Why Ferrari drivers should pay for professional driving schools
Australia’s Ferrari owners have a choice between expensive professional driving and flea market flea markets.
In the latter case, they can pay to join a Ferrari-driving school.
According to a new report by a leading Australian think tank, the National Automotive Council, the majority of Ferrari owners would be better off to attend a driving school instead of going to flea shows.
The report by the Centre for Australian Business Economics was commissioned by the Financial Review to provide a benchmarking exercise for the debate over the future of professional driving in Australia.
“Most of us who drive cars are pretty happy to drive, but the reality is, we are very busy people,” said one Ferrari owner.
“We have our children at school, we have our work, and we have a family, so we have to put our focus on our kids and their future.”
The report also finds that Ferrari owners are much more likely to go to flees than professionals.
In fact, a Ferrari owner’s family is more likely than a professional to go through a flea hunt, and the Ferrari owner is more than three times more likely if the family has an income.
“Most people who drive Ferraris would rather go to a fleas market and buy an antiques car,” said James Ritchie, director of research and policy at the Centre.
“It’s just the way the world is.”
While the Ferrari owners might not get a chance to drive an expensive Ferrari, they are more likely as a group to go on a driving lesson.
In Australia, there are more than 150 Ferrari-focused driving schools across the country, which include the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ferrari-owned Lotus and Ferrari-built supercar McLaren.
In the past, the Australian government has taken steps to help those with limited financial means to attend professional driving programs.
In 2013, the government introduced the Driver and Driver Education Program (DDA), which provided funding for a range of education and driving programs in Australia, with more than $50 million allocated over four years to help more than 500,000 drivers get to grips with their cars.
However, there is no doubt the current focus of Australia’s racing industry is on making sure Ferrari drivers can afford to attend the best driving schools.
“I think there is a huge amount of money that could be invested in making it possible for drivers to have an opportunity to go and drive a Ferrari,” said Ferrari Australia CEO Steve Beardsley.
“But it’s a very difficult task to do that.”
In 2012, the Competition and Consumer Commission (CCCC) recommended that drivers should be given the right to choose a professional driving program, and that they should have a “reasonable” chance to be successful.
The recommendations were rejected by the Australian Competition and Energy Commission (ACEC), which ruled that the program was a “misleading and deceptive advertisement”.
However the latest report by the Centre for Automotive Research finds the current policy is not working, with Ferrari failing to convince more than one-third of Ferrari-based drivers to attend an accredited Ferrari-driven driving school.
In some cases, Ferrari is even asking drivers to pay a fee to attend.
As the Ferrari brand becomes increasingly synonymous with Ferrari-powered cars, it has also become a hot commodity for flea dealers.
Ferrari dealers sell Ferrari cars, Ferraris, Ferrassi and Ferraris accessories and Ferrassi-branded clothing, including Ferrari-branded shoes and Ferrini-branded watches.
The Australian Competition & Energy Commission found that Ferraris and Ferrari brands were advertising and promoting the car on radio and TV and were selling Ferraris at auctions.
Ferrari-brand car buyers were offered $250 to $500 for a Ferrari in the Australian market, while Ferraris sold for between $1,000 and $2,000 at auctions across the world.
For those looking for an affordable way to take up the Ferrari lifestyle, the Centre’s report says there are a number of options to help you find a Ferrari driving school for less than $10,000.
“The main thing is to make sure you have a reasonable chance of getting to know Ferrari in a professional setting,” said Ritchie.
“If you can afford it, it’s worth it.”