/ / Why I Have No Desire To Own A Status Car

Why I Have No Desire To Own A Status Car

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Fancy, expensive, European, status cars including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche on display

I’m not a car guy.

I never have been.

My father was never a car guy.

Most of my friends weren’t either.

So, I never got into the whole thing.

I grew up in New York City.

Ok, Staten Island to be more precise.

There, it was liberating but not a necessity.

My first two cars combined only cost about $2,000.

Sure, at one point I went a little overboard with a car, but the car itself wasn’t expensive.

Truth be told, I really don’t care about, nor equate quality to the price tag of a vehicle.

Cars that supposedly represent a person’s social or financial “status” are just jokes to me.

Too often I see people with crazy-expensive cars who have absolutely no class or decorum whatsoever.

So that right there tells me that the idea cars as status symbols is a completely flawed theory.

Aside from that , I just have issues with…

Auto Care & Maintenance

This is quite simple: I don’t want to be bothered with all of the hassles of owning an expensive car.

I don’t want to have to be anal about where I drive, or who/what I allow inside.

I don’t want to have to carry a towel to wipe it down every time I drive it.

I don’t want to have to hassle with going to a specialized shop for routine maintenance.

I don’t want to become one of “those'” people who look at their car like it is one of (or even better than) their children.

I don’t want to have to deal with any of that stuff.

It’s not that I don’t want to take care of my possessions, that’s not it at all…

My issue is that I don’t want to spend the amount of time of money that is required to endure that such a costly possession is well-maintained and cared for.

Car Insurance Premiums

High car insurance premiums charged by auto insurance agencies are associated with shiny, expensive, new cars.

Why?

Because they are expensive to repair/replace for starters.

Also, because they are highly sought after by thieves due to the high cost of the individual parts.

Part of that issue is also how/where you store your car–a garaged vehicle is considered safer than a street-parked on.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a garage in which to keep my car parked, which makes me susceptible to this last factor.

There are also driver factors which raise the insurance rates…

So let’s not pretend that you aren’t going to be opening up your fancy new luxury or sports vehicle to see just how far it can be pushed ?

The bottom line is that I don’t want to pay more for my auto insurance than I do for my mortgage payment!

Fancy, expensive, European, status cars including Rolls Royce, Bentley and Porsche on display
Oooooh look at the status cars! There’s a Rolls! A Bentley! A Porsche!

Damage From Road Debris/Parking Lots

I’m probably not alone when it comes to being the victim of damage to a car that was truly not my own fault or avoidable.

Debris on the road can be kicked up by other cars which has the potential to scratch my own car, cause dents, or even crack the windshield.

Trucks that are by law supposed to cover and secure the crap they are transporting often do not, and that stuff flies all over the place.

Idiot people who shove shopping carts across parking lots recklessly can scratch and dent cars and not think twice about it.

I’ve seen and experienced these things with my own two eyes, and it’s very frustrating to have to deal with after the fact.

Sure, in parking lots you try to park strategically:

  • Choosing a space next to a curb
  • Parking at the far end of the lot
  • Illegally taking up two spaces (either side-by-side or facing each other

I definitely won’t recommend that third option, however.

Even taking precautions won’t guarantee your car will remain safe from dumb or careless people.

Or even cheap cities that refuse to fix potholes or torn up roads for that matter!

Other People’s Bad Driving

Going back to the parking lots, at one time I came out of a mall only to find that my front passenger-side door was dented, yet no one was around.

No note, no witnesses, and of course no security cameras to review in an effort to catch a glimpse of what had happened.

I don’t just talk–I follow my own advice like what I mentioned in the previous section:

I’m the type of person who likes to park far away from my destination, knowing that most people are too lazy to do so themselves.

I also like to park against the curb so the possibility of a moron opening their door into mine is limited to one potential side.

Sadly, people always find ways to be stupid and careless:

  • Not paying attention when opening their door
  • Being preoccupied on the phone
  • Talking with others in the car
  • Not being aware of their surroundings
  • Trying to find where their destination is
  • Eating
  • Putting on makeup
  • Working–YES I HAVE SEEN THAT!

All of these things can easily be avoided but aren’t because people don’t consider anyone else but themselves.

Mother Nature ie: Hurricanes, Hail, Snow, etc.

When I lived in New York, it was snow that made driving difficult at times, and the road salt which was the enemy of metal parts and a car’s finish.

When I moved to south Florida, it became the thunderstorms and the damage from hurricane season.

In destructive weather, anything has the potential to damage a car.

I’ve seen trees and light poles knocked down, resting on top of cars.

I’ve even seen street and store signs pulled off of structures and be thrown through windows, landing inside of cars.

Hail can be large enough to crack windows.

Even if I did have a garage within which to store a car during these times, it’s not always guaranteed to be safe.

In heavy rain, the streets can flood so quickly and high that you can’t see what you’re driving into.

