Will South Africa Really Destroy a Ferrari LaFerrari?

In a case filled with enough hijinx to make a feature-length movie and an outcome that is nothing short of shocking, the real victims are fans of the rare and beautiful Ferrari LaFerrari. So, maybe it’s best to start at the beginning. This whole thing began in 2014 when the new owner of a LaFerrari attempted to bring his Italian Hypercar into South Africa.

Now, when importing a car into a different country where it will reside permanently, there are usually forms to fill out and taxes to pay. In most cases, the owner just pays the tax and registers the car in its new home country. For whatever reason, the owner of this LaFerrari decided to get his car into the country by just bringing it into the country. Like, in a truck. South Africa Revenue Services did not like his straightforward approach.

There is an even bigger problem here than the taxes alone. Every LaFerrari was made left-hand drive. In 2004, a law was passed in South Africa that made it actually illegal to import left-hand drive cars into the country. The punishment for violators is destruction of the car in question. Since they initially stuck the LaFerrari in a bonded warehouse in order to let the owner pay up the ludicrous duty fees, I am assuming that SARS was being lenient due to the exotic nature of this vehicle.

For three years, the Ferrari LaFerrari sat in the guarded warehouse, which goes to show how determined the owner was to not pay more than the list price of the car. And, considering that the list price was in the millions of dollars, this is a bit suspicious. Like, why not just pay it and enjoy the car? Anyway, shady circumstances aside, the owner eventually agreed to have the car shipped out of the country.

Cool, problem solved, car is out of South Africa, free as a Rosso Red bird. It was on its way to the Democratic Republic of Congo when it somehow got loaded into a different truck and sent back into South Africa. Seems like the owner didn’t like the idea of registering the car in the DRC as much as he let on.


Ever-savvy of the scheming masses, South African Customs caught the car on the way through the border. The owner evaded taxes and duty fees, tried to import the car illegally twice, and both times violated not only the standard import procedure, but the real, actual law in South Africa. What will teach this scam-happy owner a lesson?

Well, crushing his rare (one of 499) Ferrari LaFerrari is certainly a consequence that will get the attention of the owner and every Ferrari fan on the planet. Will it actually happen? Who knows. I’ll believe it when I see video proof of it, but honestly why not just confiscate it or fine the owner and sell the car back to Ferrari? Seems like a big waste to make a rather small point.

Categories: Automotive News

Ian Swan
About Ian Swan

I am a life-long car enthusiast and the proud owner of what is likely the only Mini Cooper S to have ever been hit by a Snow Cat. I live in Brooklyn, New York, where I spend too much time looking for neat cars.