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What it's really like to own a Ferrari in Singapore

A Ferrari owner in Singapore reveals how owning a supercar can be a sound investment.

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Singapore

WITH their sexy looks and superlative performance, supercars are like the pin-up girls of the automotive world. So it's not surprising that Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLarens are dream cars for many enthusiasts. But what is surprising is how attainable some of these supercars can be.

That's according to Australia-born entrepreneur Martin Berry, who has been living in Singapore for two years and owns a Ferrari 458 Speciale.

"I bought it second-hand in 2015, and I paid very, very low seven figures," he said.

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That may sound like a lot of money but unlike most cars in Singapore, his Ferrari doesn't hemorrhage value in terms of depreciation.

"If I were to export that car to somewhere like New Zealand or the UK - and I've had offers for it - I would get back everything that I've paid," said Mr Berry.

His car is no ordinary Ferrari. The Speciale is a special edition model with more performance than a normal 458. It's also the last V8-engined Ferrari unassisted by turbochargers or hybrid motors.

As a result, Speciales around the world now change hands for far more than their original price. In the UK, they're currently advertised for up to £350,000 (S$610,000), compared to £210,000 when they were launched.

Exporting the car would also entitle Mr Berry to a tax refund from the Land Transport Authority, which would further help to defray his ownership costs.

"You can actually look at it from an investment standpoint,"he said. "I was confident that it would do well, so it made me feel somewhat better spending that amount of money, knowing that this could be a fairly sound investment."

Not all rare cars appreciate in value like the Speciale but Mr Berry thinks that even the more common supercars need not be a money pit.

"If you can pick the right car and do the maths on cost, deregistration value and overseas market price - and if the sums aren't too far away - then your total cost of ownership isn't that different from a mass market car.

"You'd need a lot of capital up front, but over time that depreciation curve doesn't really exist, other than for the Certificate Of Entitlement."

His Ferrari isn't even that expensive to run. As a Ferrari-certified second-hand car, it has a warranty and servicing package - and the car has not had any problems in his two years of ownership.

"It just goes for regular servicing, and other than petrol, I've not had to take out any money apart from what I originally paid," said Mr Berry.

It's been such a good investment that he might take a punt on another one. "I'm always keeping an eye on the market, and I have a list of things that I'd love to procure. Perhaps a 599 GTO," he added with a twinkle in his eye.

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