JUST WEEKS after the first batch of BMW i8 hypercars arrived in the UK, speculators are selling and advertising used examples for up to £50,000 more than the list price.
Magnitude Finance, a vehicle financing company, claims that one of its clients sold his i8, which he had only just taken delivery of, to another of the company’s customers for £140,000. The man had paid £95,000 for the car, a price that included the government’s £5,000 plug-in grant, and so his near 50% premium earned him a profit of £45,000.
Tim Marlow, a director of the finance company, said: “A client contacted us and said he was desperate to get into an i8 and asked if we’d heard of anyone willing to sell, as the dealers had sold out. We knew a long-standing client who said he was willing to sell for the right price. We put the pair in touch to conclude the deal.”
Marlow said that prices of used i8s were being driven up by a combination of low supply and high demand.
“They are very rare, there’s a limited number on the road and the waiting list is now approaching a year. It’s certainly a seller’s market and some dealers who have used ones are pricing them in the region of £150,000, which is serious supercar territory.”
Motorhouse Shipley, an independent dealer based in Shipley, West Yorkshire, is advertising an i8 that has done 200 miles for £149,995. It comes with the optional Pure Impulse full equipment package, containing all optional features in addition to exclusive design details.
Naz, the salesman, said the car had been in stock for three days but was confident it would sell for close to the asking price.
“The previous owner was a car enthusiast who owned several vehicles but had little time to drive them,” he said. “He told me none of his other cars had ever caused such excitement and interest among people.”
BMW said that it had 450 confirmed orders for the i8 and that the waiting time for a new car was 12 months. A spokesman said the company had tried to discourage speculators from buying i8s and re-selling them at a profit, but admitted it couldn’t keep track of every deal.
“We insist that each order is pre-qualified,” said the spokesman. “That is, there should be a real customer for the car for whom we have a name and address. It’s no guarantee against speculators but we’re doing our best. Selling the cars for inflated prices serves no purpose and we do try to stop it.”