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Why Are Bentleys So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)




Bentley automobiles are known for being incredibly expensive vehicles.


With some models being sold for more than $300,000, they can cost more than many homes.

How can Bentley charge so much for a car?

As many automobile enthusiasts will tell you, Bentleys are not “just cars.”

We’ll cover ten characteristics of Bentleys that set them apart and contribute to their exorbitant price tags.



Why Are Bentleys So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons)


1. Quality Of Materials

New red luxurious cabriolet Bentley Continental GTC


Bentleys are made with high-quality parts that help contribute to the overall extravagance of the end product.

In order to provide a luxury feel, Bentley uses the finest materials available for all parts of the car.

The body of the vehicle is made with a combination of aluminum and steel.


This mix of metals helps keep the car light while ensuring it stays strong.

Bentleys meet all requirements for safety, durability, and stiffness while being 85 kilograms lighter than a body made entirely of steel.

The headlights are typically LED lights, which operate much more efficiently than other lightbulbs, and therefore, last longer.

They use large ceramic or iron brake pads. In fact, the carbon-ceramic brakes on the Continental GT are the largest brakes on any car in the world.

These brakes allow for optimum braking performance while being environmentally friendly and long-lasting.


The high-quality materials used in Bentleys cost much more than materials used in more budget-friendly cars.

They also often come from faraway places, meaning it costs more to get all the materials together to build the car.

The extra expense spent on using the finest materials contributes to the high cost of a Bentley automobile.


2. Luxurious Interior

Executive car Bentley Continental GT Speed - interior



The interior of a Bentley is perhaps even more extravagant than the exterior.

Bentley interiors feature the finest wood, leather, carbon fiber, and even stone.

The woods used for their veneers come from trees all over the world.

Additionally, they make sure to ethically source all their wood, so that their practices are sustainable.

For example, their Liquid Amber veneer comes from the American red gum tree.


This tree grows in the Mississippi wetlands.

Bentley will only use a red gum tree that has fallen and will always plant a new tree in its place.

Carbon fiber is also used in the fascia of the vehicle.

Sometimes it is combined with other metals, like titanium, for a more high-tech look.

In some models, wood and metal are combined for a truly unique cabin.


In the XP 100 GT, Bentley used reclaimed fossilized oak from peat bogs in their veneers.

Because the wood was full of holes, knots, and other imperfections, copper was used to smooth it out.

For the upholstery, some models have cloth, while others have leather.

For many years, the car manufacturer only used leather but returned to cloth upholstery in the XP 100 GT.

In this car, they use cotton dyes to create an ombre look throughout the cabin of the vehicle.


The ombre makes the cloth look as if it blends seamlessly into the veneer.

This makes the different materials appear in harmony with each other.

The leather used in the interior of Bentleys comes from cattle that graze at high altitudes in Northern Europe.

These cows are far less likely to be bitten by insects, meaning their hides are less likely to have blemishes.

The hides undergo a special tanning process to retain the leather aroma.


These luxurious interior features cost a pretty penny to produce, which is part of the reason Bentleys can sell for so much.


3. Hand-Assembled Parts

The high quality interior of the all new Bentley Mulsanne


In addition to being made with high-quality materials, Bentleys are mostly assembled by hand.

Today, computers are more a part of the process than in years past, but the assembly is still heavily overseen by humans.


In fact, it takes hundreds of hours to produce just one vehicle.

Around 75% of the welding on the body of the car is done by hand.

The panels are welded together, then some work is done to ensure the welding cannot be seen beneath the paint job.

This part of the process is done manually with a file and a mallet.

This is also the time when the body is sanded down to remove any imperfections and all parts of the body are measured to ensure they meet specifications.


When making the veneers in the vehicles, Bentley craftspeople use a technique called mirror-matching.

Mirror-matching involves using sheets of wood from the same section of a tree right next to each other so that the grains line up.

This creates a seamless look.

The upholstery in the vehicle is also stitched by hand.

The steering wheel is wrapped in leather and can take up to five hours for one person to produce.


Leather hides are marked by hand for any imperfections.

However, a laser, rather than a human, cuts the hides.

All of the leatherwork is still stitched by hand.

With all of the manpower required to produce one vehicle, the cost of building a Bentley is high.

Each woodworker, welder, and upholstery stitcher must be paid for their work.


