Live The High Life In A Fractional Supercar
Here at Fractional Life we get our fair share of supercar club driving opportunities which for one thing or another can ultimately remain unfulfilled. But when Marque II supercar club invited me to drive their Audi R8 to partake in a charity golf event in Kent I wholeheartedly obliged despite only just being able to fit the golf bag legally in the passenger seat.
The club, now approaching its three year anniversary started with a small nucleus of cars and as membership numbers have increased the supercar fleet available for members to enjoy has grown into a kaleidoscope of city runabouts, performance estates, luxury sports and true supercar metal.
Collecting the Audi from the Vauxhall, South London base I was met by staff members Mark and Gillian whilst drooling over the other supercar exotica available to delight members – Noble, Ferrari 360 Spider, Jaguar XKR, Alfa Romeo 8C to name a few.
Speaking about the supercar club concept in more detail with Gillian, she believes the reason why some supercar clubs have closed their doors recently is due to challenging economic times and the large monthly lease / hire purchase payment obligations many supercar club operators have. This, coupled with spiraling residuals and hence rising depreciation costs means the supercar club business model is being severely tested and many of the ‘old rules’ of fractional supercar club management do not now apply. ‘Supercar flipping’ where a Club would get a reservation order in early on a new sought after model, take delivery and run on the fleet for 6 months or so and then resell at more or less the purchase price is a thing of the past due to these challenging economic times.
I caught up with Nat Alexander, Marque 2 Sales Director in between holes on the golf course “Our owner is a serial entrepreneur and he has around 14 other different businesses. We own all our cars outright – none are on finance and we haven’t got the massive overheads that ultimately brought the demise of some of our competitors. We feel these facts are the defining factor when potential members are doing their sums and looking to join. It’s a great USP – it differentiates us from other supercar clubs and our members feel more reassured and confident of our place in the market today.”
I went on to ask Nat about club membership levels:
“We have a membership number approaching 50, there’s always enough cars to go around and to be frank the pressure isn’t on me to recruit just any member, or somebody who can clearly afford membership – we focus on inviting the ‘right member’ that buys into the ethos of the Club to join. For this reason, not every potential Marque 2 member is invited to join”
“All we ask is our members have a safe, fun driving experience whilst using the cars, treating them both mechanically and physically with the utmost respect.” When Nat got around to talking about the renewal rate, forever the achillies heel of supercar club cashflow projections, “100%” he answers with a grin. “We work exceptionally hard to deliver value and exceed members expectations at all times. With membership numbers still relatively smaller than other fractional car clubs, we believe our commitment to delivering exceptional member service is the best in the supercar club market today. Not one member has left the club so far”
Judging by the service I received and my Audi R8 supercar driving weekend, they’ve got me hooked and I’d choose supercar club membership over ownership every time.