Is a luxury car a waste of money?

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I just realized I need a personal car to get around considering we only have one in the family that’s shared by 4 people. At this point, I think it is important to clarify that I am not a "car guy". Anyway, I was looking at some nice cars because I like traveling comfortably and care about some things like good seats, noiseless ride, passenger comfort, etc. I am also at a point where buying a luxury car (think BMW 5 series) won't financially ruin me or become a painful liability to pay off.

But for some reason, dropping that much money on a car seems like a horrible way to use my money unless I have money to throw away (I don't have that much money yet) because cars won't make me money (they cost way more than the US in my country) and will depreciate like crazy. It's also worth pointing out that I don't really like to drive unless I am forced to (not that I have driven any nice cars). I would choose to be a passenger and be driven around rather than drive the car myself.

So those of you who bought nice cars, which car is it? how did you rationalize dropping money on it? Do you regret it? Does the excitement die? Is it a pain to take care of?
 

Boy

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If you're not a car guy (and neither am I) why not just get a reasonable A-to-B vehicle? When I was in my 20s I was cruising around in a Cadillac, now it's a Ford. Entirely because I drive to the gym and grocery store and that's about it.

dropping that much money on a car seems like a horrible way to use my money unless I have money to throw away (I don't have that much money yet) because cars won't make me money (they cost way more than the US in my country) and will depreciate like crazy
If you have to consider it, it's probably not the right decision.

Do you care what other men think of you? That's who cares about what car you're driving.
Do you want to be noticed?
Do you drive enough where real Italian leather makes a difference from a genuine leather interior?
Does going 0-60 in 6 seconds instead of 9 seconds make a difference to you?
How important is your dashboard greeting you based on which keyfob you're using?

Better yet, flip a coin. Heads it's a BMW, tails it's a Volvo. When it's in the air, you're going to hope it's one way or the other. Fuck what it lands on, go with what you wanted the outcome to be when it's still flipping.

The more I think about it, mid-tier luxury vehicles are kind of like a noob trap. You're not getting much more from a standard vehicle and are paying for other's perception of you. It's not until you get into the supercars that doors open up from the vehicle.
 

contract

We're all gunna mine it brah.
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Yes, complete fukking waste of money.

Spent a good amount of time at dealerships hustling.

Owned a $xxx,xxx Mercedes G-Wagen at one time. Piece of shit; so many expensive repairs. Broke an axle, turn signal handle failed ($2,500), 7 coolant hose leaks, etc. 2 new radiators. LOL, I could go on... All looks, terrible build quality.

Modifying cars is even worse, bought King shocks. Snapped 2 of them. No help from King or warranty; garbage.

Owned Audi's, oil engine issues. Like a quart every 100 miles. New turbocharger needed in a two-year old vehicle. Audi ended up having to rebuild entire engine due to oil issues, under warranty CPO, but wow.

I could go on again..

Sold it ALL. Bought a $10K truck in cash with 200K miles. Like 15 years old. Tows 10,000 lbs, off-road it to death, beat the living hell of it. It is AMAZING. So so cheap to repair. Getting so much value out of it.

Biggest plus is looking like a peasant in public, and not being a target. Live in the woods, and prefer to be left the fukk alone. The vehicle plays a role in that.

No longer care what I drive. I could drive a $xxx,xxx lambo, etc. but why... It's literally just pleasure. I don't get pleasure from those right now. Maybe, I'll get one for the hell of it. But honestly, it's a money suck. At some point you keep buying up and the luxury fades and it's just another fukking vehicle.

I do want an electric GWagen though. I have no idea why! Always something..
 

CCarter

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Clearly it's not for you. It's like buying a watch. It's a status symbol. Period. You pay the cost of being the boss. I don't own a watch, but if I did it wouldn't be some Swatch Mickey Mouse collection. I understand the game.

If you are out in the field where the work is real, and you have a girl jumping into your car, it makes a difference if it's a BMW or Toyota. It's a status symbol.

