Car Buying Tips

How Much Does It Really Cost to Own an Exotic Car?

If you grew up with posters of exotic sports cars on your wall or with screen savers and lock screens depicting your favourite dream machines, you’re not alone. Many car enthusiasts dream of one day putting a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, McLaren, or other supercar in their garage.

Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to purchase or lease an exotic vehicle, let alone pay for the insurance and maintenance costs necessary to keep it on the road and in good condition. Nonetheless, if you’re determined to save your pennies and pursue your dreams (or you just want a peek into extravagance), here’s a quick look at how much it costs to drive an exotic dream machine.

Porsche 911 Turbo S

According to Steven Noh, Sales Executive at Porsche Centre Oakville, you can get into a new Porsche 911 Turbo S for as little as $263,600.

“But with Porsche, all the options are a la carte,” Noh adds. “Even basic items like ventilated seats or a sunroof are extra, so when all is said and done, with a Turbo S, you normally add $35,000 to $40,000 worth of options. It’s safe to say that once you’ve built it the way you want it, it’s going to be around $310,000 before taxes.”

Noh says that 60 per cent of his customers pay cash, while the rest lease or finance their purchase. “If you were to lease a car like that, it would be about $7,000 a month,” he adds.

As far as maintenance goes, you’ll need to bring your Turbo S in for service once a year or every 15,000 km. The first service visit includes an oil change and an inspection and costs $600. At 30,000 km, you get an oil change, brake fluid flush, and a few other maintenance items for a total of $1,500. At 45,000 km, you’re back to an oil change and inspection ($600), but at 60,000 km, you’ll be due for a major service visit with an oil change, spark plug replacement, transmission fluid flush, and more for a total of about $2,500.

Now, let’s say you need a brake job. Noh says that 911s come with either steel or carbon composite brakes. Steel brakes will set you back about $2,000 per axle to change, for a total of $4,000 for rotors and pads.

“But that’s for a regular 911,” Noh explains. “The Turbo S comes with carbon composite brakes, which last a long time. They’re designed for the track and they’re engineered to withstand the heat. So if you were to drive them on regular roads, you probably won’t need to replace them for the first 150,000 to 200,000 km. Once you do replace them, however, they’ll cost about $20,000 plus labour.”

You’ll probably wear out a few sets of tires before you have to replace your brakes, and according to Noh, a set of new tires for the Turbo S will cost about $3,500. Need new rims? Noh says they’re between $2,500 to $3,000 each.

Lamborghini Huracán Tecnica

A new Huracán Tecnica starts at $280,000. However, according to Michael Hwang, General Manager at Lamborghini Vancouver, customers don’t usually buy the base model. Once it’s equipped the way they like it, and once you add in all the fees and taxes, expect to pay roughly $430,000.

Most of Hwang’s customers (60 per cent) prefer to lease, while the rest pay cash. A three-year lease, according to Hwang, with 10 per cent down, would cost roughly $5,000 per month.

As far as maintenance is concerned, you’ll need to bring your Huracán Tecnica in for service once a year or every 15,000 km. The good news is that the first year of service is included in the purchase price. Thereafter, the out-of-pocket expenses start to add up.

A typical oil change (first service visit at 15,000 km) would cost about $2,500 if it wasn’t covered by Lamborghini. The second service visit costs about $4,000 and includes an oil change plus a cabin air filter replacement, coolant flush, and brake flush. At 45,000 km, you’ll need an engine oil change, gearbox fluid change, spark plug replacement and transmission filter replacement for about $4,300. Once your Huracán Tecnica racks up 60,000 km, it will need a more comprehensive service stop, which will set you back a little over $5,800.

McLaren 570GT

The maintenance schedule on a McLaren 570GT is once a year or every 20,000 km, says Jonathan Bada, Aftersales Manager at McLaren Toronto. The first visit includes a visual inspection, a scan of all the electronics, a software update (if needed), and an oil change. Total cost: $1,800. “The car will be in the shop for two days,” Bada explains. “We go through the car thoroughly.”

If you just want an oil change, however, Bada says that’s between $900 to $1,000 and takes about three-quarters of a day to do since the car has to be somewhat disassembled before the technician can get to all five drain holes.

The cost of a complete brake job varies, depending on whether your McLaren has steel or carbon ceramic brakes. Steel brakes, if you need to replace pads and rotors, will set you back about $10,000 in total.

“Carbon ceramic rotors are more pricey at about $5,000 to $6,000 each to replace, and the pads will set you back $2,300 per axle,” Bada explains. “So that’s roughly $30,000, but these brakes last forever unless you’re using your car on a track.” If you need a new set of tires, they’re typically $3,000 for a set.

The good news, Bada explains, is that 2024 model year McLaren models come with three years of factory-paid maintenance. This means that if you buy a brand new 2024 McLaren 750S, GTS, or Artura, for example, you won’t have to pay extra for scheduled maintenance during that time.

Even so, you’re going to have to spend a pretty penny to get into a brand-new 2024 McLaren.

“The GTS starts at $280,000, a 750S Coupe starts at $375,000, and a 750S Spyder starts at about $415,000,” says Mark Basili, McLaren Sales Executive at McLaren Toronto.

Basili says that they also offer a walkaway lease, which means that if you stick to the agreed-upon annual mileage allowance, then you can give back the keys at the end of the lease and simply walk away.

Before you get too excited, however, you’re probably not going to be able to use your new McLaren as a daily driver, because the lease is only available if you plan to drive up to 10,000 km a year. “We offer leases with allowances between 5,000 and 10,000 km per year, in increments of 1,000 km,” Basili explains. “It’s an attractive option for some of our customers.”

As part of a recent “lease special offer,” Basili says it was possible to get into a new McLaren for between $3,000 to $5,000 a month if you put 20 per cent down.

Other Costs

Finally, don’t forget to contact your insurance company to ask how much you’ll have to pay for coverage. Depending on your driving record, age, and home address insurance costs alone could be enough to make your eyes water.

Having crunched all the numbers and added up all the costs, it’s clear that owning an exotic isn’t impossible, but it certainly is expensive. Perhaps that’s why these supercars are known as dream cars.