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As I am about to set off in the F40 on a 1000km plus journey, one question that comes to mind is when does "low mileage" cease to be a significant factor in determining the value of any individual Ferrari. Is it 25 years, 30 years, 40 years, never ?

For F40s and F50s, mileage seems to be one of the 1st question buyers ask when searching for cars. On Daytonas mileage seems to be near irrelevant, on 365/512 BBs interesting but not a driver of price, but on TRs still quite important. On Ferraris from the early 60s it is rarely mentioned. At the opposite end, low mileage drives the value on 550s/360s/430s.

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I think the determining factor in this is the age of the model, and the type of car it is.

Supercars are very sensitive to mileage because of varying contributing factors that keep mileage down for most owners:

1. A lot of owners are incapable of driving one without connecting it sooner or later with a solid object in a car-unfriendly manner. A lot of them are smart enough to know this and therefore don't drive the cars very often, nor very far.
2. A lot of the value around these cars has been driven up and down by speculators. They buy the car with an interest in making money on it, and consequently they are not interested in driving it at all. The lower the mileage, the higher the value (for most people), so not driving it seems a smart thing to do.
3. Age. The supercar era is relatively young and there is still, although every year a little less so, on average a direct relationship between mileage driven and condition of the car. This makes the cars more attractive for naive buyers with a lot of money. When the car is older, they don't feel they have the knowledge to ensure they're making a good buy. So they buy a younger model with low mileage, even though it may be in poor driving condition.

For non-supercar models that are relatively recent, a similar principle applies. Low-mileage = high worth. This is because people who buy, say, a 550 for $100k want to imagine they've got the status and buying power of someone who bought it new for $250k. The newer it looks (i.e. the lower the mileage), the more real the illusion is. Also, if they plan to resell, it is easier if the car had lower mileage to begin with. What you've added is then not such an issue. For me, this was important. I didn't want the car to have much more than 20,000 kms on as I planned to do quite a few myself. The one I bought had 23k but was in great condition so I wasn't worried.

On older models this does not matter so much any more. Quite often it is impossible to tell how far the car has really travelled, anyway, so it is better to focus on the actual condition of the car.

So, in short, I think the rule of thumb is - the closer the date of manufacturing is to today, the more important the mileage.


Onno



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Good rule of thumb!
Agree with Onno, except for the 'illusion of buying new' part. Maybe it's true for some particular individuals but no some many they can drive prices. And can't image they are struck with the F-virus..But maybe I'm just naive.


The resell value is the best argument, more milage is percieved as higher risk (damage, bad maintance, etc etc )..and that perception drives demand and therefor the prices.

For classics I agree, this perception is lost somewhere down the timeline and the condition of the car is the most important. Most are restored at that time and sometimes they're even better then they left the factory (and sometimes the restauration did more damage than good)
 

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I've always gone with 25 years as when mileage is no longer as much of a consideration as condition and maintenance. But that might be quite generous. We all know that Ferraris like to be driven so may have more problems on an older car with lower miles than one with higher miles and a good maintenance record.

But your question Boxer, leads into the question of what exactly is considered high mileage on a Ferrari? If you are looking at a 10 year old Chevy, Honda or even Mercedes with well over 100k miles on it you wouldn't give it a second thought as long as the car was in good condition, but we've often heard people consider a 25 year old 308 with 75k miles a high mileage car. What is high mileage on a Ferrari?
 

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Having owned a low mileage Ferrari, 20000 miles on a Jan 1990 car, I was worried about driving it in case I put too many miles on it and devalued it. Therefore I only added 2000 miles in two years.

If I had put another 4000 miles on my 328 during the last 2 years would it have been worth considerably less than I sold it for? Perhaps £500 - £1000 maximum. To me it would have been worth losing another £1000 to have had another 4000 miles worth of fun whilst it was in my custody.

In hindsight, if I ever own another Ferrari, I won't be afraid to use it and put miles on it next time. My experience has taught me that you are only here once and should live your life to the full without regrets as you never know when your assets or life will be taken from you.


Next time ........
 

