As with most supercars from the 2000s, depreciation has hit the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren quite hard. Paris Hilton paid the princely sum of $463,000 (approx. £327,000) for her shiny new 2006 SLR, and the very same car was bought recently at an online auction for "only" $180,000 (£127,000). Doing the maths, it means the modern-day 300SL Gullwing has lost roughly $18,000 (£12,700) in value each year.
Looking at the other side of the coin, maintaining the SLR in tip-top shape can quickly turn out to be a financial disaster. The owner of this grey example learned that lesson the hard way after sending the car to a certified Mercedes repair shop for a simple oil change, only to learn the supercharged V8 machine is in need of some serious TLC.
The list containing the service costs is worryingly long, but that goes with the territory when you own a relatively rare supercar (a little over 2,100 cars were assembled by McLaren at home in Woking). Relevant examples include the "A Service" for $2,105 (£1,500), a new power steering pump for $2,220 (£1,570), a steering rack for a whopping $6,270 (£4,430), and a used genuine Mercedes turbine-styled wheel for $1,899 (£1,340) to replace the bent one.
But wait, there's more. Replacing the shoddy aftermarket batteries with fresh OEM ones increases the bill by $1,350 (£955), while new gas door struts are $2,500 (£1,770) apiece. We could go on forever, mentioning the brake line mounts the Mercedes dealer insisted on replacing for $1,350 (£955), along with new tyre pressure monitoring sensors for a cool $1,700 and brake calliper cooling ducts for $1,250 (£880).
Then there are the miscellaneous items, like new wipers for $105 (£74), a washer nozzle for $500 (£354), petrol cap tether for $100 (£70), a tyre fit container for $215 (£152), and a drain plug replacement for $850 (£600). On top of these expenses, the SLS is in need of additional replacements to change the components that wear out in time, including even the wheel bolts.
The end result for this specific SLR with over 21,000 miles (nearly 33,800 kilometres) on the clock is an eye-watering $34,565 (£24,400) (including tax) in service costs. To put that into perspective, a brand new A-Class Saloon in the base version is roughly $1,000 cheaper in the United States. As if that wasn't enough, sooner or later, the brake rotors will have to be changed for no less than $20,000 (£14,100). The brake pads alone are approximately $3,000 (£2,120).