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How it feels to buy a Rolls-Royce

By raccars Published

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When you're spending £300,000 on a Rolls-Royce, the buying process becomes very interesting...

Your personal style may be more 'Italian supercar' than 'stately barge', but there's no denying that there's something rather special about getting behind the wheel of such an iconic, opulent and downright expensive car. While most new car buyers try and strike a bargain over a bit of metallic paint, larger alloys or the inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity, some 4,000 Rolls-Royces leave the manufacturer each year fitted with optional extras that cost more than your entire car - and sometimes more than your house!

The Rolls-Royce Goodwood headquarters

To that end, picking up a new Rolls-Royce is treated as the special occasion it rightly is, with buyers permitted to take a look around the firm's HQ at Goodwood and find out what's involved in making and running their spectacular new ride. It's a five star consumer experience, with the most outlandish customer requests granted with the warmest welcome. You want your Roller's interior colour matched to your beloved Weimeraner? No problem, sir. Custom built picnic hamper with sterling silver bespoke cutlery and lead crystal champagne flutes? Coming right up, for a mere £20,000.

The limits of what is available are set only by your budget and your imagination and it seems the creative heads at Rolls-Royce positively enjoy having their ingenuity subjected to the utmost challenges. Never mind funky coloured decals and full length panoramic glass sunroofs, this is personalisation on an entirely different scale, and it's what Rolls-Royce has excelled at its whole life.

Realising special requests

Fortunately it seems Rolls-Royce buyers are a creative lot who have come up with some fascinating luxury requests for the firm. At Goodwood customers arrive to be greeted by a cornucopia of luxury product placement including Fendi sofas, high end artwork, custom tailored suits, as they pass through the Mews, Studio and Study departments. They are then conveyed to the Bespoke Atelier, which is where buyers specify exactly what they want to order.

This is where you need to bring out a photo of your favourite hunting dog for upholstery matching. The Rolls-Royce design team know what they are doing, they have experience in this area and will skilfully question you to draw out your most hidden automotive desires. If you didn't realise beforehand that you wanted a diamond encrusted headliner or a special compartment to hold sterling silver toothpicks, you will after this unusually comfortable and cosseting psychological interrogation.

Some 44,000 standard paint colours are available, and if none of these takes your fancy, R-R will create a new hue specifically for you. They will even name it after you and apply a patent so that your permission is required before it can be used by anyone else. Special requests include a tartan boot lining, a speedometer fitted to the rear passenger cabin to allow one owner to keep an eye on his chauffeur's driving, while other cars have been fitted with jewels including rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

The final product

The final details determined, buyers are invited to keep tabs upon the production process with regular visits to watch the Rolls-Royce craftsmen at work. The process can take between eight and twelve months according to the level of bespoke detailing required. After about 400 factory hours and the attention of 60 separate staff members, your car should be ready for collection.

This process doesn't just involve handing over the keys. Oh no. Your car will be presented to you in a theatrical event, with spectacular son et lumiere accompaniments to unveil the finished product on a revolving platform.

90% of all Rollers sold are destined for export, so relatively few buyers get to enjoy the full experience on offer to them, but it's a far more interesting and indeed emotive way of buying a car than the usual commercial transaction on a grey and dreary forecourt.

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