Ferrari maintenance: cost, plans and service schedule

Prancing Horses may not be as fragile as you’d think

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There’s a famous scene in Season 20 of Top Gear, a long-running series about motor vehicles, where the boys race a Ferrari 458, a McLaren MP4-12C and an Audi R8 down an abandoned runway in Spain. Shortly after the race, Clarkson points out how the debris on the runway has literally eaten away at the bodywork of the Ferrari, whereas the 12C and the R8 look just fine.

Even though the scene is over a decade old now – and the 458 has since been replaced three times (488, F8, 296) – it still contributed to the widespread belief that Ferraris are fragile and delicate machines. This, in turn, would imply that they’re astronomically expensive to keep on the road.

But in reality, your average $350,000 Ferrari is cheaper to maintain than a $17,000 Mitsubishi Mirage.

How can that be? What is the real-world cost of maintaining a Ferrari? How about repairing one? Which Ferraris are the most and least reliable and, beyond a certain age, will you need an extended warranty?

Read on to find out.


Key insights

All new Ferraris sold since 2012 come with complimentary maintenance for the first seven years. The plan is transferable and covers oil changes, filters, fluids, belts, spark plugs and more, saving you at least $2,800 per year.

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ConsumerAffairs spoke with a Ferrari service manager who reported that the hybrid and AWD models (GTC4Lusso, FF) tend to visit the shop more often, while the V8 models are extremely reliable.

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All new Ferraris come with a three-year factory warranty (five if you buy certified pre-owned), but once it expires, out-of-warranty repairs can easily cost over $10,000.

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Third-party extended warranty options are limited, but Ferrari itself offers an extended warranty for around $4,000 per year of additional bumper-to-bumper coverage. It could be well worth it for the repair insurance and peace of mind.

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Are Ferraris expensive to maintain?

No, Ferraris are not expensive to maintain. And we can say that with absolute confidence because Ferrari covers your first seven years of maintenance for free.

“Here’s how Ferrari Genuine Maintenance works,” the service manager at our local Ferrari dealer explained. “Every Ferrari produced since 2012 comes with seven years of complimentary scheduled maintenance from new. So oil changes, belts, brake fluid and all of the other essentials are taken care of.”

That means you won’t have to budget $1,000 for a Ferrari oil change every year. Not bad, but does Ferrari Genuine Maintenance also include wear-and-tear items like brakes and spark plugs?

“It does include spark plugs, I think around 40,000 miles,” he told us. “As for brakes, the brakes on a Ferrari basically last forever – 50,000, 60,000 miles. Case in point, I don’t think I’ve had to do a brake job on a 488 yet,” he added, referring to a Ferrari model that debuted eight years ago in 2016.

Amazingly, the service manager told us that Ferrari doesn’t put a cap on how many service visits you can fit inside seven years of ownership. “The maintenance schedule is once every year or once every 10,000 miles,” he said. “That means if you drive 20,000 miles in a year, you can come in twice a year for free.”

He then told us a brief story of a customer who put more miles on his $400,000 Ferrari than most people put on their pickup truck.

“I knew a guy who put 150,000 miles on his 488 within seven years. That means he got 15 free visits before his Ferrari Genuine Maintenance expired. We normally charge $2,800 to service a V8, so that’s…”

“$42,000 in free maintenance?” we interjected.

“Yep,” he chortled back.

» COMPARE: Average car maintenance costs

How Ferrari compares to other automakers

Needless to say, the Ferrari Genuine Maintenance plan gives Ferrari owners a massive advantage in terms of ownership costs. At minimum, it saves you $2,800 per year, which adds up quickly if you plan to own an exotic car for a long period of time.

It’s also worth noting that the Ferrari Genuine Maintenance plan is transferable to successive owners, so if you buy a used 296 that’s two years old, you’ll still get five free visits worth a collective $14,000.

Lastly, even if you buy an older Ferrari with an expired Genuine Maintenance plan, the cost of annual maintenance (~$2,800) is still roughly the same as a newer McLaren – though it is more expensive than servicing a Lamborghini or Aston Martin.

