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Help, this is my first Ferrari purchase!

Discussion in 'Europe' started by R4robert, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    Hi guys, I'm a new member with my first post.

    I'm looking for a LHD 360 Spider F1. I live in both London and Bordeaux, but reckon on having more fun driving in France than in grid-locked London, hence LHD.

    I've lurked the forum for a while and come to the firm conclusion that I need help!
    Specifically, I'm looking to retain the services of an 'expert' to find me the right car.

    A couple of years ago I was looking in the UK for a Porsche 911 and came across a guy in the West Country who made a living finding quality 911's for clients. He was extremely knowledgeable, and as a result very fussy about what he recommended one buy. He tended to reject 75% of what he saw, based on condition or poor history, etc, etc. (His name escapes me...)

    Anyway, I'm in need of a similar guy in Europe (say, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy) who can provide a 'find-a-car' service, and ideally a PPI inspection too.

    Does anyone know of a suitable person in Europe?

    You see this will be my first Ferrari, so I feel like I've jumped out of the boat into shark infested waters. I need help and guidance in bucket loads if this important purchase is not to end in (expensive) tears!

    I’m after:
    360 Spider with F1 box
    Any colour but red, (Owned a red Nissan 300 ZX years ago, and it attracted traffic police constantly).
    Mileage: 25-50K Kms, ie. not a Garage Queen.
    Year 2002 on (several things sorted by then?)
    'Perfect' service history!!
    Budget €60-70K
    Purchase time scale: say, 0 - 12 months

    So if you are, or know of, an expert car finder who can sniff out a sound 360, please post!

    Needless to say I'm looking myself on autotrader.nl, mobile.de, autoscout 24, etc, but then I’m going to need an expert for the PPI anyway! So your help and advice would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Robert :)
     
  2. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    I might add that I favour buying in the Netherlands as they speak English and my French is so poor!

    Robert :)
     
  3. NoSpeedLimit

    NoSpeedLimit Karting

    Sep 6, 2013
    183
    Hello Robert,
    did you ever registered a car bought in the EU in France?
    I read about a German guy who bought a Ferrari in Germany and tryed to register it in France. A beaurocratic nightmare. And he spoke good French.
    If you buy a car in the Netherlands you have to go to a French dealer to get a CoC (approx 800€). It would be easier to buy the car in France.
    Good luck!
     
  4. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    Thanks for the advice :)

    You are right, France is a bureaucratic nightmare with just about everything.

    I know someone who re-registered their UK car in France. Tons of forms to fill out, plus a French MOT: ‘Contrôle technique’, but it can be done!

    There is a car in Paris I have my eye on, but I need a PPI guy in France. Any ideas?

    Cheers,
    Robert
     
  5. JazzyO

    JazzyO F1 World Champ

    Jan 14, 2007
    11,854
    The Netherlands
    Full Name:
    Onno
    If you also live in the UK I would register a LHD car on UK plates. Unless you plan to drive it very often in where you live in France and start to attract the local gendarmerie. But even then, you can register it in the UK first and move to French plates at a later stage.

    360's are reliable cars but there are many trashy, and previously trashed, ones out there. Often checkered histories are NOT disclosed. Don't want to scare you but it does happen and there is no point in sticking your head in the sand.

    There is a guy who owns a Ferrari service shop that I would trust with my life. I've been a client of his for 7 years and he is that rare thing in Ferrari land: an honest person. His name is Alex Jansen and you can find his shop at: Forza Service

    He used to do a find-a-car service, and he did PPI's as well. The problem is that his shop is so succesful (over 750 cars in service these days) that he is running away with himself and I doubt he will make the time for you. But it doesn't hurt to ask him, especially since you have stated a period of up to 12 months. For a reasonable fee he could find you a top car, and if he finds the car within his client list you wouldn't pay much for it. You can also ask him to go out and find a car for you (e.g. in Germany, he has good relations with quite a few Ferrari dealers in Europe such as Eberlein in Kassel), but then you would need to pay him a serious fee depending on the time he would need to spend. It would be worth it if you wanted it quickly. All up to you. There is a nice looking car at Eberlein, BTW. http://www.ferrari-eberlein.de/index.php/CarDetails.html?id=30

