Buying a Lamborghini?
The unique position that Lamborghini occupies in today’s crowded supercar stratosphere owes its origins to the psyche of its inimitable founder. Ferrucio Lamborghini, a wealthy self-made post-war industrialist, was motivated to create Automobili Lamborghini in 1963 in part due to his personal distaste for the apparent elitism of the sports car establishment, most notably at Ferrari.
Ferruccio set out to build a brand that would max out on romance and performance without the preclusive contexts of motorsport, of old money and the ‘in crowd’, and it turned out to be a very good idea. Lamborghini championed lifestyle, luxury and just making a statement, and with it came a devoted clientele of international arrivistes for whom there was no better calling card than an Italian V12 sports car with a bull on the bonnet instead of a horse.
Lamborghini’s evolution since has been remarkably slow by contemporary standards, its company history chequered by bankruptcies and buyouts. From the Miura to the Countach, from Diablo to Aventador, the process of hand-building low volume, high performance mid-engine supercars has been repeated ad nauseum for over half a century with scant regard for the changeable tastes and pressures of the automotive industry. Exotic to the point of outrage, however, the 12-cylinder mid-engine supercar was and remains a winning formula for enough people to keep the lights on. Just.
Now part of the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini has grown into a global lifestyle phenomenon, its products consciously oriented towards a younger and even more affluent demographic. While the classic offerings of its modest back catalogue are now a highly specialised area for serious collectors, the high-tech, turnkey 21st Century fair provides exactly what Ferrucio set out for all those years ago: accessible and unparalleled theatre. To this day, whether from behind the wheel or merely admiring from afar, there is nothing quite like a Lamborghini.
Lamborghini is one of those manufacturers with a miniscule product range, around which its designers, engineers and marketing gurus riff to make a little go a long way. Both Aventador and Huracán models are sold as Coupé and Roadster, bolstered by high-performance variants and limited edition runs alongside a consistent stream of one-offs for the exceptionally well-heeled collectors.
The flagship Aventador LP770-4 SVJ, with its 6.5-litre V12, makes a sizeable 770PS, delivered to the tarmac via a cutting-edge active all-wheel drive system and harnessed on the go by the advent of active aerodynamics.
The more affordable Huracán, now in its sixth year of production and recently facelifted as the ‘Evo’, is widely hailed as one of the best supercars on the market, its Performante range, from which the Evo borrows numerous upgrades, a one-time record holder around the Nürburgring’s infamous Nordschleife.
A recent addition to the Sant’Agata stable is the Urus, Lamborghini’s first SUV since the LM002 or ‘Rambo Lambo’ that briefly upset the applecart back in the Eighties. Expensive, quick and as desirable as it gets in the SUV class, the Urus serves to underline not only Lamborghini’s intent to grow as an international luxury brand, but also the grim realities of selling high-end sports cars in the 21st Century. As far removed from the performance principles of low weight and agility as they invariably are, SUVs are big business and Lamborghini was bound to dip a toe.
Why buy a Lamborghini?
Any modern Lamborghini is a statement piece, and not always the easiest one to wear. Wide, unwieldy, with poor rearwards visibility and little storage space, these are not cars in which to undertake a daily commute. Nor are they even particularly well suited to a weekend away.
A Lamborghini is an experience, a unique and unforgettable one that makes little sense on paper and perfect sense in reality. These are cars created solely for the selfish satisfaction of driving, and will turn the most rudimentary journey into a life affirming event. If you do not want to be noticed everywhere you go, or heard five minutes before you even arrive, a Lamborghini probably isn’t for you. But if you can carry off scissor doors and the heart-stopping howl of a naturally aspirated V12, these are cars without parallel today.
The older cars, from Countach backwards, are even tougher to live with, their hit-and-miss build quality, dreadful ergonomics and eye-watering maintenance costs a constant reminder that for all the captivating beauty and intoxicating soundtrack, any vintage hand-built Italian sports cars is exactly as tricky as you were brought up to believe.
