO’S MODELS – WILL COST YOU AROUND $1100 (APPROX. £880). FOR A FERRARI 430, IT’S ABOUT $500 (£400). 

That’s just two examples, and that’s just for an oil change. An oil change needs to be carried out every 5000miles, or annually, whichever comes soonest. 

Let’s have a look at servicing costs for these models. We found a UK specialist offering a full service for Ferrari 430 for £925 (around $1150). For a Ferrari 355, the cost would be a few pounds or dollars less. That looks pretty good on paper, yes? 

One owner at a Ferrari forum calculated the cost of owning a Ferrari F430, driven 4000km a year and over 5 years, at $84,000 (£67,000). This included parts that needed replacing across the years, on a car he paid $130,000 for. His figures include $50k for depreciation, so the total running costs of a Ferrari F430 amount to $34,000 or $6800 (£5400) per year. 

Are these figures believable? Find a reputable independent Ferrari specialist and check them out. Also, research the models you are interested in as some are considerably more expensive to maintain than others. Many people run Ferrari’s as classic or second cars, and if planned and budgeted carefully it is entirely possible.

ARE CHEAP FERRARIS A GOOD INVESTMENT?

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A FAST BUCK, A CHEAP FERRARI IS NOT THE WAY TO GO. IF, HOWEVER, YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMT OF OWNING A FERRARI, CAN AFFORD THE MAINTENANCE COSTS WE’VE DISCUSSED, AND HAVE A BIT SET ASIDE FOR ANY UNEXPECTED EXPENSES THAT MIGHT JUMP OUT AT YOU, THEN WHY NOT GO FOR IT?

This depends on what you expect to get for your investment. Let’s simplify things: if you’re looking for a ‘cheap’ Ferrari it’s going to be a Mondial, an F355, or an F430, as these are the models that are at the affordable end of Ferraris. The days when a Ferrari 308GT4 Dino could be found for a few thousand pounds – after all, they are not ‘real’ Ferraris in the eyes of some – are long gone. The problem with investing in, say, an F430 is that it is not going to rise in value rapidly. 

The plus side is that they are not going to get any cheaper. The money you lose in maintenance over the years might be recouped in ten years’ time. But it might not. We don’t have that crystal ball that sees into the future. In short, don’t buy a cheap Ferrari expecting financial returns, buy one to drive and enjoy.

ARE OLD FERRARIS CHEAP?

Put simply, no. Go back beyond the Ferrari Mondial – the base model we opened this article with – into the 1970’s, and you won’t find such thing as a cheap Ferrari. Remember the Ferrari 308/328 GTS, the Targa-top model driven by TV detective Magnum? You’ll pay at least £70,000 ($88,000) for a usable one, and much more for an example with a long service history, which is essential on a car that is more than 40 years old. 

Go even further back and you’re in Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona territory, and even the lesser models of that era will cost you well into six figures in dollars or sterling. You need a large surplus of ready money to buy, own and maintain any Ferrari older than the Mondial.

WHICH MODEL WOULD WE RECOMMEND?

As mentioned, the cheapest new Ferrari is the Portofino. Make no mistake this is not a car made on a budget you as an owner you will get 100% of the Ferrari experience. The car will not disappoint.

If a new car is out of price range, then consider cars in the back catalogue. The Ferrari 360 Modena is a great example, and is available for around £50,000 ($65,000). The cars are modern, reliable, has good electrics, and can still out-perform most modern sports cars. Prices are creeping up too which is always handy when you come to sell it. 

If you really want a Ferrari – and who doesn’t – and you have the money available for the sort of models we’ve been talking about here, we say ignore the brand snobbery and look for a very good, well-maintained and fully serviced Mondial. Preferably one with the later 3.2litre engine, and a cabriolet if possible. 

These cars are finally becoming recognised as being much better than they were given credit for at the time, and if you are careful, are the easiest way into Ferrari ownership. As we said, they may not be about to rise in value in any notable fashion, but they’re not going to get cheaper either.