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Should you buy a Ferrari without test driving it first?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by 96redLT4, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. paulchua

    paulchua Cat Herder
    Moderator Owner

    Jul 1, 2013
    10,117
    Menlo Park, CA
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    Paul Chua
    An alternative is to have an 'expert' nearby shake it down for you.
     
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  3. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
    22,641
    Las Vegas, NV
    Full Name:
    Ryan Alexander
    #27 ryalex, Jan 26, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
    Ok I’ll be the contrarian here:

    I bought my 355 sight unseen after talking to two other members to verify the car. I had driven an F1 but never a manual 355. It arrived fine and needed some mostly expected repairs/maintenance but nothing I hadn’t budgeted for (around $6500 on arrival, including new cats).

    I drove a handful of cars between that and car #2, the 458. While I had the 458, our trusted service manager Rich and my friend the lead tech put the F12 bug in my ear. They mentioned a few times that a newer V12 should be my next car. Either a 599 HGTE or an F12.

    When I was hit and totaled the 458 in July, they immediately reinforced that I should get an F12. I hadn’t driven a V12 newer than Xenu/Boke’s 575M F1.

    They had a 2017 here I made an offer on, and even being a returning customer with negotiations pending they wouldn’t let me drive it, supposedly because of coronavirus (this was the third week of July). The next day I reached back out to Ferrari of Atlanta and made an offer on their consigned 2015 and within three hours the seller accepted. We did the paperwork by DocuSign and fedex over the next three days and I owned an F12!

    I flew to Atlanta with one of my sons and we drove it home to Nevada. So I went from never having driven one to over 2,000 miles in the first 3 days. It had fresh clearbra on the whole front end.
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    If you find yourself in LV before you buy, I’d be happy to take you out and let you try it.
     
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  4. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Atlanta
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    Tom Spiro
    I think there is some form for newer cars. When I got my 599 - my dealer was able to track where it was sold - and various mtns. history done by a dealer... if the car was serviced by an independent then nothing... I Think since the factory warranty and mtns work is part of the purchase - the new cars are tracked by Ferrari...
     
  5. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Tom Spiro
    Ferrari of Atlanta is one of the few dealers I would trust implicitly. they are simply "good people"!
     
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  6. desmomini

    desmomini F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Nov 18, 2003
    3,444
    Upstate SC
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    Jeff
    I did not test drive or see either of mine in person prior to purchase.

    First got a PPI, was purchased from a Ferrarichat member/active FCA member.

    Second had no PPI, was purchased from a dealer of exotics. It was due for major, so I figured I'd sort anything at that point.
     
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  8. Rosso328

    Rosso328 F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 11, 2006
    6,080
    Central FL
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    Paul
    My office (one of them, at least) is just a couple of miles up the road. While I have never had any direct dealings with them, many of my friends have. Including a couple who still ship their cars from Florida to have FoA care for them. Any time I have just stopped in to window shop and chat, they have been nothing but welcoming. Nice bunch of folks.

    (That said, of course, Ferrari of Central Florida is like family to me, and they treat me like family. Couldn’t ask for better.)
     
  9. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
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    Dec 12, 2005
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    Tom Spiro
    It's hard to believe but I've known Ferrari of Atlanta for over 25 years now. I feel the same about family. I knew Ed Wettach the previous majority owner and also know Hugh Steward. both great guys. Will Campbell the GM is a consummate professional and just an all-around great guy. Sadly I've never bought a car from them directly ( Yet ) but have had lots of service over the years. Webb Collums the owner's son, is about as humble as you can get... I think that combination makes them a true stand out. FOA has been very supportive of the FCA over the years ... and I suspect more to come!
     
  10. vroom

    vroom Karting

    Sep 9, 2007
    121
    I’ve had a great Experince with FOA also, flew out from CA, worked a/Dan B. Purchased F car.
     
  11. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 11, 2008
    82,973
    Vegas baby
    New car? I have never test driven a new Ferrari before buying one.

    Used car? ABSOLUTELY you need to test drive it and get it inspected before buying. It doesn't need to be a perfect car. You just need to be informed what's wrong and what needs to be done.
     