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Mileage isn't that big of a deal to me, as long as it passes a PPI I would pay what it is worth. Not just exotics, but on the normal car market as well, I sometimes am a bit cautious of buying cars WITH low miles, always thinking "This looks like a nice/reliable/great car, why is the owner getting rid of it? What could be wrong that s/he doesn't want it?" My inner worrisome always trips when I come across a newer car with low miles that is second hand. However on cars that are 10+ years old I can see it more as "they just didn't drive it much." And then I might be willing to pay a little bit more...It is those nearly new cars that bug me.
 

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In hindsight, if I ever own another Ferrari, I won't be afraid to use it and put miles on it next time. My experience has taught me that you are only here once and should live your life to the full without regrets as you never know when your assets or life will be taken from you.
Next time ........
Archie, Amen to that my brother!!!
Boxer, don't worry about mileage. We all know that any car you own will be fully maintained to factory specs or better no matter what it says on the clock. Besides, you didn't buy it for the future owner to enjoy did you?
 

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Knowing that I bought my car for my enjoyment changes my perspective. I've been in love with the 348 since I first laid eyes on it. That will never change. Knowing that I will never sell it helps to define the way I enjoy it today. Resale value's mean nothing when its your love, your dream, and your soul mate. On the other hand, I'm sure assigned executors to my estate are very concerned about resale values.
 

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Agree with Saint Bastage

I fully agree. I did not buy a Ferrari as an investment but as a toy.
What fun are toys if they stay on the shelf?

I cannot state that I will never sell my "new" toy but I can say that I plan to enjoy the var as long as I own her. She will be driven and fully taken care of. To me these go hand in hand - the cars were meant to be driven and to be certain that they are always drivable, they need the TLC as required.

My insurance will allow 12000 km / yr. I am thinking that I will probably do 8-10,000 km. As the car is 19 yrs old with only 20 000 miles ( well it will pass that mark this weekend ) this is a lot relative to what has been done in the past. So I will double in about 4 yrs what the previous owners did in 20 and it will still have a low mileage compared to its age. I do appreciate the previous owners keeping the miles low!

Just my thoughts.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Archie, Amen to that my brother!!!
Boxer, don't worry about mileage. We all know that any car you own will be fully maintained to factory specs or better no matter what it says on the clock. Besides, you didn't buy it for the future owner to enjoy did you?
Personally mileage has never been a big deal. In my book it is condition that counts.

Agree though, 25 years seems to be the turning point where it becomes much less relevant.
 

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I have had the pleasure of owning two Ferraris and interestingly for the purposes of this discussion, two of the same model and year. The first I had was 1981 308 GTSi with 55,000km on the clock and the second a 1981 308 GTSi with 105,000 km on the clock.

The first car was much cleaner cosmetically than my current car but I can say with certainty that my current car is much more rewarding to drive and has been much more reliable than the lower mileage car.

I also really don't mind putting mileage on the car whereas in the other car I constantly had putting too much mileage on the car.

My 2c.
 

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I'd drive it Boxer. Pack up my stuff, check the tire pressure, fill the tank and blast off!

I might take mine for a little grand touring blasting down some serious roads this weekend (with the car's own suitcases :cool: ) but as usual, the place to stay at has to have a proper garage...:(

The other day I checked out a 96 550 for a friend, the thing had over 60tkm, it looked very good, but when starting it from cold, I noticed it doesn't seem to come alive like mine does. We all know these wonders do deteriorate with time and use. Likely in need of some painful diagnosis (some vacuum pipe could be cracked somewhere, or worse).

So I'm confident that I am losing resale value every day on this car, but so what can I do about it?

Now a crazy car like yours, I probably still would run it for a good trip with some proper logistic planning... But come to think of it, you don't have air conditioning do you?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd drive it Boxer. Pack up my stuff, check the tire pressure, fill the tank and blast off!

The other day I checked out a 96 550 for a friend, the thing had over 60tkm, it looked very good, but when starting it from cold, I noticed it doesn't seem to come alive like mine does. We all know these wonders do deteriorate with time and use. Likely in need of some painful diagnosis (some vacuum pipe could be cracked somewhere, or worse).