Under those conditions you could easily drive into a ditch or large pothole.

I’ve had a cracked rim on my 2018 Honda Accord cost me $750 to replace so imagine the kind of cost damage like that and worse would cost on any number of status brands.

It makes my head hurt just thinking about that number lol.

Kids Playing In The Street

This is something I know about firsthand because I was one of the people I’ve grown to bitch and moan about.

Growing up, we’d play football and basketball, toss a baseball and ride bikes or skateboards in the streets right next to parked cars.

I’ve crashed a bike, skateboard and even my own body into a few.

Now that I have my own car and know how much time and money it would cost to repair if from damage caused by any of those activities, I understand why we got yelled at so often as kids.

It still doesn’t change my mind, however.

Maybe I’m a hypocrite or out of touch now, but I still don’t want any of the neighborhood kids doing kick flips on their boards, or throwing a baseball across the parking lot when my car is only a few feet away.

Perhaps if I had more money than I knew what to do with, and I could own a fleet of cars if I so desired, I would reconsider.

It’s doubtful that would ever be the case, though, as I could think of numerous other things to do with that kind of money.

To be honest, I don’t even like driving to begin with.

Like, despise would be a better word to describe my feelings toward it.

Who knows what can happen in the future, but even though I tend to stick to my convictions, I will never say never.

But again, it’s a personal choice.

For me, I just don’t care enough about cars and what they “say about me” to spend the money.

If you do, and you can afford it, great, I’m happy you have something that brings you joy!

Your Turn

What are your thoughts on car ownership? Do you care more about your “image” or your money? Better yet, do you even own a car or rely on public transit and/or rideshares?

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Joe Saul-Sehy
8 years ago

I’m with you. The status symbol of driving an expensive car doesn’t compare to the great feeling I get when I think about the fact that I don’t have an expensive car payment.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago
Reply to  Joe Saul-Sehy

I just don’t see a car as being meaning anything. With so many people having nothing more than a car to their names, it means even less–if people with nothing can drive one, just how prestigious can it be?

Andrea @ SoOverDebt
8 years ago

I’ll be honest – I’ve always wanted a Mercedes. Not because of status but because they’re just beautiful, classy cars. But I’ll never own one – I’m WAY too hard on my vehicles. I bought my current car (Toyota Yaris) new in 2009 and the poor thing has all kinds of dents, scratches, and missing paint, not to mention the 87k miles I’ve put on it in 3 years. I like my little car with its low payment and incredible gas mileage – I’ll drive it until the wheels fall off, then buy another similar car.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago

I’ve never been into Benz very much. If anything, I would want one of Audi’s new lines from an aesthetic view, but that’s just my style. I never thought about it until your comment, but now I wonder about the sense behind driving a car “into the ground”. Everyone knows that performance decreases with age, but when you consider all of the mileage and road wear, even fuel efficient cars have to lose much of their benefit after a certain point and become money pits of repairs and maintenance, no?

Andrea @ SoOverDebt
8 years ago
Reply to  Eric J. Nisall

I drove my first car until so many things were broken it got annoying. It had over 300k miles and was 15 years old, but it still got good mileage and ran okay. But the air conditioner died, the radio didn’t work, and the speedometer would quit working randomly. Since the repairs would have cost more than the car was worth, I traded it in (got a whopping $300 for it). I never paid a dime beyond routine maintenance. When you buy little Japanese cars that last forever, it’s totally worth it to drive them until the wheels fall off. For the record, a guy who works at the dealership where I traded that car spent $1k fixing it and still drives it to work every day. So it’s now 21 years old and still on the road, with no major repairs required.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago

I have no problem betraying my country for a better value lol. You should totally interview that guy. I’m pretty sure a ton of people would be interested in reading his story!

Http://www.sixfiginvestor.com
Http://www.sixfiginvestor.com
8 years ago

When i was a kid luxury cars really were a status symbol because credit wasnt generally available – you needed to pay cash. Today most people wouldnt be able to pay cash. The status is gone because most cars are leased or financed.

I really like the design and engineering of the german cars- they are just so expensive to own and maintain.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago

I can appreciate a car for it’s design and craftsmanship–I will never say otherwise. But the price to pay for owning one isn’t in my realm of interest. Besides, even if it’s a leased or financed vehicle, the monthly payments are astronomical. I have a guy who pays over $1500 a month for a Land Rover. That’s insane to me!

