I've looked and looked, and even contacted some companies but I never got anywhere. Does anyone know? I just need to see if I can do it financially.
- First of all it largely depends on a car company in question. Ferrari and Dacia are in much different leagues.
- Secondly it largely depends on companies interest in self-promoting at a given time. Some racing games (Ferrari Virtual Race, BMW M3 Challenge, etc) were created because car companies ordered them. Some are joint effort - "NFS: Porsche Unleashed" and "Mercedes-Benz World Racing" come to mind. Ford had some too iirc.
- Thirdly some might be not available at all. Some car companies have exclusive contracts and their cars could be used only in certain games for amount of time, iirc Porsche had such a deal with EA - hence no Porsches in GranTurismo 2 and other games of that era.
- Companies might be VERY picky about how their cars are displayed and perform in the game in game and if they do not like it - no deal. Iirc in NFS6 FerrariF50 was one of the cars that was undamageable, cos Ferrari refused to see their cars damaged.
- From 3rd hands I heard Lamborghini asked for 400`000$ for a limited range of their cars to be used in a German racing game in 2004 - deal was not made.
In the end, the answer is - it depends. You need to get in contact with car company and make a deal. Only then you know who pays whom and how much.
P.S. Sorry, no proof links here. Speaking from my own limited knowledge.