Anyone who loves automobiles hopes that one day in the distant future, they'll be able to drive a supercar. Maybe a friend of a friend will own a Ferrari or a significant other will rent a Lamborghini for a day on a romantic whim. On the other hand, some gearheads will be lucky enough to own a McLaren 600LT or a Porsche 918 Spyder. The thrill of driving the world's best cars sounds great—blasts of acceleration, rumbling engines, and tight corners at high speeds are what great cars are all about.
But owning a supercar isn't all it's cracked up to be. They cost a ton of money to buy, to be certain, but that isn't the only thing that should stop just about anyone from actually wanting to own one. Other than projecting an image of wealth and privilege, actually, owning a supercar is probably an exercise in futility.
It's a miracle that the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, and Hennessey are able to convince buyers to line up and spend millions on their cars; a more practical approach, for both the builders and potential owners, would be to rent them for short periods of time, when joyriding and thrills can be the focus of a fun day in the hills or on the track.
Instead, television and the movies have everyone clamoring over each other to be the next reality star that can drop a few hundred grand on a whim. But here are 20 problems with owning a supercar that no one talks about.
20 Terrible MPGs
A major aspect of owning any powerful vehicle, whether it's a sports car, a huge truck, or a tractor, is that they all get terrible fuel economy. Supercars ratchet this up to a whole new level. The Bugatti Veyron gets 7 MPG in the city and 15 on the highway—but at full throttle, it can burn through its entire 26.4-gallon fuel tank in only 12 minutes. The Ferrari LaFerrari pictured above a gas station is a hybrid gasoline-electric supercar, and even it is still rated at only 12 MPG in town and 16 on the highway. But don't tell any supercar owner because their easy response will cover smiles per gallon, no doubt.
19 Can't Go Fast
Today's modern supercars are pushing the limits of what automobiles can do—but that's always been the case for supercars. What's more frightening is that today's supercars are pushing the limits of what their components can do. A major problem that manufacturers like Bugatti, Koenigsegg, and Hennessey face while trying to set their speed records isn't an issue with their car, it's the fact that there simply aren't tires that can handle such forces. And just forget about taking your Lamborghini even close to full throttle in a city, where most supercar owners show off their rides (without getting even close to top speed).
18 Tiny Interior
Today's typical supercar utilizes a mid-engined layout. In terms of weight distribution, this is the ideal design, though cars like the Porsche GT2 RS (rear-engined) and the Ferrari 812 Superfast (front-engined) may be exceptions to this rule. Regardless, supercar builders are always trying to shave weight and wind profile, so the cars always end up small and low to the ground. The result is that larger people—like John Cena, trying to get into a Ford GT, above—struggle to fit into just about every supercar on the market. Think about any wealthy NBA player and the cars in their collections; they almost always get a convertible (except for Shaq, who just gets his cars stretched).
17 So Loud
Most supercars don't have Bosozoku-style exhaust like this Lamborghini, but almost all of them put out extremely loud noises if they're pushed anywhere beyond idle. Owning a supercar virtually requires living on a large piece of property, if just so the neighbors don't start yelling every morning when the burble of the exhaust roars at ignition. Add in owners who bolt on aftermarket exhaust mods to help make their enormous engines blast even louder and it's no wonder no one wants a Ferrari moving in next door, not to mention a Bugatti Veyron or Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Having a sound system even becomes pointless.
16 So Low
The point of supercars is to go fast in both a straight line and around tight corners. To achieve this goal, manufacturers spend millions of dollars shaving weight, developing ridiculously powerful engines, and finetuning suspension. But one of the biggest aspects of performance is controlling lift created by Bernoulli's principle, as air rushes over, around, and below the car. Just look at an F1 car, which sparks while going over even the smallest of road imperfections, to see the ideal ride height for maximum performance. Of course, most owners ride a little higher than that to save their undercarriage—except this Porsche owner, who bagged their car regardless of the potential damage.
Car insurance rates depend on a wide variety of factors. Details like home location, commute length, age, credit score, driving history, and gender all affect the premiums that a customer might pay. But the most important aspect still is the value of the car being insured. It seems like a $30,000 car costs much more than twice as much to insure as a $15,000 car, so just imagine how much it costs to insure a $300,000 Ferrari or a $3 million dollar Koenigsegg. Any company willing to take on that kind of risk charges a hefty fee, while also stipulating certain restrictions like how many miles the car gets driven per year.
14 Race Fuel
Anyone who has done any track time knows how absurdly expensive race fuel is. But it comes with serious performance gains, so anyone who wants to win needs to be willing to make the investment. Now, it seems like most people who can afford a car that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) won't be worried about the financial aspect of splurging on fuel. But just imagine picking up a Veyron and then realizing you're not actually getting into the quadruple digits of horsepower because that Arco fuel's octane is too low. Now imagine having to lug around gallons of race fuel and having to fill it up without a gas station pump.
13 Parking Lots
At a Ferrari meet like the one pictured above, supercar owners can rest assured that their cars will be treated respectfully by everyone around them. Not so, however, for your average run to the grocery store, where anyone who owns a Civic is less than concerned about nicking the paint of the car next to them, even if it did cost ten times as much as theirs. Supercar owners have to be extremely paranoid about damage to their cars because of the insane values and costs for paint correction—don't even think about parking next to the shopping cart space, either.
12 Valet Parking
It would seem that the solution to having to deal with tight parking lots and oblivious grocery shoppers would just be to valet park a supercar any time it's out in the world. Well, in that situation, a whole new host of concerns arises in the minds of any supercar owner; namely, whether the valet is going to take the car for a joyride, knows how to go slowly over bumps, is a good driver, or has had a couple of drinks before work. Letting a good friend borrow the Lambo might sound pretty iffy but letting a complete stranger park it for a $3 tip is just downright lunacy.
