“The world almost certainly doesn’t need a car like the Bugatti Veyron,” we said in our landmark 5000th road test back in March 2011. “But the fact that it exists in the first place is, we feel, reason in itself to celebrate.”
Bugatti’s flagship supercar was, quite simply, like nothing that had been built before. Here was a road-legal production car, one that was perfectly civilised and easy to drive, that could sprint from 0-62mph in 2.5sec – despite weighing almost two tonnes – and reach a staggering 253mph.
Its outrageous performance was primarily thanks to the powerhouse tucked away amidships: a quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 petrol engine that generated 987bhp and 922lb ft, which was channelled to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
You’d hope that the Veyron would be out of this world in all respects, though, given that at its 2005 launch it would have cost you just over £1 million. A stratospheric price, admittedly, but this was an engineering tour de force – albeit one that we did observe at the time to be a touch clinical compared with, say, a McLaren F1.
However, a good example of an F1 will set you back upwards of £5 million without trying these days, whereas a decent used Veyron will cost from only £650,000. That doesn’t make it the casual investment, though, not by any stretch, because the running costs are simply off the dial.
“That’s what really separates the Veyron from other supercars,” says Carl Hartley, director of luxury and performance car dealership Tom Hartley. “It’s not the price, as there are others that are more expensive, but the costs of keeping one going. The problem is that a Veyron can easily generate a bill of £100,000 for an annual service. I’ve got a Ferrari Enzo in here now and the biggest service is £1400.”
Each annual service reputedly requires that the Veyron be transported back to the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France, for inspection and maintenance. “Bugatti will not touch the car if you don’t do what it wants to do,” says Hartley. “When the company says you need a new set of tyres, you need a set of tyres. That’s £6000 a corner. Then every three sets you need new wheels, which cost £50,000."
An annual service costs £15,000, but if any additional work – such as new wheels and tyres – is needed, the costs will spiral. Maintaining a warranty will set you back £50,000 a year, too, and is highly recommended, given the complexity and nature of the car. Official dealer H.R. Owen does offer a fixed price servicing scheme, however, as well as extended warranties and UK workshop facilities, which may grant you more control over yearly expenditure.
“There are no common faults with them, though,” notes Hartley. “They’re an extremely good piece of engineering.” There are, however, a few things to look out for when considering a used Veyron. You need to ensure that the service history is complete and correct, and, preferably, find a car that’s been to Bugatti recently for an inspection or service to avoid any immediate large bills. “Most don’t come with warranties, but it’s nice to see one that’s had one recently,” adds Hartley. “A Veyron that’s not been in warranty for four or five years isn’t a good thing.”
If a Veyron does have any mechanical issues, the only way to get faults resolved is to send it back to Bugatti. “Everything is recorded by the company, so any tampering would have implications,” says Hartley. “Speed, brake applications, economy, journey time, it’s all logged.”