What to buy?
Since the arrival of Volkswagen, the Lamborghini stable has increased both in size and, of course, quality. Built in larger numbers, to tighter tolerances and with tried and tested onboard tech, a second-hand Gallardo, for example, should not present the potential headaches of an earlier car such as a Countach or Diablo. Far easier to live with and maintain, these newer cars are also comparative bargains today. A sensible mileage Gallardo can be picked up for under £60,000, a figure that looks unlikely to get much smaller in the next few years.
Classic Lamborghinis have witnessed a significant spike in values in the last decade, with the coveted Miura now a multi-million-pound prospect. Even the more attainable Countach has witnessed healthy increases in recent years, and despite almost 2,000 being built, the best are a cool half million today. Less coveted cars like the Urraco and Jalpa can still be picked up for comparatively little money, but are unlikely to see any significant jump in value now. The smart money is on the much more useable Diablo, either really early rear drive models or the later SV, which are finding favour once again as Lambo’s last truly analogue drivers’ cars.
How much to spend?
With relative scarcity and desirability on their side, Aventadors and Huracans are holding their values fairly well, while the right Murcielago, a low mileage SV for example, can be worth more now than it was new. Somewhere between £60,000 and £100,000 for a Gallardo, however, is the entry point into Lambo ownership these days and at that, is something of a bargain.
At the ritzier end of the classic spectrum, a Miura P400 will set you back a cool million, while the more sought-after SV is comfortably twice as much. Finding its feet at last as the children of the Eighties come of age, a decent Countach is now well past the quarter mil mark, while the Nineties Diablo, coming back into fashion, is still more like half that.
Buying on a budget
There is no such thing as a cheap Lamborghini anymore, and even when you could pick up a Jalpa or Urraco for small beer, you’d almost certainly pay a penance in repairs and maintenance ever after. The best value Lambo today is the aforementioned Gallardo, the first Bolognese export produced wholly under the auspices of VW. It’s not the most dramatic or exciting of the breed, but it’s the one likely to cause you the least trouble for the smallest initial outlay.
how to finance a lamborghini?
There are a variety of finance options you can take advantage of to see you behind the wheel of a new or used Lamborghini.
Hire purchase allows you to pay for your car in monthly instalments with the option to buy outright at the end of a fixed term contract. You also get lease purchase agreements that let you make regular payments, similar to a hire purchase agreement, but whit lower monthlies due to a final ‘balloon payment’, usually paid at the end of the term.
The classic car market relies heavily on auctions and these can be a good hunting ground for an older Lamborghini whose value is harder to determine. With independent finance specialist, like JBR Capital you can access pre-approve funds that enable you to bid with confidence up to an agreed value during the auction. If your bid is successful, the auction funds will be immediately available.
Should you wish to make a purchase without selling the car you already have, equity release is a great option to allow you to borrow against the value of your existing car collection.
|OUR FINANCE EXAMPLE|
|Total amount of credit||£162,000|
|Total charge for credit||£34,787|
|48 monthly payments of||£2,212|
|Final balloon payment||£90,000|
|Total amount payable||£214,787|
|Fixed rate of interest per annum||6.58%|
|Duration of agreement||49 months|
Buying as an investment
Values of older Lamborghinis are currently very high and while there will always be demand for the likes of the Miura and Countach, it’s easier to imagine the bubble bursting than lofty profits being turned in short order today.
But this doesn’t mean that the right collectible Lamborghini isn’t a reasonably astute place to put your money, with the understanding that this is a long game rather than a quick turnaround.
Limited edition and performance-oriented models such as the Gallardo Superleggera have yet to fully realise their value, as have the Diablos, which although cheap at the price right now, are finally being recognised by the cognoscenti as some the last great old-world supercars.
