LTM's small farm is completely off the grid. Her family uses solar and alternative power sources for lighting, cooking, animal fencing, etc.
Buying a Ferrari
I would like to buy my husband a Ferrari. Prices must be checked and models explored before making a final decision, but it costs nothing to dream and I'm enjoying the process.
As a family car, it could never compete with a safe 4WD or a convenient 7-seater, but as a gift for a man who has spent decades working hard and ferrying kids around, what could be better than a beautiful red Ferrari?
According to the Ferrari Club Australia, my husband and I live in the country with "just about the highest, per capita, Ferrari ownership in the world."
If that's true, he'd be in good company. So it is time to examine the real cost of owning a Ferrari.
Can I Afford a Ferrari?
I'd need to win or earn a mountain of cash to have enough spare cash to walk into a Ferrari dealership and buy a new model.
I suspect most luxury vehicles, including Ferraris, are purchased with credit.
I'm certain many banks are currently the real owners of Ferraris all over the world. In theory, a bank could also own mine. I'd have to mortgage my house, kiss my savings goodbye, and commit myself to years and years of hard slog as I worked off the debt.
But even if I had the spare cash, would a Ferrari be worth the price?
Would a Ferrari Suit Our Lifestyle?
We love a good road trip. Just getting to the local store is a round trip of about 60km. No traffic lights, no police controlling the roads, and no speed bumps. In theory, a Ferrari would be perfect on uncluttered country roads.
However, we also have no bitumen or tarmac on long stretches of unsealed roads, no bridges to lift us over seasonal flooding, and no warning when we suddenly have to negotiate farm animals being moved from one paddock to another.
I'm sure we wouldn't be the first Ferrari owners to add fertilizer to the garden when we washed our car, but a Ferrari sits low on the road, and I'm a little concerned about the potential for damage to the wax and polish.
Not so Good on the Gravel...
We live on dirt roads peppered with small rocks and gravel. While my husband and I are used to driving on gravel, I have to wonder if any Ferrari would be safe in our area.
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Cheap Fake Ferraris in Spain
Police in Valencia, Spain, recently arrested eight people who were using fibre-glass pieces and faked deluxe model badges to transform ordinary cars into fake Ferraris and Aston Martins.
The converted vehicles were sold online at prices well below the market rate for genuine vehicles.
But even with the huge cost savings, a fake Ferrari would be of little use in my part of the world unless the vehicle they converted was originally a 4WD with plenty of clearance beneath it.
When assessing the real cost of owning a Ferrari, one has to factor in the likely expense associated with regular maintenance and any damage on a day-to-day level.
Given the nature of the drive up to my home out in the Australian bush, the running cost suddenly escalates.
Talent Wasted on Replica Ferraris
Ferraris in Britain
I enjoy watching Britain's Top Gear TV program. It is the only show about cars that I bother to watch. I read recently that the UK is the biggest market for Ferraris in Europe, so I decided to hunt for a Top Gear review.
I'm sure James May says the Ferrari California in this clip is worth 5.6 million pounds. How can that be?
And how can anyone let 5.6 million pounds sit in their garage doing nothing? People are losing their homes and sleeping in their cars all over the world. Britain is not exempt from the global financial crisis.
Many homeless families would consider it a luxury to be living in the comfort of this Ferrari-owner's garage. The car itself wouldn't be much use. Can't imagine getting a good night's sleep in the back seat.
Hmm. I'm thinking I'd need a far more selfish personality to actually be able to splurge even a fraction of that amount on a car.
The dream is losing a lot of its edge.
When Your Loved One Owns a Ferrari
The real cost of a Ferrari extends way beyond the impact on your bank account.
You don't have to look far for photos and footage of Ferraris destroyed in dramatic accidents. Behind the wheel in every crash was a much-loved member of somebody's family.
Is it possible to kiss your partner goodbye and not worry the moment they crank up the engine in such a high-powered machine?
How stressful it must be to know that in an accident, your loved one's Ferrari will offer little protection. There's a good chance that a high-speed crash will cost the driver's life.
What About the Cost to a Driver's Self-Esteem?
Yes, there's no doubt that driving a Ferrari would make anyone feel special. For many people, the cost of a Ferrari is justified by the boost it gives to confidence and self-worth.
I can certainly imagine my husband would be delighted to own and drive a Ferrari—at least for a while.
But in our home, we have a family tradition of having a little prang (that's Aussie slang for a crash!) within days of getting any new car. It generally involves not correctly estimating its height or width when passing the lowest branches on a tree or reversing into a tractor attachment left in an unlikely spot and forgotten in the excitement of taking the new vehicle for a spin.
It's bad enough when that happens to an ordinary car. But imagine the blow to one's self-esteem if you crashed a brand new luxury vehicle...
The Ultimate Embarrassment!
The Real Cost of a Ferrari
The bottom line for me when assessing the real cost of a Ferrari is not just the price paid to the car salesperson. It involves assessing the value of all the other items, goods, and services that could be purchased with that money.
If I could buy a Ferrari and still have enough money left over to help change the world and donate to worthy charities and individuals in need, perhaps I would seriously consider it.
But I'm still not sure the stress of worrying about the cost of damage to the car and, most importantly, to my husband in the event of an accident could ever be justified.
I think we'll just stick with the cars we have and I'll buy him a Ferrari watch instead.
Sometimes life is just too funny. I received a phone call today (8 months after writing this article) from an old friend who lives in Sydney. She ran into an ex-boyfriend of mine. Apparently, he gave her a lift home in his car. Yep, you guessed it. A Ferrari!
I asked her which model but she was too busy laughing to be coherent. She said, "It's red. Does that help?"
Apparently, she took a photo of his Ferrari and will email me a copy. I'm toying with the idea of inviting my ex to visit—just for the fun of road testing a Ferrari on my dirt roads and gravel!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 LongTimeMother