To buy, or not to buy - that is the question

I've recently had a guilty moment that forced me to think logically about owning a car like the Mercedes Gullwing, the Masterati GT, the SL65 Black or the Audi R8. The moment in question was viewing a A$2.65m apartment and realising my income doesn't stretch to cover both supercar and stepping up on the apartment front.

In Australia, there are two supercar clubs: P1 and The Supercar Club. If there are others I've not included of similar vein, please comment and enlighten me. These clubs operate on the basis that you just want to enjoy a variety of cars and not deal with the mundane aspects of ownership.

Both of them work on a similar basis: pay a subscription, get points & use them up via a matrix program that is influenced by the type of car & the day(s) of the year.

So, a bit of research:
Now at this point in the research I'm beginning to suspect they are run by the same mob... P1's three plans match almost exactly Supercar Club's middle three plans... down to the names. If that is the case, that is clever positioning: create the competition (that you own) thereby validating the market and appearing to provide consumers choice & competition. They'd also have a higher usage of cars (as they are shared) and thereby have a higher return on assets.

Back to the research:
At this point I'd encourage someone to check my math... since I did only attain 39% for this subject in my HSC (why the heck they don't let you use spreadsheets I don't know! I'd have kicked ass.).

Okay, so let's use round numbers and say 20 days per annum. That's just 10 weeks per year of Sat & Sun usage. Not a lot of days to enjoy an Aston Martin Vantage or a Porsche Carrera, neither of which I'd rate much higher than my SLK55.

Now, ROI time:
Mmm. Close enough to break even. I think I want the 37 minutes of my life back it took to figure that out and blog it. :-)

I guess I haven't factored in depreciation of the MX-5 vs a $200k car, especially if you are using the Porsche or Aston as your every day car, so that would tilt things in favor of the club (and provide me a sense that that 37 minutes was not futile!).

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posted by Lee Gale @ 3:54 PM,

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