In order to continue employing qualified, hardworking craftspeople, Bentley must charge more for their automobiles.


4. Hand-Painted Exterior

worker painting a car


The vehicles aren’t just assembled by hand.

The exterior paint job is also often done by hand.


Before applying the paint, the craftspeople at Bentley corrosion-proof the car.

Then the primer and base coat are applied with a hand sprayer.

This is done because the curvature of the car can cause paint to look uneven. In order to create a solid, one-tone paint job, craftspeople apply the paint in different depths.

Bentley has 88 colors in its palette, which is far more than many other car companies.

However, many of their models and trims come with a set of five to 15 colors to choose from.


If a customer wants a color not on their model’s list, it will cost them a little more.

Paint jobs can also be customizable.

For some extra money, Bentley will create the color a customer wants on their automobile.

A customer can bring in an item they would like Bentley to color-match, and the company will do its best to perfectly replicate the color.



5. Extravagant Features

Bentley EXP 12


In many vehicles, certain features are available as optional add-ons, rather than as standard equipment.

That is often not the case with Bentleys.

Many of the luxury features that come with every Bentley would be considered additions to a fully-loaded vehicle of a less prestigious make.

For example, the Bentley Continental standard model (the V8) comes with an infotainment system that includes a 12-inch touchscreen, 10 speakers, and Apple CarPlay.


It also has heated leather seats, keyless entry, remote start, and heated mirrors.

Even in the most basic model, the Bentley is truly a luxury car.

In addition to the litany of standard features, higher trims include even more comfort.

On the Speed trim of the Continental, the wheels are an inch larger than on the other two trims.

There are more options for personalization.


In the standard model, customers can choose from five different colors for their leather interior.

In the Speed model, there are 15 options.

There are also more options for exterior paint.

The V8 trim has six exterior color options, compared to the Speed’s 16.

The Speed model also comes with a heated steering wheel.


The extensive collection of luxury features, both standard and optional, make Bentleys worth far more than other makes of cars.

While it is true that a fully loaded car from a non-luxury brand will cost you less than a standard model Bentley, the care and quality put into a Bentley’s features make them more likely to last.


6. Powerful Engine

Bentley engine


Some Bentley models use the classic V8 engine.


However, nicer trims use a more powerful 12-cylinder engine. Instead of a V12 engine, Bentleys use a W12.

These engines have many advantages.

The main difference between a W12 and a V12 is that the W12 is more compact.

This allows for more space in the engine bay, which in turn creates more space in the cabin.

Because the W12 is so compact, it allows the vehicle to be all-wheel drive.


Most 12-cylinder engines are too large to coexist in the engine bay with the equipment required to power an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

It can also be set further back in the vehicle, which optimizes weight distribution.

The W12 also has more power than a V12.

The cylinders in a W12 are set up in four banks of three, rather than two banks of six.

This configuration allows for more torque than the V12.


Torque refers to the amount of twisting force available to the engine’s crankshaft as it turns.

Mainstream cars generally produce 100–400 pounds of torque.

The 2020 Bentley Bacalar, however, creates 667 pounds of torque.

The W12 engine is owned by Volkswagen, which means it is exclusive to automobiles manufactured by the company.

This includes Bentleys, Audis, and Bugattis.


The power of the W12 engine along with its exclusivity makes it a valuable asset to a vehicle.

It is another reason Bentleys are so expensive.


7. Long Lifespan

Bentley Mark VI


Due to their craftsmanship and high quality engineering, Bentleys often last for decades.


This is also because they are often very well-taken care of.

Bentleys are still cars, and they are still susceptible to damage from collisions or inclement weather.

However, when kept up, a Bentley can run with minimal maintenance for many years.

Bentley owners should schedule regular oil changes, even if the car spends a lot of time in the garage.

Not doing so could seriously damage the engine.


Motor oil degrades and breaks down, and driving with degraded oil can permanently ruin very important parts of the vehicle.

The car should be run semi-regularly or plugged into a battery maintainer.

A dead battery isn’t the end of the world for the car, but it can be a major inconvenience.

Starting the car from time to time, especially in cold weather, will keep the battery charged.

The tires should be monitored and maintained to avoid damage to the wheels and danger while driving.


Tires lose their tread and air pressure over time.

Just like any other car, Bentleys should have their tires rotated regularly.

