Had your eye on an Aston Martin? Always dreamed of a Lamborghini? Looking for a Rolls-Royce?
Now might be your time.
Sure, you may still need a couple hundred thousand dollars. But you probably won’t need as much as you used to. (Let’s just say it’s all relative.)
“Values peaked in 2017 and are now falling – for both old cars and newer stuff,” said Max Warburton, auto analyst at Sanford Bernstein, in a recent note to investors.
Average prices of Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini used vehicles, in particular, have declined sharply, according to data analytics firm Thinknum, which assessed data from more than 130 auto retailers on behalf of USA TODAY.
“You’re seeing significant drops,” said Josh Fruhlinger, editor-in-chief of Thinknum.
One likely culprit: Ultra-luxury carmakers have flooded the market with new vehicles as overall sales flourish, minimizing their exclusivity factor and driving prices down.
“Values may have (become) over inflated and the market too crowded,” Warburton said.
The trend is a warning sign as brands aim to introduce “instant classics” into the market to bolster profits, Warburton said.
“You’ve got more inventory, and you’ve got more choices. You’ve got to wonder if you’ve got changes in perceived value,” Fruhlinger said.
As of June 6, average list prices of Aston Martin used vehicles had fallen 54% from their 2018 peak to $103,000, according to Thinknum. Average list prices of Lamborghini used vehicles declined 56% to $207,000, and average list prices of Rolls-Royce used vehicles tumbled 48% to $198,000.
Key examples of ultra-luxury models that have depreciated sharply in value in recent years, according to the Hagerty Price Guide, a classic-car value book:
- 2004-16 Aston Martin DB9
- 2003-11 Bentley Continental GT
- 2003-17 Rolls-Royce Phantom
There are exceptions. For instance, the Rolls Royce Black Badge Wraith, which carried a starting price of about $332,000, is holding up well.
Inside Rolls-Royce’s strategy: In rough times, Rolls-Royce seeks a smooth ride
Meet the new Lamborghini: The Huracán Sterrato might be the rugged supercar of your dreams
But a push by Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Lamborghini to boost sales has led to a significant increase in ultra-luxury vehicles around the world.
In 2018, Rolls-Royce sales rose 22% to 4,107 vehicles, Aston Martin’s jumped 26% to 6,441 and Lamborghini’s spiked 51% to 5,750.
“That puts pressure on the used cars,” said Dave Kinney, publisher of the Hagerty Price Guide.
Plus, each company is constantly “introducing new models that get incrementally better all the time and with more features,” Kinney added. For example, safety systems such as lane departure warnings and collision avoidance are becoming readily available in new ultra-luxury cars.
Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book, said ultra-luxury carmakers have put so much emphasis on introducing “whizbang” new vehicles that their used models quickly look less appealing.
“There has been a rinse-and-repeat attitude from a lot of the specialty car makers,” he said. “They have absolutely been playing that angle more aggressively than I have ever seen them do. That obviously is going to have a saturation point.”
What’s more, the ultra-luxury carmakers are beginning to introduce SUVs to take advantage of the nation’s renewed love of bigger vehicles.
For example, Rolls-Royce introduced the Cullinan, Aston Martin is debuting the DBX and Lamborghini introduced the Urus.
As Americans flock to SUVs, older used cars become less desirable, even to ultra-luxury buyers.
“They’ve all jumped on the SUV bandwagon,” Brauer said of the ultra-luxury carmakers.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.