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

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

The Pick of the Day is an exceptionally fine luxury sedan

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.

Rolls-Royce
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.

Rolls-Royce
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.

Rolls-Royce
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.

Rolls-Royce
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.

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3 Comments

  • Ron Warrick
    June 12, 2019, 7:12 AM

    I couldn’t begin to guess what it would cost to own for five years, though.

    REPLY
  • Pat McEntee
    June 12, 2019, 8:15 AM

    $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.

    REPLY
    • Andy Reid@Pat McEntee
      June 12, 2019, 6:51 PM

      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.

      REPLY