Yes, I’ve decided to unload my most expensive car, my 2012 McLaren MP4-12C, after only six months — and amazingly, it’s not because I’ve gone broke from buying a new car every month. The money made from you all watching my goofy videos somehow manages to keep head above water — at least for now — so the real reason why I’m selling my 12C after such a short time is … complicated.
To recap my McLaren experience so far, I found the cheapest 12C available in the U.S. with a clean title and history report, but when I flew out to inspect and test drive the car — it wasn’t drivable. The transmission was failing, and the dealer had drained the fluid to inspect the transmission, and since it needed to be replaced, they didn’t bother to refill it. This meant my McLaren only had a single forward gear, and no reverse, so my test drive was severely limited. Because I’m crazy, I still bought the car anyway, mostly because the extended warranty would cover anything the car needed.
What I didn’t think about was the time it would take to complete the job, and thanks to a national shortage of replacement transmissions, I had to wait two months before the car was finally delivered to me from New Jersey to Kansas. In total, the warranty saved the previous owner approximately $150,000 in repairs, which included a pair of $30,000 transmissions, one failed engine, and several electronic failures. It’s a staggering figure, but McLaren has been kind enough to offer an unlimited mileage warranty until the car is 12 years old or reaches 70,000 miles. This warranty costs around $5,000 a year to renew, but without it, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night owning this very sophisticated, yet very fragile car.
Perhaps the previous owner had all the bad luck, because my ownership experience has been nearly flawless. Other than a failed reverse lamp assembly, which the warranty covered that $1,000 replacement cost, I didn’t have any real issues. Shortly after taking delivery of the car, the check engine light came on for the catalytic converter, but that went away on its own once I started driving the car regularly. Months of being idled around the parking lot in limp mode had likely loaded up the exhaust enough to throw an error code.
My favorite part of my McLaren is how civilized it is, as most supercars aren’t comfortable to live with every day. The active hydraulic suspension in the normal setting gives a near luxury car level of ride quality, and that coupled with the comfortable seats and all the modern technological conveniences makes it a great road trip car. It’s also ridiculously fast, and an incredible performer, but that’s where I begin to have issues.
While the warranty is a lifesaver, it’s voided after any kind of track use, where I could actually feel this McLaren at its limits legally. The few times I pushed the car on public roads had me feeling guilty, since it required downright dangerous speeds to feel any kind of rush. So I really think I would be happier with an older, slower car that gives me more than two seconds of excitement on a highway on-ramp. This isn’t a dig at the McLaren personally, as I feel this way when I drive many other modern supercars.
Additionally, I’m not too keen to figure out what the long term ownership prospects of McLaren’s first mass offering will be. Values have already dropped considerably since I purchased mine, and as more of these are offered out of warranty with five figure repair needs, I suspect the value will drop even more. Since the car is so specialized, with much of the parts designed specifically for the 12C, I suspect getting parts at reasonable prices in the future will be challenging as well. Even while it’s still under warranty, having to ship it off hundreds of miles away for repairs, with regular delays when it comes to sourcing parts, does get pretty annoying.
Mostly, though, it’s pretty obvious that I have a short attention span when it comes to cars, but I think I’ve found the perfect replacement that offers similar practicality, but is also serviceable, while offering a much more exciting ownership experience than my McLaren. It’s also the village bicycle for car YouTubers, which is why I’ve avoided it until now — but I suppose it’s time to face my destiny. Find a McLaren MP4-12C for sale