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One of the most astounding things about owning a Ferrari is not the car but the process of obtaining one. If you think someone simply walks into a dealership and buys a new Ferrari, you’re wrong. You can’t just purchase a new Ferrari, no matter what you have. Neither money, power, fame, nor good looks matter. So here are some of the hoops you must jump through to own a new Ferrari. Many of these rules are unspoken.  

After buying a new Ferrari, you cannot sell it immediately

You cannot sell your new Ferrari in the first year of ownership — it’s in the fine print of the contract you sign. This rule is to discourage flippers. Especially with limited-edition models, the owner could reap a huge profit by flipping a low-mileage, first-year Ferrari. Also, Ferrari wants the option of taking back the car if you decide to sell it.

There has been a feud between Ferrari and Lamborghini for decades, and it rages on. If you want your name on a VIP list for a limited-edition Ferrari and you also own a Lambo, forget about it. Even if you have other Ferraris, the Prancing Horse doesn’t want to co-mingle with the Bull.

Modifying the engine or appearance of a new Ferrari is also forbidden

Gold Ferrari a Ferrari no-no Ferrari rules
A Ferrari no-no | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

You can’t modify the engine, have custom bodywork, paint the body garish colors, or cover the Prancing Horse badge. Ferrari strictly forbids pink, rose, and salmon. Any of the above are considered “tampering” with the car.

Additionally, all maintenance work must be performed by an authorized Ferrari dealer. If not, the warranty is voided, and your name goes on a list of people forbidden from purchasing a new Ferrari.

Attending exclusive functions with your car is expected

If you own a Ferrari, you will be invited to exclusive functions and events. You’re expected to attend these gatherings to soak in everything about the brand. The expectation is to drink the Ferrari Kool-Aid at these functions, too. To get on a waiting list for a limited-edition model, you must own at least four other Ferrari cars. 

Breaking the rules could land you on a blacklist

The Ferrari blacklist is real, and one way to get on it is to badmouth the brand, as 50 Cent did recently. Ferrari also expects you to be toned down and not flashy. A cease-and-desist will land in your hands if you cross certain lines. Speaking out online or calling attention to yourself — especially while driving in your Ferrari — will put you on the blacklist.

This was no more apparent than with Ferrari collector David Lee. The LA Times wrote an article in 2017 about his negotiations with the local Ferrari dealer. He wanted to purchase the hybrid Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta. Once Ferrari became aware of the Times article, it cut off negotiations to buy its product. Lee is the chairman of Hing Wa Lee Group, whose companies include real estate, luxury jewelers, investment, and dining firms. He also owns over a dozen Ferraris. Dropping $2.2 million for his latest Ferrari obsession was not a matter of affordability.

Ferrari uses the waiting list as a reward for loyalty

Shark Tank judge Robert Herjavec is a Ferrari collector. He says getting on a list for a new limited-edition model is nearly impossible. “People assume it’s a financial decision; whoever has more money gets on,” he said in a 2014 Wired interview. “The reality is that they use it as a reward for people who are loyal to the brand.” 

So how do you know if you’re actually on a list for a limited-edition Ferrari?

“The funny thing is you never really know if you’re getting one until you’re getting one,” Herjavec told Wired. “This is where the Ferrari world is kind of like the Vatican. It’s very mysterious. There are a lot of trinkets you have to wear and rings you have to kiss.”