Ferrari Life Forum banner

HELP!! Buying a used Ferrari

7066 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Boxer
I finally am looking at ferrari and found one, I am looking at a '96 355 for £40,000, i would like to know if anyone has one for an everyday car, I usually do about 12k a year, is this somethign that I do its not for commuting just going to and from places etc?

Do the cambelts get changed every 3 years on this model as well, I am desperatly in need of information or links as to what to do.

Your thoughts and opinions are appreciated.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Welcome to the site. That is a pretty good price for a F355. You could use it as an everyday driver but I wouldn't recommend 12k miles a year on that car. You will have to service it often.

PS: I moved the topic here so it will be viewed more.
Welcome to the site! I will tell you what I've learned about Ferraris. First you need to drive them! The worst car you can find is a LOW mileage Ferrari. I also am a member of the Ferrari List ( which is really just an email tree. What I’ve found here are some very proud owners who will defend their models to the dire end. You’ll get a little less cheerleading on the list.

The second thing I’ve found is of all the Ferraris out there the 355 is pretty close to Bullet Proof. There is a consistent problem of the “overheating” cat on the right bank of the exhaust that shuts down that side of the engine. This, to me, seems to be a problem with the electric connectors. Other than that, it’s a car. Drive the thing! You’ll wind up with more maintenance if you let it sit than if you drive it. Even Enzo Ferrari himself stated this. I personally think 12k a year isn’t too much. Your maintenance intervals will come a little sooner but look at it this way. If you’re driving the car say 10,000 kilometers a year you’ll be replacing the belts every 30k or in 3 years. If you’re only going to drive the car 3,000 miles a year you’ll be replacing the belts in 5 years. “But, 5 years only calculates to 15,000 miles.” You say. True, but, rubber that’s not being used (flexed and all) gets old fast and 5 years seems to be the time most people say they should be replaced.

Look for a car that’s been driven and has only been fed Synthetic oil and replaced every 3,000 miles. Mobil 1 is my recommendation. Synthetic oil reduces wear on parts far better than standard oil. Reduced wear means your engine is going to last a lot longer. If the car has had proper maintenance you shouldn’t have a problem. I don't see any reason these cars shouldn't have to have a rebuild untill 150,000 to 200,000 miles.

To me the perfect number to look for on a car your going to buy is 3,000 miles a year. It’s enough mileage to keep all of the rubber and bearings in good working condition and low enough to keep a good resale value should you decide to sell it a couple of years down the line.

Having said that, if I had to choose between a 1998 with 18,000 miles and intermittent maintenance records and one that had 40,000 with full documentation, I’d go with the 40,000 fully documented car. Someone who’s anal with their paper work is going to tend be as anal with the way they drive and tend for the car.
See less See more
Hi Vireshs

welcome to the forum!

There is no reason why a 355 shouldn't be used as a daily driver or why you shouldn't clock up as many miles as you like each year.

However ..... you have to consider various things, for example:

1. You are in the UK? I am very cautious where I leave my car (348 Spider) as I know that sadly there are people that would scratch it out of jealousy.

2. The resale value will be seriously affected by clocking up a mileage that would be considered "normal" for a "regular car" like a BMW 3 series etc. My car is 10 years old with 25k on the clock and I am insured for 1500 miles per year.

3. Servicing isn't cheap and the cambelts on mine should be done every 3 years which is an engine out job, I think the 355 is the same. If you do big mileage then you would need the belts doing more often than that.

I think it all boils down to your budget at the end of the day. If you don't mind the expense of servicing and the resale value going rapidly downhill then go ahead and drive it as much as possible - I know 2 people that do just that, one has a 355 Spider and the other a new 575.

Most ferrari owners have a different car(s) as a daily driver and use their "toy" as a treat which they can take out on sunny days and indulge in now and again.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your first ferrari experience!

See less See more
WOW.. a forum where people reply, thanks for moving it to the correct forum.

I want to get one but it will only be the one car I get, and needs to be used as an A to B car more than commuting and I average about 10-12k a year.

Also it will not be garaged so am being made to think now that it might not be such a good idea.. but the area is pretty safe and whenever i seen a ferrari i never wanted to do anything to it, just admire it. and hope that the rest of the world will be the same, but I am of the opinion if something is gonna happen then it surely will.

How much would servicing cost if i used it regularly and averaged 10k for instance a year as I could get the bus everywhere else, and I think when i get it then the last thing I am gonna do is leave it out there and not drive it.. the temptation i am sure will be too great.

Does anyone use it as often as I would intend to or am I better off going for a porsche? or save till i can afford the high maintenance?

I live in UK.


See less See more
The '96 F355 would be a great choice for you. I had one before and it was trouble-free, relatively. The oxygen sensor of the Cat was the only troublesome thing. Apart from the normal service and cam-belt change, my maintainace bill was reasonable.

Servicing isn't cheap and the cambelts on mine should be done every 3 years which is an engine out job, I think the 355 is the same. If you do big mileage then you would need the belts doing more often than that.
The 3-year change is a factory recommendation. I've read in Forza magazine that some US owners change theirs 4 or sometimes even 5 years. But if you use it everyday then the 3-year interval should be the practice.

The most enjoyable as well as frustrating times will be searching for the "perfect" car. :lol:
Hi Vireshs!

Just to add to what the other guys have said - I'd be immediately concerned about a 355 that was on £40k - that's way less than antything else on the market at the moment - even for a 1996. A decent early 355 is invariably going to start at around the £50k mark - even wearing a fair amount of mileage.

Is it a private sale? Do you have some more details?
Vireshs, I have a 95 355 GTS and put about 8,000 km a year on it. I change the oil every 6 months and have it serviced on schedule. Never had a major problem and it has been more reliable than the last BMW and Porsche 993 I had. Also a lot more fun to drive.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.