The Supercar Graveyard
Here at Tyres Northampton, we not only offer a huge range of professional, affordable car maintenance services, but we also like to abreast of the motoring industry news. That’s why, when we heard supercars were being abandoned in Dubai as a common means of avoiding fines, penalties and even prison, we had to find out more…
Out in Dubai, somewhere in an airport parking complex or by a sandy roadside there is a supercar gathering dust. On some of these cars people have written in the dust “where the hell is the owner?” and the truth is that they no longer have owners. It is a common sight now in Dubai, where owners of supercars can no longer keep up with the payments, fines or debts they have accumulated; therefore they must ditch their rides and flee the country.
An extreme reaction you might think, until you learn that in Dubai, under Sharia law, having debts is a crime. You cannot claim bankruptcy and you have no protection for such losses. If you have debts which you cannot pay back, then you will be imprisoned.
Sometimes these cars are stripped for exhausts and brakes, but sometimes the potential for selling to a new owner is too great. The abandoned cars make the streets of Dubai look like a supercar graveyard, like icons of the excess of the wealthy nation. If the cars are left unattended for more than 6 months then the police can impound them and auction them off – and if you were thinking that it would be an expensive auction you’d be right; the world’s most expensive, in fact.
The reason owners are so quick to flee is that they are usually not native of Dubai and so leave a note on the car then run back to their home country with their tails between their legs. Some of those owners will wince as they see cars like the Ferrari Enzo – of which there are only 399 of in the world – go under the hammer for a lot less than their initial value. The supercar, with a top speed of 217mph, is one of the fastest road cars around and its value actually goes up when one of the 398 others crashes.
Since the economic downturn, this situation is becoming more common, with even the most affluent of nations clearly feeling the pinch. The abandoned luxury cars belong to Russians, Europeans, Emiratis and companies, but the cases don’t always link to criminal activities; the owners simply can’t meet the traffic fines in most cases.
The fines are said to range from £16,000 to £17,000 and, until recently, the fleeing owners were put onto the Interpol wanted list. With many executives and high rollers being from other countries, it is not unheard of for people to be blacklisted for missing payments, thus preventing them from leaving the country and avoiding the consequences.
If the Ferrari isn’t your cup of tea, then there are other luxury cars such as 911s and Range Rovers just waiting to be snapped up. The Dubai police force has raised millions of pounds in their last few auctions, leaving them the ultimate winners in all of this. If they aren’t making money, then at least they have brakes and exhausts from supercars with which to soup up their own fleet of squad cars.
So the next time you get a speeding ticket or a parking fine then cast your mind back to these tales of woe and you’ll be thankful you don’t have a Ferrari F40 or Jaguar XJ220 to abandon!