Modest Money
8 years ago

I kinda fell into the trap of buying too expensive of a vehicle partly as a status symbol. My problem was that I was working in the automotive industry where there was a lot of added pressure to drive something nice. Also at the time my finances looked to be going up and up with little chance of dropping. At least I didn’t go super expensive to the point that I am wiping it down every day or stressing out about any potential minor damage. I do find it amusing when someone spends a whole lot of money on a nice car and then are too worried about it to really enjoy it.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago
Reply to  Modest Money

I see it so often with performance or modded cars. The morons spend so much money on the car, yet can’t drive it over a speed bump without damaging the chassis. When I was growing up, my friends all had new cars for their firsts and mine was much older but there was one thing I had that they didn’t–freedom. It was 100% mine so I could use it whenever and where ever I wanted, even though it was an utter disgrace if they were to be viewed side-by-side

Marissa @ ThirtySixMonths
Marissa @ ThirtySixMonths
8 years ago

If I had the money I would buy either Lambo Mercy or Audi A6.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago

My response to Andrea was that I prefer the styling of Audi’s new lines to Benz! Actually, I would love to own a Maclaren F1, but if money was no object, I would just a well buy a Bentley or Maybach–you know, cars to be driven in so I could just chill in the back and not have to deal with the stress of driving.

Sarah
8 years ago

Every time I see a young guy in an expensive car, I always think to myself that he probably lives in his mom’s basement because he can’t afford to buy anything EXCEPT the car. It’s probably true, too. I’m a fan of nice cars, but by nature am a little modest, so if I did get a status car it would be a low key mercedes.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago
Reply to  Sarah

I appreciate them from afar. I’ve gone to auto shows to admire the bodywork and styling, but then I realize I can put more into a mid-range car for less than the least expensive status car.

I also judge people based on the car and their appearance (although I know it’s not nice). Down here, a lot of kids at my cousin’s high school got high-end cars when they were 16 but also had everything else they wanted handed to them. Most of them were the most spoiled rotten little punks I had ever met too.

John | MarriedW/Debt
8 years ago

Nowadays you can lease a $40,000 car for less than a car payment on a $15,000 car, so it’s getting easier for the fakers. I’m with you. The only way I’d own a status car is if I won the lottery. I drive a 7 year old paid off silver sedan, very unimpressive. If I had learned these lessons before I bought two new vehicles a few years ago, I’d be in a lot better shape today.

Eric J. Nisall
Eric J. Nisall
8 years ago

The reason is because they are in more demand, so the volume makes up for it John. A Honda dealer once told me that even though the Accord is a better and more expensive car than the Civic, they will continue to give better deals on the cars with the highest consumer demand. I’m pretty sure that would hold true for most manufacturers.

Michelle
8 years ago

One main thing that I HATE about buying a brand new car is that I DREAD parking. No matter where I go, I know someone will hit it or door ding it. It’s like my car is invisible.

Lance Cothern
8 years ago

I would love to have one but would never want to spend the money or worry about it. So, I don’t think I’ll ever have one. It is fun to dream though and I’m sure they’d be a blast to drive.

Renée
Renée
8 years ago

The only way I’ll ever own a bmw if if I can pay cash to get it, which may mean that I end up buying a 20year old one… hey it’s still a bmw! I’m perfectly happy with my 2004 Aveo… my sisters scoff at it but hey, they’ve got payments and I don’t. Hah!

Marie at FamilyMoneyValues
Marie at FamilyMoneyValues
8 years ago

I once went to the luxury car lot in town (the one that sells the $100,000 cars) and really shopped for one. I found most of them to be less comfortable inside that what I wanted! I just want my car to work without a lot of care and get me where I want to go.

Geoff SS
Geoff SS
8 years ago

Unlike you, I am really into cars (not working on it though) but I avoid buying cars as status symbols. Besides, cars that have prestigious status does not have alot of bang for your buck. I care more about the value. For example, you can find a Mercedes, BMW, or Audi with their Japanese and now recently Korean equivalents. Yes, I prefer Germans when it comes to automobiles, but their maintenance costs and reliability have driven me away from getting one. In fact, you can get an oil change for your Acura at your Honda dealership, same with Infiniti at your Nissan dealership. Hence, getting an oil change for your Acura is the same price for a Honda. I’m just glad that I have choices when it comes to buying the right cars for my needs and wants.

Kayla@Cash Flow Your College
[email protected] Flow Your College
8 years ago

Don’t forget the depreciation of “status symbol” cars. Good grief – they’re obsolete when the next year’s model comes out, new and improved. Granted, you could probably find a good, slightly used one that’s a year or two old… but what’s the use? You can buy multiple great, reliable cars for the price of that one status symbol.
I agree. Not. worth. it.

Rob
Rob
4 years ago

I drive a 2007 Mercedes S550 that I bought in 2012 with $73k hard miles and some poorly repaired accident damage. Since 2012 I have spent an average of about $250/month on body and mechanical repairs of one kind or another, and I get to drive a beautiful, well-made and reliable chariot on which everything works. I probably do it in part for the “status”, but even so it’s fun to drive a very nice car for the same “monthly payment” you would need to buy a $15,000 vehicle on time. Currently I’m thinking of replacing it with a 2021 model S550 in 2023 or 2024 because a lot of safety features will be enhanced by then. I’m an old guy, so people assume I’m idiosyncratic rather than a faker. Little do they know.