11 Off-Road Woes
If the picture above looks like the perfect dirt road to practice some off-road drifting in a Quattro-equipped Audi R8, then rally racing has reached into your brain and squeezed off the part that controls rationality. No, the R8 isn't a rally car, despite having all-wheel drive. Other models, like Porsche's 911 Turbo and Lamborghini's Aventador, also send power to four wheels but the chances of anyone actually being brave enough to risk the kind of damage that off-roading entails are just about zilch. (Some maniacal supercar owners do it, though, and more power to them.)
10 Expensive Brakes
Supercars like Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches get tons of press for their acceleration and top speed—but fewer reviews focus on the performance of their brakes. Sure, it doesn't sound as cool to say something can slow down very quickly but every supercar manufacturer spends plenty of time working on their braking system. Huge brakes always lurk behind any supercar's fancy wheels, to increase safety while also helping drivers feel more comfortable behind the steering wheels of their land missiles. But as fancy as Carbon Ceramic Brakes sound, their price tag is even higher; a full set all around on a modern Porsche equipped with PCCB can run well above $10,000.
9 No Stick Shifts
These days, the manual transmission is on its way out in just about every class of automobile on the market. It seems like no one wants to enjoy rowing the gears anymore. Many drivers might assume that most sports cars and supercars still come with a stick shift; they'd be wrong, though. The quicker shifts of today's dual-clutch gearboxes mean that just about every supercar now comes with an automatic transmission. And within the supercar crowd, most owners probably would agree that they couldn't handle the many hundreds of horsepower without the improved assistance of a computer-aided transmission, anyway.
8 No Storage Space
Most supercars are meant for driving, not for traveling. The typical mid-engined layout means that only a front trunk is available for luggage; often, they don't even have a little nook behind the driver's and passenger's seats anymore. The problem is that anyone who owns a supercar now needs a vehicle on the side that they can use to transport their bags, their family, and their pets. Or, on the other hand, they could just hire a chauffeur to follow them—if they can keep up with a Ferrari owner who just can't resist putting pedal to the metal at every possible opportunity.
Some car owners put fancy wraps and shiny rims on their beaters because they want a little more attention from the drivers and pedestrians around them. Some supercar owners—like Justin Bieber—do exactly the same thing. But for almost anyone who owns a Ferrari, a Pagani, or a Hennessey, all that attention is completely unwanted. In fact, they just want to drive around and not have to stop anywhere because the attention can quickly turn into a little bit of vandalism or harassment. Owners of supercars have to be constantly paranoid about where they're going, where they're going to park, and what kind of people they'll be around.
6 Bad Neighborhood
Much like unwanted attention is high on the mind of any supercar owner, the parts of town they go to—and even just drive through—become subjects of serious concern. Stopping at a traffic light in the wrong part of town in a Ferrari Enzo is just a bad idea. All that unwanted attention can quickly turn sour when people on the other side of the poverty line feel like someone is just cruising around, flaunting their wealth, and looking down on the people around them. Not much is worse than working a minimum wage job and dealing with supercar owners on the regular.
5 No Mechanics
A major issue that comes with buying a supercar is maintenance. First of all, most supercars simply aren't reliable; they can't be, for the simple fact that they're too busy pushing the limits of technology and engineering. Their parts are expensive to replace, as well, and there are very few people who are trained to work on them, either. In the end, most supercar owners have their cars serviced by the dealerships where they bought their cars—and even though that's a well-known mistake for most car owners because dealership service departments charge an arm and a leg, supercar owners have to dig deep and fork over serious cash to keep their cars running.
4 Burnt Rubber
Anyone who has a normal car knows that on a front-wheel-drive commuter, the front tires always wear much faster than the rears. Likewise, on a rear-wheel-drive car, the rears wear out faster. That effect is compounded by cars that have more power, even though they also require more expensive tires. But tires are the single most important place to spend money on a performance vehicle, to be sure, and this leaves supercar owners in a rough place. After all, driving a Bugatti Veyron gingerly isn't the point—but spending up to $100,000 in tires alone over the course of ownership sure isn't, either.
3 Rough Ride
Anyone who drives a beater knows the feeling of clenching their jaw whenever they have to drive over a rough road; those creaks and rattles are just a reminder that the car is soon going to fall apart to the point where it'll never be repaired. For supercar owners, driving over rough roads has a bevy of disadvantages, as well. First off, rough roads put more stress on a car's suspension, which is likely very expensive to replace on a supercar. But also, supercars like the McLaren pictured above come with very taught suspension setups from the factory, so they're very stiff and bouncy over rough roads.
2 Resale Value
Many supercar owners spend their whole lives saving up and planning to buy their car. They focus on brands, makes, models, years, layouts, and more before making the decision to finally splurge (that is if they aren't a super-wealthy impulse buyer). But while they typically don't think about a lifetime of difficult ownership, they also probably don't think about what happens if they ever decide to sell their precious baby. Well, unfortunately, the secondhand supercar market is one that can be defined by one word: depreciation. Even compared to normal luxury cars with famous depreciation curves, supercars are ridiculously good deals on the used car market for anyone bold enough to buy one.
1 Ruins Every Other Car
Every gearhead dreams of one day driving, if not owning, a supercar. From the cars that were on childhood bedroom walls to today's computer desktop wallpapers, supercars draw lust and desire out of anyone who loves cars and feels the need for speed. But many fans probably don't realize that once they've driven the Porsche GT3 RS of their dreams, any old car simply won't do it for them anymore. There's nothing wrong with a Honda Civic (though there's plenty wrong with the one above) but stepping out of a Koenigsegg Agera and into a boring commuter is just about as depressing as it gets.
Sources: Jalopnik, Wikipedia, and Quora.