    Don't be tempted to buy cheap in any case. I would try and locate the best I could find, and damn the budget. This tactic has certainly served me well in the past: a Ferrari with problems makes this hobby a nightmare very quickly. With a mileage of 25 to 50k, you won't sit at the very top of the expenditure curve anyway. It is a good mileage range to go for, although 25k is getting hard to find, 50k is already at the lower end of the scale in mainland Europe. I would get a lot of comfort if the car has driven, say, 10,000kms in the last 3 years. That gives a lot of reassurance that she is running well.

    Service history is extremely important. If the car is honest you don't need it to go back the whole way but the last 3 years is certainly of the essence.

    If you can't find a good PPI guy and do it yourself, then I would make sure that you drive a good number of cars (say 5, minimum). You will start to see what is a decent car and what isn't very quickly.

    Best of luck,


    Onno
     
  6. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    Thanks Onno

    That's just the advice I've been after :)

    I'll have a chat with Alex Jansen, he sounds great (as well as busy!).

    I'd rather wait 12 months for the right car, than buy one tomorrow and spend the next 12 months fixing it!

    Thanks again for your A1 advice.

    Cheers,

    Robert :)
     
  7. greyboxer

    greyboxer F1 World Champ

    Dec 8, 2004
    10,633
    South East
    Full Name:
    Jimmie
    LHD 360 sometimes appear on pistonheads too so you can do the whole thing including inspection in English

    If you haven't already read the 360 buyers guide at the top of that section to get a foundation
     
  8. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

    Mar 26, 2011
    10,262
    FRANCE
    Well, Robert, the french bureaucracy can be quite a nightmare as for cars registration, this is true. The british one, from what I have heard, is much more friendly towards differences from the standard or special vehicles: a lot of vehicles that you see registered for road use in the UK would indeed never have been accepted here.
    But as for other situations / subjects, I know of some other countries where the bureaucracy can outscore ours in many matters.

    But that’s not my point; what I wanted to tell you is that you should certainly not be afraid of the “Contrôle Technique”; any well maintained car will go through it without problem, and being rejected is very rare indeed, and usually the fate of really, really clapped-out cars.
    Ferraris usually being at least “correctly” maintained do not have any problem most of the time, other than being the subject of much interest, or embarrassment from the technicians who actually do not know how to approach the beast. Both my 328, GTB and GTS, are 25 years old and until this day, have always passed with flying colors; the “B” had her last one last week, and the controlling technician was embarassed as he didn’t find anything to fault, so he wrote “small engine oil leak” just to show that he had indeed looked hard. His collegue wrote the same thing two years before, and the other one two years before that also (even if I do not need to add oil in the car…)
    So I wouldn’t mind at all about the “Contrôle Technique”.

    The main drawback these days, when you are buying a Ferrari from another country and have it registered here, seem to be obtaining the COC from the factory, which could take from two weeks to six months to arrive, this without any rhyme or reason. Whenever possible, having this made in the country of origin seems to help. As for having the car registered in France, I’m sure that some French Ferraristis would be happy to explain how to do it, but this is not different from another car and I suppose that a lot of Brits living in France have already done it. Of course, it helps to speak French if you are trying to do it yourself.

    The market for 360 is rather large these days here, so should you want to try your luck here, I’m sure you could find the right car.

    Rgds
     
  9. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert

    Thank you for your sound advice :)

    The “Contrôle Technique” sounds hilarious! I've had a Renault pass it 3 times, but I can see a Ferrari would sail through.

    Yes, the C of C seems to be the key to registering the car in France (or any European country for that matter). However, I had assumed that the C of C would come with the other vehicle documents as part of the sale.

