Where’s your Ferrari?

Many of you would have seen this cheeky conversation between a smart alec who doesn’t smoke versus a smoker. The smoker spends quite a sizable sum of money over years on cigarettes — an opportunity cost. To the Genius non-smoker, the money that you have not spent on cigarettes, where is your Ferrari then?

The money, if had been saved and invested by not carrying out certain actions in life, could have translated into something bigger over time, due to the beauty of compound interest.

In all honesty, many of us are very similar to the Genius. I don’t smoke, don’t drink and don’t buy branded luxury goods. What have we actually done with the money we had “supposingly put aside” over the years”? So where is my Ferrari?

I had my fair share of fun in my younger days. I liked fast cars. I love them sleek. The fact is this, even if you have a huge sum of money set aside from not smoking nor drinking, don’t get a Ferrari.

I thought it would be nice to share from my own personal experience of owning a sportscar and the learning points from it, mostly negative.

  • Cost Of Car
  • Interest Cost
  • Road Tax
  • Car Insurance
  • Parking, ERP & Petrol
  • Servicing


Selling Price – $70,000
Transfer Fee – $11.00
Insurance premium – $3,959
Monthly Installment – $1,068
Agreement Fee – $800
Less Hire Purchase loan – $42,000 – 5.5% x 48mths

My Lotus Esprit Turbo HC was a 1988 baby. At the time of viewing, it probably haven’t been run for at least a year. The sales price was then $70,000 with 4 years of COE left. It was still cheaper than getting a new sportscar, but I really didn’t have much of a clue of the subsequent costs that came along or would come along with ownership. I was too focused on cost price. I didn’t carry out my due diligence and a comprehensive overall research.


I didn’t pay in full, 50% was still a good sum of money. I was on an in-house loan of 5.5% for $42,000 in 4 years. For that rate, I probably paid out almost 25% of the loan amount in interest cost.


For vehicles of more than 10 years old, I had to pay a road tax surcharge on top of your vehicle’s original road tax. In short, it was a good $2,000 every 12 months.


The first year insurance premiums was almost $4,000. I managed to search for a cheaper alternative from the second year onwards for $1,200.


Needless to say, it is a petrol-guzzling machine. It would require a full top-up of about $120 once a week. That makes it almost $500 in a month or $6,000 in a year. Parking and ERP are probably a rough estimate, considering the amount that I top-up into my cashcard each month. $100 is a good gauge, or $1,000 a year.


Servicing is the killer here. It wasn’t just about regular maintenance to keep it running, but older machines do break down more frequently. Once it goes down, it could be out of the show from weeks to even months. The issue now is that more and more mechanics are working on modern vehicles using high tech diagnostics equipment. They are less familiar with the older mechanic vehicles, whereby troubleshooting is more laborious and manual. On a rough guage, it cost about $5,000 yearly.


DetailsMonetary Cost
Cost Of Car$70,000
Interest Cost$9,200
Road Tax$8,000
Car Insurance$7,600
Parking, ERP & Petrol$28,000
Total Cost$142,800
Average Annual Cost$35,700

In summary, $142,800 in total was spent, which could have translated into something bigger over time, if it had been saved or invested properly.

So the whole point of this article, even if you have quite some money, do consider being frugal or thrifty, and opt for a cheaper car if required to. Consider a second-car or lower cc car.

In addition, there are definitely cheaper and efficient modes such as the bus and train. Even calling for a taxi or transport hailing once in a while would not be overly taxing on your budget.

Consider this: You are actually giving up a lot of your future spend, if you make unnecessary big spends now. This also includes your property purchase, luxury goods and fine dining. Do consider if your purchases are worth it. As for myself, the experience was worth it, just not the cost. DYODD.

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