Worn-down tread can be a major safety hazard, as it affects the traction between the vehicle and the road.

Air pressure should also be checked regularly.

Low tire pressure can cause more wear and tear on the wheels of the car.


If simple preventative maintenance is done on the automobile, a Bentley can run for many years without needing major fixes.

Many Bentley owners choose not to put a lot of miles on their cars in order to help them run even longer.


8. Low Availability

Bentley new GTV8S


Thanks to their handmade quality, Bentleys take a very long time to produce.


A single car can take hundreds of hours.

The Mulsanne, discontinued in 2020, took over 400 man-hours to put together.

Because it takes such a long time, and because they use high quality, sustainable materials, Bentley is not able to produce nearly as many cars as other makers.

In 2019, Bentley produced an estimated 12,400 automobiles.

This was the highest number of vehicles that they had manufactured in a decade.


Compared to other car manufacturers, this is a minuscule number.

For reference, Honda produced 5.17 million cars that same year.

Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, sold 10.74 million.

This means Bentley produced less than one percent of the number of cars manufactured by Toyota that year.

When any product is less readily available than others, prices on that product tend to go up.


This is thanks to the economic concept of supply and demand.

When a product is in short supply and is highly sought-after, the makers of that product can charge much higher prices for it since it’s very likely to be purchased.

When a product is easy to find or isn’t in high demand, prices will go down in order to entice customers to purchase the product.

Since Bentleys are so much less common than other cars in the world, they can charge much more for them.



9. Many Years Of Business

Bentley dealership logo


Bentley has been in the automobile business since 1919 when the company was founded by W.O. Bentley.

The cars were used in the Le Mans 24-hour automobile race in subsequent years, and W.O. decided to enter the race himself.

He won five races in seven years and garnered attention from the press and the public alike.

Throughout the next several decades, Bentley cars were frequent participants and winners of the race.


W.O. continued to produce new automobiles, and Bentleys continued to race thanks to the Bentley Boys and Girls.

These were groups of racers and adventurers who created publicity for the brand.

They won races, broke records, and made driving Bentleys look fun.

It was largely thanks to these two groups that Bentley became such a recognizable name in the automobile industry.

Heritage cars from Bentley include the Bentley Blue Train, the Bentley 8-liter, and the Continental Flying Spur.


These cars are no longer produced but were successful and groundbreaking at the time they were introduced.

The 8-liter was the last car that W.O. designed and was one of the most luxurious cars on the market at the time.

Having such a rich history in the world of automobiles makes Bentley a widely recognized and trusted company.

For more than 100 years, the company has been able to come up with new ideas, make changes and perfections, and improve upon their already high-quality vehicles.

Thanks to their experience and reputation, people feel comfortable buying Bentley automobiles.


Because of this, Bentley cars are highly desired and therefore more expensive even than other luxury brands.


10. Public Perception

Bentley EXP 10


Another thing that can impact the price of a product is whether that item can be seen as a status symbol.

Bentley has created a reputation for itself as a highly desirable luxury brand.


Charging a lot of money for their cars has a benefit besides turning a profit.

It creates the perception that people who own Bentleys are wealthy, stylish, and have good taste.

Bentley has established itself as a brand to work toward.

Many people who are enthusiastic about cars see Bentleys as an ultimate goal.

They will know they have “made it” when they can afford one of these automobiles.


Owning a car that they can show off is an exciting prospect for a large number of people.

In fact, social scientists have noted that modes of personal transportation have been a major way to communicate social status for centuries.

This is how luxury cars have found success, especially in developed nations.

Luxury carmakers can depend on people’s desire to be seen as important to drive sales.

People see Bentley as a high-value company, and therefore they see their cars as high-value as well.


Their price is not a deterrent, but rather a motivator.

Potential Bentley buyers want to indicate to the world that they can afford a luxury car.

Of course, for some Bentley owners, the draw of the brand is not the prestige, but the genuine desire to enjoy a luxury automobile.

For someone who has worked hard their entire lives to earn a comfortable living, a heated steering wheel and premium leather feel like a reward.

Regardless of the reasons someone purchases a Bentley, the public perception of the car remains the same.


Our culture recognizes that Bentley’s hefty price tag is a reflection of the luxury and prestige the brand has come to represent.

The post Why Are Bentleys So Expensive? (Top 10 Reasons) appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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