Keep in mind, however, that Ferrari Genuine Maintenance only covers routine scheduled maintenance. Repairs are a different story. So which Ferraris are the most likely to give you trouble?

Which Ferraris are the most/least reliable?

Understandably, dealership service managers aren’t always forthcoming about which models in the lineup are the least reliable.

But they often relish the opportunity to share which vehicles they “see in the shop most often,” if you get our drift.

“It’s the new-new ones,” he told us. “The hybrids tend to come back often since Ferrari is still working out the bugs. The all-wheel drive models like the Lussos and the FFs also come back a bit more often. We recently replaced the PTU (read: AWD system) in an FF for $47,000.”

As for the most reliable, “Probably the 458. The V8 rear-wheel drive models in general.”

Discussions among Ferrari owners seem to echo the service manager’s experience. We found numerous posts on FerrariChat from Lusso/FF owners seeking advice on fixing their failed PTU systems. Conversely, owners of V8 models are quick to quash rumors that Ferraris are “fragile.”

Ferrari repair costs

As a final point of discussion, if things do happen to go wrong on your Ferrari, what might the out-of-pocket cost to fix it be?

Here are a few examples of semi-common Ferrari repairs, along with rough quotes that we’ve scoured from various owners and dealers online. Keep in mind that you may be able to find cheaper prices with an independent mechanic, though the quality assurance may not be as high.

If these sky-high repair costs are making you rethink buying a Ferrari, keep in mind that there are four key ways to vastly diminish your likelihood of needing a major repair soon:

  • Get a pre-purchase inspection: PPIs involve a third-party mechanic inspecting the car and providing a detailed report on its current condition. On exotic cars, the cost can range from $300 to $500, but it’s probably worth it to avoid a defective vehicle.
  • Buy a Ferrari Approved vehicle: Even better than a PPI is a Ferrari Approved vehicle, also known as Ferrari’s certified pre-owned (CPO) program. In order to qualify, a pre-owned Ferrari must pass a set of rigorous tests and have all worn parts replaced. Multiple dealers told us they spend an average of $15,000 refurbishing each CPO Ferrari, and, on average, they only charge 2.4% to 6.4% more. Ferrari Approved vehicles also come with a two-year warranty extension (five total from factory), making it well worth it in most cases.
  • Keep up with scheduled maintenance: This shouldn’t be hard since you only need to budget time. Go ahead and hop on your nearest dealer’s calendar as soon as you buy the car.
  • Consider an extended warranty: Ferrari Genuine Maintenance may last seven years, but your factory/CPO warranty protection won’t. That’s why it might be a good idea to consider an extended warranty if you plan to own your Prancing Horse for the long haul.

But what kind of extended warranty options exist for Ferraris?

» LEARN: What is a manufacturer’s warranty?

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How can an extended warranty help?

An extended warranty – on any car – can help to cover the cost of repairs needed due to factory defects long after the factory warranty period has expired.

There are pros and cons of extended auto warranties to consider but, ultimately, an extended warranty can give you peace of mind even when you’re not actively using it.

Now, on a Ferrari specifically, an extended warranty can take the brunt of a five-figure repair bill and easily pay for itself in a single visit. That’s not to suggest that Ferraris are unreliable – the evidence says otherwise – but things do happen.

As for your coverage options, keep in mind that if you buy a Ferrari Approved (CPO) vehicle, you’re already covered for at least the next two years.

Beyond that, your options are pretty limited. The best extended car warranty companies tend not to cover Ferraris for obvious reasons.

But Ferrari covers Ferraris, and you can purchase an official Ferrari Extended Manufacturer’s Warranty for around $4,000 per year of additional coverage. The catch is that your Ferrari must have been approved at some point, which is all the more reason to buy CPO in the first place.

» MORE: Car warranty vs. car insurance


Article sources ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Bavarian Rennsport, “Ferrari Common Problems.” Accessed May 29, 2024.
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