Women judge you based on status symbols just like you judge them on beauty. Let's not lie to each other and say it's about personality. Men want women that look good on their arms.

One thing that clarified this was one girl said in a conversation, "women want to be SEEN going to eat at a fancy restaurant versus actually eating." Crystal clear what's going on here.

Bla bla bla, personality, give me a fucking break. Socially it shows you have resources to provide for her and your offsprings. Evolution.

Ironically my Benz used to break down too, alot. Switched to BMW and never went back. Benz has too much cost to be the boss. :D

But if you have a wife and kids and don't care, doesn't sound like you need or really want it.

If you have to discuss price, you can't afford it. For anything.
 

illmasterj

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I don't really like to drive unless I am forced to (not that I have driven any nice cars). I would choose to be a passenger and be driven around rather than drive the car myself.
So I feel there are 2 different discussions going on here. 1 is about status, the other about money/mindset.

Seems logically, buying cars and satisfying status doesn't fit for you as you aren't a car guy.

But if you want to level up your money mindset, what would it take for you to have a chauffeured/premium car on speed dial?

Maybe your "luxury" is in fact not having to drive? (See quote). So maybe owning a car and dealing with all that bullshit is what you need to get out of your life, and instead of saving/being frugal you should spend that money on not driving instead?
 
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Most luxury cars, yes. The depreciation and repairs will cost a lot. However, if you *are* a car guy, you would know which cars to buy that will not depreciate and are good status symbols, if you're looking for that, and are a good ride.

For me, that's the Lotus Elise. They stopped importing these in the US years ago, due to the frame being made of carbon fiber. Because of that, the supply of Elises in the US is fixed. The cost of lotuses are quite stable, irregarless of miles. This makes for minimal depreciation expense.

The best thing is that the lotus uses a Toyota Camry powertrain! Yes. This car is really a toyota camry under the hood powering a 1 ton car. It has amazing handling and costs the same to insure as a regular car.

Looks amazing too.

640px-2014_Lotus_Elise_S_Club_Racer_1.8_Front.jpg


Here, you get the best of both world. Status, since it does look frick'n awesome. A fun ride, and lwo costs.

@illmasterj That's called Uber. We all have it now.
 
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Do you have a house and other assets like rental homes, shares, etc yet? If not, get a cheap car.

I don't have a house yet, mostly because I don't know where I want to settle down yet. I have a few VC investments that seem to be performing well but it is too early to tell. I guess I don't have a diversified portfolio of investments, yet.
 
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Biggest plus is looking like a peasant in public, and not being a target. Live in the woods, and prefer to be left the fukk alone. The vehicle plays a role in that.
While I realize this isn't how everyone will feel, it's exactly 100% my preference and what I aim for.

My primary goal is to not have to worry about much of anything, including neighbors or even needing to leave the house (and surrounding grounds, including an 8-foot wall all the way around it) unless I want to.
 

eliquid

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Came out of forum semi-retirement because I thought this thread was worth it, and what I could share would be valuable. Going back after this post though...

I can't add much more to what others have already said, but maybe my angle and story will be understood by others better.

Short story - If you have your life together, can pay your bills just fine with no second thought, and can do what you want/when you want... buy whatever the fuck you want and be happy.

If not, just buy something cheap to get around in.

With that, 95% of the world just needs something cheap as most people don't have their shit together.

I own nice cars and boats. Nice furniture and clothes and all sorts of things.

I hate it.

Wanna know what sucks?

Repair and maintenance. Upkeep. Insurance.

I purchased some expensive SUVs and boats. They are nice. They look nice. Rides on them are excellent and top grade everything you could get.

However, I soon hated taking it them to the dealerships for service. Other people fuck up your shit and break things. Put dents in your stuff. Rip your seats or scratch your paint. Then it's a headache to get it fixed to keep the same "nice-ness". I got to where I didn't want other people touching my shit so I learned to service my own cars and boats, which robbed me of time in my day and running around.. but at least no one was fucking my shit up anymore...

