Collection and First Drive

A week is a long time. Although in my limited experience (of now two cars) it’s exactly the time it takes to go from paying a deposit and driving away. This is just enough time to sort out finance and insurance, however neither of these were as simple as my research had lead me to believe.

The first thing to sort out was the finance, as no matter how much insurance I had, without any money I would not be driving away in my own Ferrari. Before I had even been out to Slade’s Garage I had already started the process of moving my share of the funds from a longterm ISA to my regular current account, but I now had to convince somebody else to lend me the rest, which in these constrained times is easier said than done (even with nearly ⅓ of the price all ready and waiting). After going backwards and forwards with several lenders it was actually my bank who were willing to lend me the rest—perhaps there is such a thing as loyalty.

With the money on its way to me, I was then able to shop around for insurance. As with the car itself, this wasn’t the beginning of my research. In fact as soon as I realised my dream was within my reach I was entering 360 details into various comparison websites. Now many of the results were not feasible, and even those that were sensible, only a couple were from insurers that I would trust with a Ferrari, but it had given me a starting point with which to counter any offers with some of the more specialised super car insurance brokers. Based on the previous two years of driving in my Pro_cee’d, where the MOT certificate noted that my milage was roughly 3,000 miles, I decided that limiting myself to 6,000 miles in my 360 was more than sufficient. Eventually a couple of the specialist brokers returned my calls and were willing to cover me, but only for 3,000 miles and for nearly £2,000! This was more than double I was expecting and said so, which is when the operator let loose that the underwriters were actually Aviva. Within 10 minutes I had a policy direct with Aviva for a little over £800, limited to 6,000 miles annually, and everything else you’d expect from a major insurance company, with one exception that many Ferrari owners—any supercar owner in fact—usually look for: assured value. (As such, if everything goes wrong, I have to make-do with market value.) I was ultimately informed that the reason for my high quote and low milage limit was basically because, despite 6 years no claims, I have no years experience with high performance cars; hopefully this September it’ll be a different story.

It was finally the day I was to collect my first Ferrari: 19th September 2014; a rosso corsa and tan 360 Modena. This would also be the first time I would drive a Ferrari on my own, so no pressure! Again, I had asked my dad to come with me, not only so he could drive me to Slade’s Garage but also so he could lead (or follow) me back to my their place. (Yes, I do actually know the way to my parents, but following would give me one less thing to think about.) No one else in my family knew that I was collecting my first Ferrari; my housemates were the only other people to know—I had been unable to contain my excitement the previous Friday. At around 5:45pm we once again pulled up outside Slade’s and there she was, parked right at the front, ready to go.

A short walk through the showroom and we were, once again, back in their office, coffee in hand. In what has become a bit of a blur, I managed to pay the outstanding balance, take receipt of two ignition keys, three immobilisers, one master fob, a log book, and a collection of service and maintenance invoices. And that was that. The sun was still shinning but setting quickly, so we departed for my place (in west London) to grab a quick bite to eat before heading to the west country.

Now I already knew the roads around my place are not the greatest—my Pro_cee’d with its slightly sporty suspension jumped around enough—but I was still wasn’t ready for what happened next: the engine cover warning light lit up (just like on the test drive). Stopping of quickly at the supermarket, while my dad went for sandwiches I attempted to close the lid. Success. It was then that I noticed I would likely need some fuel as a ¼ of a tank was unlikely to get me nearly 100 miles, and on the way to the petrol station, once again, the engine cover light come on. So once again, after filling up I attempted to close it, although it was getting more difficult and taking a little bit of slamming. This was presumably because everything was hot and had expanded. But it eventually latched and off we set (again). And, again, the engine cover light came back on! Eventually I had had enough, the engine cover wasn’t really doing anything, it was’t opening, it would occasionally wobble but I decided it was safe enough to drive with. I would call Slade’s in the morning and see what they suggest.

About halfway, Reading-ish, I pulled off into a service station because I was starting to feel exhausted—the engine cover had wound me up, traffic was a nightmare for 8 o’clock (the busiest I’d seen at that time of the evening), and I was constantly being blinded by the headlights of the cars behind me. As it turns out the wing mirrors on a 360 are at roughly headlight hight for almost every other road car. Oh, and lorries and busses are absolutely massive and terrifying! So popping inside briefly gave me a pleasant surprise when I almost walked right into a old school friend. We had a quick hello, how’ve you been, what’s going on, et cetera, that obviously lead on to me exclaiming “…well I’m on my way to my parents for the weekend as I’ve just bought my first Ferrari!” which was answered with something along the lines of wow really? and that’s awesome! So there was another person who knew before most of my family.

Eventually I lead our two car convoy off the motorway and around Swindon and towards our sleepy village destination, and it was nice not to have wing mirrors full of lights, even if it was only for the final few miles. With only a mile to go, a clear, empty road in front of me and a set of traffic lights I had my first opportunity to pull a quick getaway! My dad just couldn’t keep up, even in his Jaguar! And the farmer putting his cows to bed probably had an almighty shock too.

And with that I ever-so-slowly pulled into my parents driveway. It’s not the best entrance: narrow gate posts, dipped despite rising from the road and descending to the front door, but I somehow managed to avoid scraping the nose (as it happens I was’t so successful the following day when I took her out to run some errands—dentist, hair cut—as when I pulled back in my brother pointed out that I had actually scuffed the nose, and the driveway). So there was first drive, and unfortunately (although almost inevitably) first scratch.