Luxury super cars prove popular as alternative investments, but meticulous maintenance is a must

03 September 2018:Motoring enthusiasts were spoilt for choice at the biggest national motor show of the year – the SA Festival of Motoring– which took place at the Kyalami Circuit from 31 August to 2 September. This motoring extravaganza brings together over 65 000 car lovers, with representation of over 30 auto brands at the event.

Everything from the newest sports cars to vintage super cars, as well as the best in 4x4s, were on display. Visitors also had the opportunity to witness these prestigious luxury motor cars show what they’re made of in action, with a few lucky show-goers even getting the chance to get their adrenalin pumping in a spin around the track.

Christelle Colman, Managing Director of Elite Risk Acceptances, says it’s at events like these that many enthusiasts decide to take their passion to the next level and enter the world of super car investing. “This kind of event is a great opportunity for wealthy South Africans who are considering investing in super cars to experience the various brands and find out, first hand from the manufacturers, what features are best-suited to their preferences.”

According to the 2018 edition of leading wealth intelligence company New World Wealth’s South African Wealth Report, the best-selling luxury car brand sold in South Africa in 2017 was the Porsche. Next up was Ferrari, followed by Bentley, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and then Mclaren.

The most popular sports cars purchased in South Africa during 2017, ranked according to what you can expect to pay for them brand new off the shop floor, were:

  • Rolls Royce Phantom – over R11 million
  • Ferrari F12 Berlinetta – over R5 million
  • Rolls Royce Ghost – over R6 million
  • Ferrari California – over R3.9 million
  • Bentley Continental – over R2.8 million
  • Aston Martin DB11 – over R4.3 million
  • Porsche 911 Turbo – over R2.2 million
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GT – over R1.9 million
  • Porsche 911 Correra 4 – R1.2 million

SUVs were also very popular among high-net-worth South Africans, with the Porsche, once again, leading the pack in the category.  “Driving a new Porsche Cayenne Turbo off the shop floor will set you back a cool R1.5 million,” says Colman.

She adds that owning luxury vehicles is a very personal thing. “For some, it’s a labour of love building a collection, while for others it’s more about the sheer enjoyment of the asset – this type of investor wants to lavish in the fine attention to detail that goes into manufacturing every single one of these cars.

“Then there’s the investor who is always on the lookout for the next hot alternative investment. Whatever your reason for owning a luxury car, it should always be treated with care and you should make sure that it is properly insured. Unlike fine jewellery or art, you can’t lock your super car up in a safe – that’s the role of insurance.”

Gareth Crossley Director at Crossley&Webb motoring investment specialists in Cape Town, says there are many factors for first-time super car buyers to consider. “Maintaining these cars to an optimal standard to ensure the value of your investment is not unnecessarily compromised is very important. Whether you own one super car or 10, whether you drive it or leave it parked in a garage; you have to ensure that you are taking care of your car if you want to get a decent return on your investment – and when you’re paying in excess of R1 million for a car, it’s an investment even if you’re purchasing your super car for no reason other than pure pleasure!”

What to consider when purchasing a super car:

  • Vintage or classic cars (anything over 30 years old) usually appreciate in value over time, while modern super cars tend to depreciate, except for limited editions. That’s why it’s very important to ensure your car is kept in the best possible condition.
  • It’s worth having a thorough annual evaluation done by a knowledgeable professional to ensure your prized motor is in tip-top condition and remains insured for the appropriate value.
  • Maintenance of these cars, in terms of ensuring the bodywork is at a level at which it needs to be to retain value, is important as it’s expensive to correct – so keeping a lookout for corrosion of paint and rust is a must.
  • Find a specialist insurer that has the capacity and knowledge to insure your luxury car at competitive rates.

Crossley adds that it’s more complicated than one would think to maintain and correctly insure a super car. “There is no standard book value for these cars once they’ve been traded, because there aren’t high enough volumes of them being sold in South Africa. So you need to partner with specialists that have the experience to understand the specific requirements in managing, maintaining and insuring these luxury super cars.”