    I spent a while on the DVLA website after someone had suggested putting UK plates on it, and it was quite educational. I'm sure the same basic principles apply across the EU.

    (UK plates are a possible option as I live in both France and the UK, but intend to remain domicile in the UK; although the car will spend most of its time in France -a problem I could 'overlook'? Insurance might be an issue though. Will need to consider that ...).

    But yes, re-register in France if the car is not already French.

    With the above in mind, do you know of a French garage/mechanic who could do the PPI?

    Thanks :)
    Robert
     
  10. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    Thanks for that :)

    I'll have a look at Pistonheads.

    (Already read the 360 Buyers Guide!)

    Cheers,
    Robert
     
  11. nerofer

    nerofer F1 World Champ

    Mar 26, 2011
    10,262
    FRANCE
    Well:
    1. don't ASSUME anything for the COC: take every and all precautions, ask the seller three times, etc, but be sure BEFOREHAND how and by whom it will be asked. Because if it ends by yourself having to do it after you bought the car and through a french dealership, I know of people who have waited more than six months, so be aware.

    2. I don't know exactly what are the french rules for "foreigners" living in France...
    but for us frenchmen usually the french administration consider that your car(s) must be registered where you tax domiciliation is, which, according to the french tax code, is "where your center of main interests are: your job, etc"; but this is not a strict obligation. Furthermore, now that the registration system and licence plates have changed, and do not show the "departement" anymore, this is - visually - less important.
    What I understand is that it is nevertheless important that you have the same adress on your insurance and on the car's registration papers; and also to have stated clearly to your insurer where the car is usually sheltered and driven (must be the same in the UK I guess) .

    3. I don't actually know of French garage, or mechanics who would accept to travel with you abroad to check a car, but I'd guess there are some. Most "independant" mechanics working on Ferraris would accept to give "an advice" on a car, usually by checking it in their own garage. You know that "PPI" as such do not exist here (I mean: strictly defined by a procedure, except of course if you buy in an official dealership a "Ferrari approved" secondhand car)

    Rgds
     
  12. PBE624

    PBE624 Formula Junior

    Jan 18, 2005
    300
    De Panne Belgium
    Full Name:
    Frank
    Hi Robert and greetings from Belgium.

    Wish you good luck with your search !
    As far as CoC is concerned, I thought that all EU cars after 1998 received a European CoC , which should be valid across Europe... . Maybe just double check then if you do need a specific CoC for France... .

    A good friend of mine bought a 360 Spider F-1 in Black/black a couple of years ago at the Ferrari dealership in Antwerp.

    I know he is looking into buying something new but has not advertised his car for sale yet. I think it fills the boxes you stated so if you are interested in black/black, let me know or send a PM and I can check whether he is interested in selling.

    His other cars include a BMW 6 convertible and Maserati Gran Sport, and he keeps them all in top shape.

    Cheers,
    Frank
     
  13. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    That's very thoughtful of you. I would be interested in your friend's 360.

    As a matter of fact a black 360 spider is my top choice of colour! A light beige or black interior is my other preference.

    If the car is not yet for sale, I am happy to wait for when your friend is ready, I'm in no rush :)
    Some basic details about it, eg. Year, mileage, service record, last clutch and belts, etc would be helpful - but all in due course, no hurry.

    Many thanks,
    Robert
     
  14. R4robert

    R4robert Rookie

    Jul 27, 2014
    8
    London & Bordeaux
    Full Name:
    Robert
    Thank you for the advice, three very good points :)
    I guess it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that "it will be easy, everything will be fine", etc.

    I especially noted your point about PPI's. I've seen a car advertised near Bordeaux, but I'm stuck as to who might do a PPI for me, or even a basic inspection, once I've seen it.
    The Ferrari dealership in Bordeaux (Merignac) service the car, so I cannot approach them for a PPI.

    I've searched for an independent, but they seem impossible to find :-(

    So if you know of a mechanic in that part of France, or within a radius of 200 km, please let me know. I'm desperate!

    Many thanks,
    Robert
     

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