18 April 2005

You can now buy one of Ferrari’s once range-topping 550 Maranello supercars for less than the price of a new Porsche 911. Right-hand-drive 550s, once £143,000 cars, are now available second hand for under £50,000, so you can own one of the prancing horse’s twelve-cylinder GTs for less than half the price of a new V8 F430.

We found an eight-year-old 550 Maranello on an R-registration currently on sale at Alan Macdonald Sports Cars, near Edinburgh. Having covered 32,000 miles and been through two owners, it is the cheapest right-hand-drive 550 that our search turned up anywhere in the country. The car has also recently been serviced and has a manual gearbox and Azzuro Californian blue paintwork. A specialist from Joe Macari Performance Cars in London advised Autocar that buying a 550 so cheaply can cost more money that it’s worth. ‘Any V12 Ferrari can provide frightening bills,’ he told us. ‘I’ve spent between £9k and £12k getting 550s into saleable condition – and that’s in my own workshop.’ ‘My advice would be to get your car independently inspected through the Ferrari owners club, and also to bear in mind that a car like this costs around £1500 a year to look after – sometimes more.’

The next least expensive of the 479bhp, 199mph, right hand drive Ferrari 550s are lower mileage P- and R-registered advertised for between £54,500 and £56,450. Left-hand-driven models imported independently from the continent are also available from £47,995. If you want a paddle-shift gearbox though, you’ll have to opt for the younger and more powerful 575M (right), the cheapest of which currently cost upwards of £86,000.

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