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  13. TheMayor

    TheMayor Eight Time F1 World Champ
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    Feb 11, 2008
    82,973
    Vegas baby
    I have said this many, many times.

    I would never buy one at an auction. The only possible way is if the history and clear, robust records from a reputable shop is attached to it.
     
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  14. Mr. Uy

    Mr. Uy Karting

    Apr 23, 2020
    60
    Fort Worth, TX
    Full Name:
    Charlie U
    Is there typically any way to get that kind of info at a live auction? It’s probably one of the attractive parts of BaT that you can actually talk to the seller
     
  15. enzom

    enzom Rookie

    Oct 24, 2004
    10
    Same. First time I saw my F430 in person was when the transport truck dropped it off after the Mecum auction. Fingers crossed.
     
  16. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    May 29, 2019
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    A.B
    I don't get this B.S. Never been denied a test drive in a regular production model. If you are serious about buying and they won't let you test, move on to the next dealer. When there, tell them why you chose not to do business with them. Times are changing, even for the Cali dealers in the US. They are there for you, not the other way around. Be firm in your expectations because what you demand is not unreasonable. Yes VS cars,are slightly different etc. but there is no inherent problem with testing an 812 and F12. They may want a deposit, which should be fully refundable to prove your intentions. Okay, you're a new client.
    I want to ask you this though. Have you actually asked to test, or are you just assuming they won't let you?

    Sent from my SM-G930F using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  17. ScottS

    ScottS Formula 3
    Owner

    Mar 2, 2004
    1,602
    Winter Park
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    Scott S
    Hmm
    Question 1 test drive. Yes please when able. If not it’s ok. I flew to buy my 430 and first Ferrari from my former dealer and yes he of course let me drive it and knew I was serious from previous business.
    No test drive ? My F12, my 360 and my former Mondial T cab. No worries they were what they were supposed to be. No POI but a warranty and records respectively and they all were as billed. Oh I forgot my California. Also no test drive. It was fine and scratched that itch.
    No test drive also countless non Ferrari cars. I will say I have used the same sale person and dealerships in general and no PPi but there is trust with long term business as others have said.
    Question 2
    If you’re choosing between a F12 and 812 go F12. They are amazing and the 812 will be waiting for you next for less when you’re ready. I would never say bored but ready. Both amazing and somewhat different. But the F12 must be experienced.
    If you’re unsure, find one you like out a deposit on it and buy contingent on your drive plus or minus inspection.

    I consider my dealer good and I feel like family. But I respect the idea that without a relationship or trust an inspection will make one feel better about these purchases.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  18. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,637
    San Carlos, CA
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    Mitchell Le
    My bro asked me to look at a ZR1 for him locally. I drove up to the dealer in a GT3, looked at the ZR1, small talks, then asked to go for a drive. The response was "we don't offer test drives on this car." I bid him luck, got in my GT3 and drove off. Told my brother to forget it.

    Test drives, or no sales. Any car, unless you are buying from out of state then a PPI.
     
  19. ifeelfree0

    ifeelfree0 Formula Junior
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    Feb 26, 2014
    304
    Medina, Ohio
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    Dan
    I have purchased 3 F cars in the last yrs. Living outside of Cleveland, Ohio...I bought 2 of them in LA and one in Houston. I can't make such a purchase like this without the hands on experience and seeing the car in the flesh. All 3 have turned out to be excellent purchases and everything I could have hoped for. PPI's on all 3.
     
  20. jdlegg

    jdlegg Karting

    Dec 22, 2009
    198
    Bryan
    Full Name:
    James Legg
    Would you get married without....

    Seriously, though, I test drove the first three, but they were all used. I bought the new one off the showroom floor without even starting it up.
     
  21. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    May 29, 2019
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    Here's a little story that might put it into perspective. Stopped by the dealer a few years ago with a friend, and just for the fun of it, was asked if we wanted to drive anything. My buddy wanted to experience an F12, so they pulled a nice looking low mileage F12 out for us and we signed off for a 90 minute test. We were out about 10 min before the rear end started to howl, BAD. We were not beating on the car. We were just getting a bit of extra fuel. Took the car back and a few weeks later, I heard that the car had the trans changed.