I got tired of taking my boats to a "cave" to winterize it and keep it pristine or just put the cover on it after each ride. Birds shitting all over the interior and pecking holes in the seats.

I got tired of telling my kids to not eat in the SUVs with their hotdogs and ketchup and sandy shoes. I got tired of parking at the back of the lot at stores with extra spaces so I wouldn't get door dinged. I got tired of every time I turned around, the cost AND TIME to upkeep and repair and maintain driving me crazy.

It's the same with furniture and your house. Same with clothes and watches and anything like appliances.

So, I started buying the low end of something if it was new. Prior, I would go to Home Depot or Lowes and do some research and buy the best rated high-end washer. Now I buy the cheapest low-end ones.

Guess what, they break the same at the same time for the same reasons and half of the "nice" features never got used anyways. The cost to repair is cheaper and most time I can just buy a whole new low end washer/water heater/boat/car same day and get it installed same day, than wait on a repairman/mechanic for another week and be out my high-end washer/water heater/boat/car all that time with my clothes not getting cleaned.

I buy used cars and trucks now. 20+ years old even. High miles with a dent or 2. Don't get me wrong, I'm not buying some broken down special that needs repairs, but I find older used things that were tenderly loved and cared for. Grandma's grocery getter on Sundays type maybe.

I can go out and buy a Lambo if I wanted. I can go buy a new M5 or G Wagon.

But you know what.. the 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 226,000 miles I bought for $3k back in June is purring like a kitten and I can drive across the nation and back with no worries. Anyone can work on it and if some numb nuts at Chrysler gets his oily elbow on my center console or dents my hood or scrapes my tire... I ain't even mad.

Sure.. I still have my other nice SUVs still. But guess what gets driven and enjoyed the most and keeps money in my pocket to do other F* you things in life? Yeah, that Jeep.
 
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Top end Range Rover sport paid for by rental property profits so it’s effectively free to me.

Wanted one since 2008 when I went bust just before getting it.

Picked it up on my 40th birthday and have loved every minute of it. I thought I would regret it but not a second.

And yes…. Tinderellas love it.
 
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How does this magical accounting work - please explain
The RR is on a monthly PCP deal which means I hand it back and get a new one at the end of the term.

Anyone buying cars these day is mental.

Rent it out like an iPhone and use the $100k you would have put into the car in one lump into deposits for rental properties or a solid stonk or index fund.

By not BUYING the car I was able to use the cash for 3 more house deposits that more than cover the cost of the car.

The car is a a depreciating asset. The houses are all appreciating assets that will make me cash flow and returns for the next 25+ years.
 

eliquid

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@eliquid, You can get lotus elises for 25k.
Yes, but I could buy my Jeep instead for $3k and put $22k into one of my current businesses, a new business, stocks, crypto, a rental property or something more enjoyable like a vacation/etc.

Also, I don't have to worry about someone denting up my lotus or getting oil all inside of it and having to bother with getting new leather/cloth or body parts/paint and the frustration that brings trying to import the part/find and then fix it.

The money saved + removal of the aggravation of keeping it looking nice/repaired is worth more to me personally.

I also don't have to fool with people asking me what it is, where can they get one, or trying to take a pic of it.
 
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Funny story here.

My wife has leased a Lamborghini Urus - she’s 10 months into the lease. She leases cuz no matter the car it’s boring after 2 years. Cars are her vice.

Dealer just called saying they’ll buy her outta the lease + pay her $50k on top of it.

They say chip shortages are even hitting the luxury dealers. If she wanted to order another Urus it’d be 2-3 years out. Shitload of buyers n no cars to sell!

To answer post: Luxury cars are a total waste for some. For others its the fruits of life. There’s no right or wrong answer people spend how they please on what makes them happy.
 