Things to consider:
1. Can you afford it?
With an Aventador SVJ passing £350,000 list price, Lamborghini ownership is not for the faint-hearted. It is very possible to find your way into a used car for less, however, although this level of supercar tends to change hands with some frequency without any meaningful depreciation for the first few years. The classic market is less forgiving still, with prices high and apparently still rising in some quarters. There are certainly no steals out there anymore, and, if anything prices, should level off or even adjust downwards in the next few years.
2. Maintenance / Insurance/ Additional Costs
Insurance and maintenance on a modern Lamborghini is always going to be significant, as are consumable running costs such as fuel, tyres and brake pads. But depending on the manner in which you drive, the outlay here needn’t be any worse than any other high-performance car. And ever since Lamborghini began sourcing its hardware from parent company Volkswagen, its reputation for reliability has improved immeasurably and servive intervals are sensible.
As for the classics, Lamborghini’s engines, while fairly complex and demanding of specialist attention, are surprisingly robust considering their highly-strung nature and period Italian provenance. Parts are expensive, however, and that specialist labour is always going to come at a cost.
3. What to look for?
Accident damage is worth proper due diligence in the world of the modern Lamborghini, a supercar that more than most appeals to younger and less experienced drivers. Anything that seems too cheap is probably too cheap for a very good reason.
Any high performance car should also have a thorough main dealer or approved specialist service history, as any substantial period of neglect might end up costing you heavily to put right.
The Lamborghini Owners’ Club is an invaluable resource for expert, independent advice on buying and maintaining both modern and classic Lamborghinis. UK-based, they hold a wide also variety of national events throughout the year, enabling you to get the best from your car and meet like-minded owners along the way.
When it comes to making your purchase, be that modern or classic, aim to buy from a recognised dealer. Make sure there is a useful warranty attached and consider an independent pre-purchase inspection of any pre-VW era cars.
Best lamborghini to buy
The original ‘supercar’, Gandini’s stunningly beautiful Miura set the bar for mid-Sixties sports cars and revised the language of performance car design ever after. Its advanced, lightweight chassis supported a transverse V12, mounted behind the driver for the first time, in a move that sent Ferrari itself back to the drawing board.
Today the early and flawed P400 is a million-pound car. The later, stiffer, more refined SV is the one to have, however, albeit at twice the cost for relatively little gain in terms of power or visual distinction.
Another era-defining design from the Midas-like easel of Marcello Gandini, the Countach became the poster car for a generation of petrolheads. Incredibly, the company flagship stayed in production for fully 16 years, by which time it had evolved considerably with 5.0-litre fuel injected engines and a bewildering array of largely cosmetic aerodynamic adornments. Today the Countach’s cultural significance outweighs its appeal as a driver’s car and it has become highly sought after by collectors.
Another long-running member of Lamborghini’s mid-engine V12 line-up, the Diablo endured some severe financial tumult and the unlikely steadying hand of Chrysler in its inception. Based on another Gandini design and following the same basic premise, this was a vast, fast, road-biased coupe that would evolve through several iterations, gaining more power and adornments all the while. The pick of the bunch is arguably the very early rear-wheel-drive car, before the planned all-wheel drive system took over in the heavier and more complex series cars.
Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
The Gallardo, by Lambo standards, was a fairly understated product, with its sharp but subtle styling, compact footprint and V10 engine short the requisite 12-cylinders of the company’s standard bearers. However, it was also an agile and intoxicating driving experience, and nowhere more so than in the lightened and more aerodynamic Superleggera. This was a car that also made slightly more sense of the imperfect E-gear paddle shift transmission; brutal but utterly addictive in the powerband.
Lamborghini Huracán Performante
Lamborghini’s performance credentials enjoyed a substantial boost with the arrival of the Huracán Performante, a car that reduced weight via the generous application of carbon fibre, increased power, a refined chassis set up and active aerodynamics. Lapping the Nordschleife in a record-breaking 6minutes 52.1seconds, the Performante became the fastest naturally aspirated car around the infamous ‘Ring, causing the big wigs at Porsche a sleepless summer in 2017.