Publication featured in: The Times
The number of licenced ‘supercars’* in the UK has increased by only 3% (621 cars) to a total of 19,577 in the past year**, down from the 11% (1,906 cars) added the year before.
This represents a substantial slowdown in the growth of UK supercar numbers, which have been increasing year-on-year for the past five years. 2022 saw high-net-worth individuals (HNWs) spend big on luxury goods with the increased savings they were unable to spend during lockdown.
David Kendrick, CEO of UHY Manchester, says that high interest rate rises are in large part responsible for the slowdown. Over the last decade there has been a substantial increase in the use of car finance to buy supercars. Low interest rates and strong resale values for supercars had attracted specialist funders into the market.
Kendrick claims that “Interest rates are impacting every corner of the economy. The slowdown in supercar sales shows that not even the ultra-wealthy are immune.”
Sanctions on Russian ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWs) have also likely contributed to the slowdown in supercar sales, with this group having previously accounted for a significant number of purchases.
“We tend to think that sales of luxury goods like supercars as insulated from world events but that isn’t necessarily the case. A lot of Russian buyers left the UK market in 2022, hitting several categories of luxury purchases – supercars were one of them.”
However, Kendrick notes that high oil prices (currently $80+ per barrel) will help maintain demand from Gulf UHNWs.
“Fortunately for the luxury car sector, HNWs from the Gulf and further afield remain reliable ‘supercar’ customers. If oil prices stay high, supercar sales should remain solid.”
Number of ‘supercars’ registered in UK, by brand
Number of licenced ‘supercars’ registered in the UK
Net change in licenced ‘supercars’ vs previous year
* Supercar brands are car manufacturers that exclusively produce small numbers of luxury vehicles – including Bugatti, Ferrari, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini and McLaren
** Year end March 31 2023