    Moral of this story? Make damn sure you get to take a used car for a proper test. Find a good dealer that will work with you and ask the other to sit on it.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  22. Il Co-Pilota

    Il Co-Pilota F1 Rookie
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    I think people in the US would be better off if they started demanding more from their dealers. All this is in part because,customers have allowed it. Yes Ferrari is an exclusive brand, but that's no reason why it should allow dealers to play games and walk all over you. Seeing how it usually works here in Europe, I get properly annoyed reading about how bad some dealers treat new clients. I must say that it also bothers me to see that there are owners that excuse and accept this crap as part of the exclusivity. I wonder if some of those who defend this poor dealer conduct do so, because they feel that if a new client is treated well and get to test a car, it make their status with the dealer seem less "special", and give them less to "brag" about. I understand markers are different, but honestly, viewed from the outside in, it just seems tacky to accept the mistreatment in order to inflate status. Areas are different, and I'm well aware that this is not how it is all over the US, but my understanding is, that in CA. It is particularly bad. Go into the tech section and read the thread about the 488 creamic disc debacle. What a positively ****ty way to treat a client. These dealers that pull all this crap, should headline a sticky in the General section. Get rid of this rotten culture, it benefits nobody. It does not add to the exclusivity, it just makes our beloved marque un-approachable for new clients, and that is just sad.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using FerrariChat.com mobile app
     
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  23. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
    31,031
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    Mike
    I did neither and had zero issues
     
  24. ChipG

    ChipG Formula 3

    May 26, 2011
    1,256
    Santa Monica, CA
    You got lucky, why would someone even take the chance? You can eliminate a lot of risk by doing so.
     
  25. ScottS

    ScottS Formula 3
    Owner

    Mar 2, 2004
    1,602
    Winter Park
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    Scott S
    There’s a thing called Bayes Theorem. It says that the frequency of something in a group will impact the ability of a test to detect it.

    A PPI is a test. If there are very few bad recent Ferraris for sale (less than 1%) , the PPI will be as effective as not doing one.

    If however the frequent goes up to say 5%, the PPI will detect it more effectively.


    Thus for most of us, we sniff the dealer, the owner, service records to either assume the risk of a low frequency event or try to detect it.


    One of my friends suspects scams everywhere and the other no where. One is a very good tax collector and the other is a good dinner companion. You decide.


    Clearly for no or nearly new cars with repeat business it is not zero but close, and if there is an event from my dealer, they know it’s more profitable than not to rectify.


    My life, my experience.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  26. AceMaster

    AceMaster Three Time F1 World Champ

    Feb 6, 2009
    31,031
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    I bought it from Ron Tonkin Gran Turismo. I trusted my gut that they weren't gonna hose me, and I was right.
     
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  27. RJHD3

    RJHD3 Rookie

    Aug 16, 2013
    12
    Seattle
    Quick follow up on the PPI front. When buying used from a Ferrari dealer (in my case looking at a car consigned at Continental AutoSports). Do you trust the dealer inspection for completeness? Who other than a main dealer would you ask to inspect it?
     
  28. Boy Wonder

    Boy Wonder Karting

    May 23, 2014
    62
    Boulder, CO
    Full Name:
    Fred Wolf
    a friend of mine sold a car on Barrett J, he got about half of what he hoped to get, it seemed they rushed the car off the stand and brought the hammer down in order to meet a Commercial break. On the other hand, he spent a lot of money prepping the car, and the B-J sales guy talked him out of a setting reserve.. lastly, the car did have problems that the buyer never found out about until he got it home,, so no one got a good deal it seems

    I bought my car on BaT, and all in all it was a decent deal.. will find out more when i have the car serviced in a few weeks. its too easy to buy a car on an auction, and its easy to get carried away price-wise, the bidding can get emotional or spirited.. All in all , i have a feeling that BaT is the way the future is heading,,, its easy but i am sure you can get screwed. But you can get pretty well screwed by a specialty sales shop as well.
     

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