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Supercar sales rise during cost-of-living crisis

Greg Devine


Bugatti Divo on display in Dubai

Is it that much of a surprise that the rich are still buying Ferraris and Lamborghinis? After all, according to some people, they must have money to burn, because they’re certainly not paying the amount of tax they should be paying!

18,000 supercars were registered to UK addresses last year. This is a 19% increase on the previous year, despite many people in the same country having to choose between eating or heating.

Supercars cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands of pounds to more than a million. Morally, does this sit right with you, when so many people are living in poverty, in what’s supposed to be a first world country? Who really earns the money to pay for these supercars—the top 1%, the elite? Or the people working for the elite…isn’t it their hard work that allows company bosses to reap rewards of such magnitude that they can spend far more than their frontline workers’ annual wages on a tub of metal that fulfils the same purpose as any other car?!

People are choosing between toiletries and food at checkouts yet ridiculously wealthy people who no doubt do everything they can to avoid tax through loopholes are buying cars worth millions of pounds.

These fuel guzzling speed demons may be great to watch and many of us may dream about owning one, but for a such a steep rise in sales to occur during a cost-of-living crisis doesn’t feel right at all. I know some will point out these figures represent sales in 2021, but growing inflation and price rises occurred during that year too. Makes you wonder how the owners afford to fill these flashy cars with fuel, if it costs me £70 for a full tank of petrol in my little SEAT Ibiza. How sorry I feel for those pumping hundreds of pounds into Daddy’s Lambo to get from A to B…not.

This situation won’t change any time soon. Boris may be gone but he will either be replaced (at the time of writing) by Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss. Neither option is great, but with no general election for another two years, we’d better get used to it.

A girl in a dress next to a sports car on a city street in Tuscany.Italy.

A girl in a dress next to a sports car on a city street in Tuscany.Italy.

I went on the Lamborghini website to see how much one would set me back. Of course, you can’t just buy a supercar. Prices aren’t listed on their website, but why would you need to see the cost if you’re the type of person who can afford one? You don’t need to care about the numbers decreasing in your bank account. And anyway, there’s plenty more where that came from…welcome to UK 2022.

The increase in supercar sales has been linked to those who have profited from crypto currencies. Currently, crypto is struggling, but during the last couple of years, some people became very wealthy practically overnight. Another reason may be that rich folk didn’t spend as much money in the pandemic as they usually would, so they’ve treated themselves to a brand-new Ferrari to make up for this. To finance the cost of a supercar is also attractive at the moment, given the low interest rates for borrowers. I’m not sure the same can be said about everyday cars bought on finance—some people have now found themselves in the position where they can no longer afford their finance repayments, due to the crisis.

I must admit, it’s rare that I see supercars as I go about my business—South Yorkshire isn’t exactly the most affluent area in the country. Most of these expensive polluters can be found in the City of Westminster. This isn’t exactly a surprise when you consider Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia are there. According to the Guardian, 553 supercars are registered to people in the City of Westminster, which makes it the UK’s supercar capital. Kensington and Chelsea are not far behind, with 507 supercar registrations.

In the top ten ‘supercar areas’, just two are outside the southeast. Birmingham has 175 supercars registered. East Cheshire is the only northern area. Again, this is no surprise—East Cheshire is home to plenty of wealthy villages that house Liverpool and Manchester football players.

So, whilst we struggle to heat our homes, whilst we spend small fortunes on basic food items, and as we choose between toiletries and chocolate, don’t forget that the rich are getting exponentially richer whilst you do so. That the sale of supercars has risen during the cost-of-living crisis shows me just one thing: this country isn’t bankrupt financially, only morally.

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