So I'm confident that I am losing resale value every day on this car, but so what can I do about it?

Now a crazy car like yours, I probably still would run it for a good trip with some proper logistic planning... But come to think of it, you don't have air conditioning do you?
Drive and smile. The secret to a successful Ferrari ownership experience.

On the 550, the early cars are know to have a few issues. My guess is that the one you looked at had been sitting for quite a while.

On the F40 AC, technically it does have AC. Mine needs a recharge at this point. Not a rush item as I hardly ever used it.
 

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I think the determining factor in this is the age of the model, and the type of car it is.

Supercars are very sensitive to mileage because of varying contributing factors that keep mileage down for most owners:

1. A lot of owners are incapable of driving one without connecting it sooner or later with a solid object in a car-unfriendly manner. A lot of them are smart enough to know this and therefore don't drive the cars very often, nor very far.
2. A lot of the value around these cars has been driven up and down by speculators. They buy the car with an interest in making money on it, and consequently they are not interested in driving it at all. The lower the mileage, the higher the value (for most people), so not driving it seems a smart thing to do.
3. Age. The supercar era is relatively young and there is still, although every year a little less so, on average a direct relationship between mileage driven and condition of the car. This makes the cars more attractive for naive buyers with a lot of money. When the car is older, they don't feel they have the knowledge to ensure they're making a good buy. So they buy a younger model with low mileage, even though it may be in poor driving condition.

For non-supercar models that are relatively recent, a similar principle applies. Low-mileage = high worth. This is because people who buy, say, a 550 for $100k want to imagine they've got the status and buying power of someone who bought it new for $250k. The newer it looks (i.e. the lower the mileage), the more real the illusion is. Also, if they plan to resell, it is easier if the car had lower mileage to begin with. What you've added is then not such an issue. For me, this was important. I didn't want the car to have much more than 20,000 kms on as I planned to do quite a few myself. The one I bought had 23k but was in great condition so I wasn't worried.

On older models this does not matter so much any more. Quite often it is impossible to tell how far the car has really travelled, anyway, so it is better to focus on the actual condition of the car.

So, in short, I think the rule of thumb is - the closer the date of manufacturing is to today, the more important the mileage.


Onno
Dear Comrade JazzyO,

I thought this was a quite excellent post and rationalised many aspects of mileage. However, one thing that was not mentioned is how reliable is the mileage indicated upon the odometer? Is it true? Has it been tampered with? And if so, on how many occasions?

Logic should dictate our purchasing decisions and therefore we should make our decisions on our perception of the cars that we view i.e. We should first look at the condition. When we have done that we should again look at the condition. Finally, we should closely examine the condition. But we don't. We look at the mileage. Then we look at the mileage. And then finally, we examine the mileage yet again. . . . . . . . . Mileage, mileage, mileage ad nauseam. And yet, time and and again I have examined motor cars (I am no expert) but somehow the mileage just does not accord with my perceptions of the vehicle. The steering wheel may look too shiny and a hundred and one minute details that in isolation mean nothing at all, but the aggregate of which indicates to me that in all likelihood the mileage has had an 'haircut' . . . . I understand this is what the trade call it.

But of course it is an eternal dilemma. Archiegibbs has it spot on . . . . I call it 'smileage'. We must therefore enjoy our motor cars and enjoy every smile that we cover and when we eventually cover a great smileage we can sit back on our laurels and smile about it!

All the foregoing notwithstanding, and it cannot be denied, that mileage is a hugely important aspect in a prospective purchasers decision making and with Ferrari seemingly overrides almost everything else. Such, that if a motor car is perceived to have a moderately high mileage they may not even travel to view it. And so, mileage becomes a wicked depreciator. And yet, I can well imagine that the five litre flat twelve cylinder in the iconoclastic 512TR behemothic thaumaturgical road burning tyre shredding dream machine could cover two hundred thousand miles with consumate ease. How we assuage this aspect of Ferrari ownership I really do not know. But I do think that JazzyO summed it up very succinctly indeed. Bravo JazzyO!

