Update: Since we had a lot of comments and questions about this posts, we decided to make an exclusive presentation on how we managed to get a Lamborghini at such a short age. You can see it by clicking here.
Having owned my first Lamborghini by the age of 24 and consecutively another five different versions of them to date, I have a good amount of experience with the brand and ownership experience. Believe it or not, in my early days I wasn’t even that well off, but still pursued my dream of owning one by carefully analyzing the market and the pros and cons of ownership. If you ever wondered how to buy a Lamborghini without being a multi-millioniare or trust fund baby, this article will show you how. Yes, it’s 100% possible even if you’re not super rich. And no, I’m not crazy.
I became very familiar with the brand, and more specifically the Gallardo model as it seemed by far much more affordable than its counterpart, the Murcielago. Today, the Huracan replaces the almighty Gallardo that lived for a decade as the most reliable and the best Lambo ever built.
While the Huracan is the new, fresh face of Lamborghini, it is also highly unaffordable for new exotic car owners. It has allowed many people who once considered a Lamborghini, but didn’t think it was within reach the opportunity to try it.
Pricing on earlier and mid-year Gallardos, including the LP550 and LP560, have plummeted to levels mimicking that of a Mercedes S550. Many Lamborghini Gallardos can be had between $80 – $100K, and LP560s can now be purchased at $120 – $130K for low mileage, well kept examples.
Allow me to break down how affordable owning a Lamborghini can be in today’s economy and market. When most people consider owning one, they typically think that you need millions in the bank due to the high maintenance costs outside of the very high cost of purchase.
However, what most overlook is that in today’s economy, you can own a Lamborghini Gallardo for free. In some cases, you can even make money owning one, and the best part is that you don’t even need to shell out a lot of cash, or even none at all.
The breakdown of how easily and affordable a Lamborghini really is, and every piece of information that I am about to give you is free and based on experience, which can be found straight out of my Exotic Car Hacks system.
Buying the car is the hardest part, because you have to know what model to pick and to make sure you find the right car. The right car is a lower mileage car with under 15,000 miles and a good service history, no accidents, and well kept inside and out.
While you may think that this should fit the bill to about 90% of the cars you look at on Autotrader.com or eBay.com, it is not accurate and not the case. The reason behind that is many Lamborghini owners don’t mind buying them, but very few people keep them long enough to service them.
This means in most cases they leave that for dealers to do when they trade in the car or perhaps the next owner. So finding a good car is usually the hardest part.
Here are the best ways to find and purchase the right Gallardo:
- Find a car in a desirable color. The best colors for the Gallardo in order of resale value are as follows in order: Green, Orange, White, Yellow, Silver, Gray, Blue, and then Black. While you may want to keep your Lambo forever, you will quickly realize why many dump them so quickly. Making sure you pick a color that is highly desirable to you and the next buyer is important.
- Find a car with a 6-speed manual or newer clutch. Egear Clutches are some of the most expensive pieces of maintenance you can do on a Lamborghini and depending on where you purchase or install, it can cost upwards of $8,000 for a new clutch and bearing installed. The last thing you want is to sink $8,000 immediately in a car you just bought. Looking for a 6-speed car will bypass this problem, or finding a car that has a clutch reading above 70% (any Lambo repair facility can do a clutch reading for you). Early 6-speed cars were problematic, making them have weaker clutches that sometimes lasted less than 10,000 miles.
- Examine the interior trim and buttons even on low mileage cars. Most Lamborghinis were made with Audi parts, which means cheap plastic is present in many areas of the car, especially in 2004-2006 models. The plastic button controls get worn out quickly; and even though everything may look great in images, it can be costly to replace and disappointing in person as the plastic turns sticky and uncomfortable to operate. This is typically avoided in cars with good professional care that were not subjected to abrasive detailing products.
- Examine the brakes. Gallardo brakes are very cheap unless equipped with the ceramic braking option. Most Gallardos do not have this option, but unless you know the right way to fix your car (which we will cover), going to the dealer to buy pads and rotors can set you back $5,000. Make sure that the car you are looking at doesn’t have low brakes or groovy rotors. Run your finger from the inside diameter to the outside diameter in a straight line with your finger and if you feel waves, grooves or scratches, you will need new rotors. Brake pad wear can be examined based on how thick the pads left are.
- Inspect tires not for wear but for dry rotting. Look for very little cracks in the thread pattern at the edges of the tires which signifies that tires are old and despite having good thread will no longer operate optimally. A good brand like Michelin or Pirelli can cost about $1,500 for four tires.
