Gigi and Glenn Moss took delivery of their 40th anniversary present to each other on July 8: a complementary pair of Rolls-Royces.
The white Rolls-Royce Phantom Tempus and red Rolls-Royce Dawn Black Badge are the first cars that the California couple has ever owned from the storied brand. But they are the first of many, apparently: Over lunch at the Orange County car dealership at which they received them, the couple was already playfully arguing about the proper color of the next Rolls-Royce they want: a Cullinan SUV.
They will have to settle for something not totally brand-new unless they are prepared to wait; the Rolls-Royce order books are already full for the next six months.
The double- and triple-digit increase in used-car prices on the mass market is well documented.
In June, average prices for used cars shot up almost 30 percent from last year, according to automotive researcher Edmunds.com.
The rise accounted for more than one-third of the gains in the consumer price index, which last month jumped at the fastest rate in 13 years.
More than ever, members of the Rolls-Royce elite are choosing to purchase vehicles from the company's "Provenance"--or highly selective pre-owned--program.
"It used to be that one out of three vehicles we sold were Provenance," said Gerry Spahn, head of communications for Rolls-Royce North America, during a luncheon held for reporters in order to showcase the new cars. "Now, it's closer to 75 percent."
Rolls-Royce is not the only high-end brand experiencing significant upticks in the used-car business.
At Bentley, sales rose 150 percent from January to May. Certified-pre-owned sales at McLaren are up only 2 percent year to date over 2020, a record-year, but the prices those supercars are selling for used are higher than when they were new.
"McLaren 765LT coupes are trading on the pre-owned market up to 40 percent over MSRP, which is staggering," says Nic Brown, acting president of McLaren North America.
Whereas the pandemic has brought wealthy consumers a surplus of time and money--plus injected them with a healthy dose of "you only live once" energy-- many luxury car fans are eager to obtain something that is fun to drive as quickly as possible. Even if it means the car is new only to them.