With kind regards,

Vulcan
 

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512TR behemothic thaumaturgical road burning tyre shredding dream machine

But I do think that JazzyO summed it up very succinctly indeed. Bravo JazzyO!

With kind regards,

Vulcan
I agree, bravo for Onno.

Also I like your type indication for the 512TR. Is it possible dear comrade Vulcon, you share some thoughts about the correct type indications for, let's say the F40, 355 and 550?

I suggest Ferrari should use this new method of naming their cars instead of boring numbers:D
 

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Hi guys,

this was a very interesting thread and having had the pleasure of following Boxer's F50 through the streets of London I think Vulcan coined "smileage".

Me, the wife and the two kids were smiling so much it hurt, if it made us smile so much I only hope you brush your teeth everytime you go out in all your wonderful cars.

Please Drive and thanks so much for sharing you made our day!

Oh I think this is my first post - so Hello all.

kindest regards Aamir.
 

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I agree, bravo for Onno.

Also I like your type indication for the 512TR. Is it possible dear comrade Vulcon, you share some thoughts about the correct type indications for, let's say the F40, 355 and 550?

I suggest Ferrari should use this new method of naming their cars instead of boring numbers:D

I agree, Comrade Vulcan F-40 should be in charge of Ferrari's model naming department. California, it's not very original is it.
 

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I agree, bravo for Onno.

Also I like your type indication for the 512TR. Is it possible dear comrade Vulcon, you share some thoughts about the correct type indications for, let's say the F40, 355 and 550?

I suggest Ferrari should use this new method of naming their cars instead of boring numbers:D
Dear Comrade Louis,

As requested I list below the correct nomenclature for the F-40, F355, and 550:

F-40: Indomitably acharnemental fire-spitting leviathonic machiavelian pyrophoric tarmac shredding roadway tyrant

355: Quintessentially contumacious evangelistical road-splittiing fire snorting
corner-cutting oligarchical highway-brawler

550: Apotheosistical recusant continent shrinking twelve cylinder velvet-gloved road crusading fire-breathing highway 'green' machine (with compliments to Jonathan Tremlett).

With kind regards,

Vulcan
 

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Per Comrade Vulcan's comment about the reliability of the mileage indicated on the odometer, I know from experience that the 308 odometer is extremely unreliable and should not be used as a gauge to judge the overall condition of the car. The impulse generator is in a poor spot that lends to common failure and if someone were to want to deceptively lower the mileage it is a very simple task just to unplug it.

As for the naming, well maybe they should come out with some different names rather than the numbers. Maybe they could have a model called the "Downeaster" a 12 cylinder front engine model stirring up thoughts of the old tea clippers racing back to America from China with their precious cargo of tea and trying to be the first to round the horn and get back to port ahead of everyone else and maximize profits.

Or the Enzo, no disrespect to a motoring legend, but why don't they just call that model the "Batmobile". Paint it flat black and that's what it looks like. Call it what it is.
 

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Per Comrade Vulcan's comment about the reliability of the mileage indicated on the odometer, I know from experience that the 308 odometer is extremely unreliable and should not be used as a gauge to judge the overall condition of the car. The impulse generator is in a poor spot that lends to common failure and if someone were to want to deceptively lower the mileage it is a very simple task just to unplug it.

As for the naming, well maybe they should come out with some different names rather than the numbers. Maybe they could have a model called the "Downeaster" a 12 cylinder front engine model stirring up thoughts of the old tea clippers racing back to America from China with their precious cargo of tea and trying to be the first to round the horn and get back to port ahead of everyone else and maximize profits.

Or the Enzo, no disrespect to a motoring legend, but why don't they just call that model the "Batmobile". Paint it flat black and that's what it looks like. Call it what it is.
Dear Comrade Pete 04222,

My understanding is that the full and correct nomenclature of that ghastly contrivance known to us all as the 'Enzo' is as follows: 'Enzo Ferrari Enzo' . . . . . . . . . All this notwithstanding, to name it after the August Mr Enzo Ferrari is akin to selling the family silver. And would Mr. Ferrari have condoned it, for myself, I do not think that he would.

With kind regards,

Vulcan
 
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