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mj22

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Came out of forum semi-retirement because I thought this thread was worth it, and what I could share would be valuable. Going back after this post though...
Missed you buddy, come back bro. I read on here that they now call us "ancients" thats funny haha. Bofu and blue hat would laugh their asses off about this lol
 
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Yes, but I could buy my Jeep instead for $3k and put $22k into one of my current businesses, a new business, stocks, crypto, a rental property or something more enjoyable like a vacation/etc.

Also, I don't have to worry about someone denting up my lotus or getting oil all inside of it and having to bother with getting new leather/cloth or body parts/paint and the frustration that brings trying to import the part/find and then fix it.

The money saved + removal of the aggravation of keeping it looking nice/repaired is worth more to me personally.

I also don't have to fool with people asking me what it is, where can they get one, or trying to take a pic of it.
The sports car for you would be a Miata then.
 

harrytwatter

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I like driving cheap cars. Feel like there's less stress in general, worrying about damage or repair costs.. I currently have an '05 Mazda6s "sport wagon" that cost me $5k and still manages to get compliments (the clapped out Mazdaspeed Racing Hart wheels probably help). Sure, I've got to replace shit here and there but overall love having the utility of a wagon and the car-like handling. Not a lot of options like that in the U.S today. (E63 AMG wagon or last non-U.S RS6 always been halo vehicles for me)

All that said, Lexus finally added a touchscreen and Carplay/Android Auto to their venerable GX460. Technically this is a luxury vehicle but starting just under $60k it's kind of the V8 bargain in Lexus' lineup, especially compared to the $100K+ new TGA-F-based LX600. It looks like even more of a bargain when you compare it to what a new Tahoe goes for or heck, even a well-optioned Ford Bronco..

99% odds the Mazda keeps on trucking but the wife hates it, wants to sit up higher and wants to go adventuring, something the wagon's ground clearance and front wheel drive aren't great for (we've definitely tried)..

The '22 GX460's are more than I'd prefer to spend on a vehicle, but that trucks reputation is as good as gold. The older ones now are being favored as overlanding vehicles right up there with land cruisers (which the GX is essentially a mini version of). Lexus is supposedly going to overhaul the GX soon, undoubtably doing away with the fuel-thirsty naturally aspirated bulletproof V8. I like my naturally asp. V6 in the Mazda and have also always enjoyed a torquey V8 soundtrack.

I feel like there is this goldilocks zone happening right now, where some true performance vehicles and naturally aspirated V8's are on their last legs (in the sub-$100k market) because of ever increasing EPA regulations. Yeah, I know the cheap direct-injected turbo fours have great tech blah blah blah but idk, if purchasing I'd rather not have to worry about carbon buildup on valves, CVTs, or the medium/long-term reliability issues with turbos. Additionally, there's some solid initial depreciation with the GX but it bottoms quickly and then apparently, stays there forever..

The GX460 is a legend, is technically a luxury vehicle, and is MSRPing (although I know fat chance getting sticker these days) at around $60k. But it will also run forever, anywhere. Because of the Lexus build quality, proven body-on-frame/V8 combo, and now finally an infotainment that connects to your smartphone, and the fact that this prime combo (imo) might not be around long..well I admit, I've been lusting after it something fierce...
 

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The sports car for you would be a Miata then.

Id say that's fair and accurate, as an everyday driver mini sports car.

I was really fond of my twin turbo rx7 years ago
 
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I saw a Facebook post where they described a vehicle of new technology with so many facilities. A guy asked in the comment section, "I want to buy this. How much would be the fuel cost?"
Another guy replied, "This isn't for you. The guys who will buy this, won't think about the cost. They will admire it, buy it and use it. That's it."

I think, the same goes for the luxury cars.
 
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I always buy a second hand fairly decent but not flashy type of car. Currently got a 2018 Mini clubman with good spec which I love. I'm a fan of interior stuff and love the CarPlay.
 

mj22

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I usually buy something at least 4 years old. I have been in the car industry, my late gpa was in the industry also and it always seemed like these vehicles lose close to 60% of their value in that time frame. I mean the second you drive a new vehicle off the lot it just lost $10K in value, its crazy.