HomePick of the DayRolls-Royce: buying the very best on a used-car budget

Rolls-Royce: buying the very best on a used-car budget


After testing the new Rolls-Royce Phantom, I have fallen in love with the brand. A Rolls from any era just seems to be one of the finest luxury cars available. These cars when new were not only the best luxury cars available, they were also the most expensive.

The solution would be a used Rolls-Royce, which after a few years depreciates quite steeply. At some point in the deprecation curve, the specific model levels off and stays pretty even in the market.

This is the best time to buy one of these cars as the depreciation is over and you could even to see the car increase in value over time.

The Rolls looks to be in well-cared-for condition

The Pick of the Day is a perfect example, a 2000 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Conroe, Texas.

The Silver Seraph is an interesting car built during an interesting time. Rolls and Bentley were for sale, with both BMW and Volkswagen looking to buy them.

What ended up happening is that VW bought the Bentley/Rolls factory in Crewe, England, for hundreds of millions of dollars and thought they had purchased the Rolls-Royce brand as well.  As it turns out, while they got the factory, BMW actually bought the Rolls-Royce name for somewhere around $50 million.

The Silver Seraph is powered by a V12 from BMW

The Silver Seraph is unique in that it was built just after this was sorted out, and as a result was the last Rolls-Royce model to be built in the Crewe factory, which by then was owned by VW.  Yet the car was actually powered by a V12 engine from BMW.

This Silver Seraph has the benefit of being a second-year model. In 2000, the car received a number of upgrades, such as a built-in GPS system and parking assist, and a rear seating compartment with more room. A number of first-year problems also were worked out, making the 2000 Seraph a reliable car if cared for properly.

The interior is finished in spectacular wood trim

Another bonus with the Silver Seraph is its strong performance. According to contemporary road-test data, the car that weighs more than 3 tons, can cover 0-60 in 7.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 mph. Not bad for an uber luxury car of the era. Rolls-Royce would have called it “adequate.”

This Silver Seraph looks like one that has been well cared for. Not surprising since the base cost of a Seraph in 2000 was $219,000, with many costing $250k or more, depending on options.

The seller states that the car has covered only 59,000 miles from new, and from the ad it sounds like a single-owner car.

Sumptuous leather seating

Before buying any one of these cars, you should first have it inspected by a Rolls-Royce/Bentley specialist, and inquire if the seller has service records for the car.

With only 1,570 total Silver Seraph cars built and in a nice color combination, this one could well be an excellent buy at the asking price of $38,900. It is certainly so when you learn that the original owner paid $220,00 for the car when it was new.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. $38,000 to buy. How much to own? Between insurance, maintenance, and fuel you would need a healthy income to afford it.

    But if you give me one I would take it.

    • I can give you a real answer about ownership costs. If the car has been properly serviced and is up to date with those services, you should budget about $2,000 per year. Some years will cost $500 and some will cost $2,500. These cars are durable, reliable and are not crazy expensive to deal with. At a dealer they definitely are but there are a great many quality Rolls-Royce independent shops out there. I am not speaking from a buyers guide but from actual experience in owning one of these cars.

  2. Purchasing used luxury cars can be difficult. Thanks for sharing insight on buying a used Rolls Royce with this Pick of the Day!

  3. What a amazing information you just have posted dear about the Rolls-Royce. I am a big fan of Rolls-Royce and i am searching a blog like this for buying the very best Rolls-Royce on a used-car budget.

  4. Andy, what cautions should I consider when looking for a used Rolls Royce (2010-2013)? What kind of mileage is acceptable (for instance, is low mileage on a 2010 or 2011 a good thing? What mileage limit on these years is acceptable?) What place(s) do you recommend that I look?

  5. one of the reasons these cars have LOW mileage on them speaks for itself. IF they were as reliable as they are made out to be they would have more miles on them. The truth is they ARE unreliable and expensive to maintain.£4000 minimum to srot the suspension when theres a problem.
    Over rated Over priced and over engineered

  6. In this blog post, I read recently about how to buy a used car from a dealership and it was very informative. In post provided information about the steps used for car budget, as well as the skills and experience you need. Also provided tips on how to get started with buying the very best on a used-car budget.


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