In the Italian city of Maranello, residents are quickly becoming fed up with the sounds of Ferraris roaring down their streets. Maranello is the hometown of Ferrari, and it maintains a much higher per capita rate of the legendary sports cars than the rest of the world.
People travel far and wide to test drive a Ferrari in Maranello. They rev the engines and peel out of the parking lot, much to the ire of everyday citizens. Many of these test drivers are known to speed, causing people to express major safety concerns. Although the city only contains 17,000 residents, there are at least three dozen top-notch Ferraris available for testing.
Some companies have gotten in on the action. They have purchased their own Ferraris, and they are letting people take them out at their leisure. Their setups often include cafes and souvenir shops, as they try to milk money out of tourists. For many people, the chance to drive a Ferrari in the town of Maranello is an opportunity of a lifetime.
These companies are making big bucks by offering test drives. Anyone who wants to take a Ferrari out for a ten minute spin will have to pony up at least $115, and the rate can be even higher for the top-quality models. For instance, a two hour drive in a Ferrari 458 Speciale costs about $2,000. And you can be sure that people will get their money’s worth. They speed, they roar and they fly down the road, while Maranello residents just shake their heads in disgust.
The test driving companies have been defending their practices of allowing test drives in Maranello. Officials representing these companies have stated that there have been no accidents and that every test drive is accompanied by a professional racecar driver for safety purposes.
This hasn’t stopped the police force of Maranello from getting involved. In the first nine months of this year, the Maranello police conducted more than 450 traffic stops which involved super cars. Over the past five years, a total of 305 different fines have been issued to Ferraris.
The city has worked to slow down the practice by restricting the hours in which Ferrari test drives can be conducted. The move has angered the companies, which now must turn people away during some of the most popular hours. Some company officials have stated that they have lost up to 80% of their test driving business.
Still, there’s no denying that the test driving industry is critical for the small tourist town. So while residents might be sick of the super cars, it appears that thousands of people will still happily spend their money on the chance to drive an incredible automobile for just a few minutes.