THE pandemic and the soaring cost of living have left many struggling through this unprecedented time, but this is not true for all. Spending on luxury cars is through the roof.


A tale of two pandemics?

While many have been left on their knees due to the financial impact of Covid on their lives, billionaires got 54% richer. For those with cash to splash, they have been lavishing it on life’s little luxuries.



Luxury British carmaker Bentley had a record year in 2021 as global sales jumped 31 per cent. The high-end producer said its sales jumped to 14,659 units from 11,206 in 2020, which was also a record year despite the pandemic shutdowns. Bentley also noted sales increased by 39% in the Americas and 40% in China, with those two markets between them forming nearly 60% of its overall sales.


And they are not alone?

It wasn’t just Bentleys rolling off the production line, as iconic British luxury car, Rolls-Royce, recorded the highest number of sales in its history, shifting 5,586 vehicles last year - up 49% on 2020. Demand was global, led again by the Americas and China, each accounting for 30%, with money clearly no object, as the vehicles cost hundreds of thousands each. A Bentley Mulsanne costs upward of £238,700, for example, while a Rolls-Royce Phantom can cost anything upward of £363,600.


One cost much more?

One bespoke Rolls-Royce - the £20 million Boat Tail - was created with boot doors that open in a butterfly motion and a parasol that pops out for picnics.


Why now?

Boss of the BMW-owned firm, Torsten Müller-Otvös, said the pandemic and its impact is the reason. He said: “Quite a lot of people witnessed people in their community dying from Covid, that makes them think life can be short, and you’d better live now than postpone it to a later date. That also has helped [Rolls-Royce sales] quite massively.”



The availability of extra cash. Müller-Otvös said: “It is very much due to Covid that the entire luxury business is booming worldwide. People couldn't travel a lot, they couldn't invest a lot into luxury services…and there is quite a lot of money accumulated that is spent on luxury goods.”


It’s not just wheels?

Sales of London’s most luxurious properties rocketed in 2021 to their highest number for eight years, according to estate agent Savills, who said 522 homes worth £5m-plus sold last year, just below the 533 sold in 2013.


Cause for celebrating…?

Champagne sales of 315 million bottles last year marked a turnover of £4.7 billion (5.5 billion euros), beating the former annual sales record of 5 billion euros, reached in pre-pandemic 2019.


Who is splashing the cash?

The rich, who are getting richer. Since the start of the pandemic the world’s 10 richest people have more than doubled their collective wealth, according to Oxfam’s global inequality report.