- Lastly, inspect the underside of the car for two reasons. 1. Look for major scraping under the front bumper. The early model Gallardos didn’t have lift kits so the front end wouldn’t go up with a button to clear speed bumps, etc… Later models had them, but people still are not always experienced so the front bumpers suffer the highest impact. 2. Look for leaks by removing the under tray from the back. The Gallardos are V10, rear engine cars, which means that the engines always look good on top, but not so much on the bottom if damaged or not cared for. The problem is also the under tray prevents leaks from reaching the floor, so a car could leak awhile before actually being noticed. When under the car, look for seepage near the transmission and also look for oil in the tray itself. Lastly, look for bushings and see if the rubber looks dry and rotten or well-oiled and clean.
Finding the right car requires discipline because all cars look great when looked at from the outside, but when examined closely it becomes a whole new story. To avoid issues, make sure to order a PPI once you have found a car you are very comfortable with. PPI stands for Pre Purchase Inspection, and they can be performed by any Lamborghini dealer for under $700 and by independent shops with the right tools and experience for $200 – $400. This is a great way to make sure your dream car doesn’t turn into your worst nightmare.
Which Lamborghini should you buy and what should you pay?
- 2004-2005 Lamborghini 6-speed Gallardo – Under $90,000
- 2008 Gallardo Spyder (eGear or 6-speed) – Under $105,000
- 2009-2011 LP560 Coupe or Spyder – Under $130,0000
- 2011-2013 LP550 Spyder – Under $140,000
The year and mileage will make a very big difference, but the condition will make the greatest difference and can significantly impact the asking price. Remember that every single car is different so two identical cars with similar mileage, color, and options can be sold for over $10,000 difference due to the condition.
The financing that you didn’t know existed
Most people think of financing in the sense of traditionally putting 20% down, and paying a note over 60 months in order to pay off their car. Traditionally this makes sense as your goal is to pay off the car faster than it depreciates, so a good down payment and higher payments will get you there.
In the case of an older Lamborghini over five years old that has already eaten its time depreciation, it doesn’t make sense to jeopardize your cash flow. The car won’t depreciate anymore based on time, but only based on mileage and condition. There are many places that allow financing up to 72/84 months based on the exotic and low mileage nature of a Lamborghini.
If financing a $100,000 Gallardo, your typical thinking is to put at least $20,000 down in cash and then pay somewhere around $1,500 a month for 60 months. That is steep for most people, and while I wish it wasn’t the case for most, it is simply hard to let go of $20,000 cash and take on a $1,500 payment which is similar to a mortgage.
The alternative is the ability to finance the same $100,000 with $0 down and 84 month financing. Now, the same car only costs $1,100 a month with no cash out of pocket. Still fairly steep, but a lot better. While you may pay $1,100 x 12 each year, the car no longer depreciates; therefore, all you are doing is simply paying yourself.
Even after two years, you will have paid $1,100 x 24 and your payoff will be about $75,000. At anytime you want to sell the car, you will still get $90K+ so the $15,000 comes back in your pocket, and your loss is about $10K in a worst case scenario.
This gives you $10,000/24 which is about $400 a month in actual losses. By the time you actually sell the car, your real cost of ownership is less than a VW Passat lease. All you need to leverage such financing is simply good credit (if you don’t have good credit, visit Quick Credit Boost to fix that quickly).
Things you should know in order to minimize your costs of ownership
Find a great independent shop near you that services Lamborghini that is not a dealership and create a relationship immediately. Here are some basic costs of dealer versus independent you should know:
Part: Dealer vs Independent Shop
Oil Change: $599 vs $299
Brakes pads: $700/Axle vs $700/all
Rotors: $3,600 vs $1,800
Clutch and bearing: $7,500 vs $4,500
The difference between the two is almost 50% in all cases.
For most aesthetic things like trim, interior buttons, radios, etc, use eBay.com and forums like Lamborghini Talk to see who has used parts in stock from older cars. This can save you thousands on parts, especially if parts are only available at dealerships like a broken headlight.
Buying and owning a Lamborghini doesn’t have to be a dream anymore, and it certainly isn’t out of reach. This methodology was used by myself to flip 60+ exotics of all kinds and has allowed me to enjoy several new ones per year, and you can too.
The Write Off
There is one more important aspect to exotic car ownership that you must take into consideration: the write off.
Remember that each business is different, and you should consultant your own accountant to ensure this can work for you.
Exotic cars are high-dollar cars and repairs are not cheap if they occur, so while there is some risk of a few expenses, there is also the ability to write off any problems that occur with the car as well as the car itself as an asset.
Leverage creating a blog to review cars, make a conscious effort to market it, and ensure cars you buy are listed on there with case studies, etc.
More importantly, reimburse yourself the payments because you are using the car for business purposes. This gives you yet another gain and reason to buy yourself the Lamborghini of your dreams.