Top U.S. Cities for Luxury and Extravagance
When you’re driving around your town, what cars do you typically see? Depending on where you live, you may often see the braggadocio of luxury.
Urban Dictionary defines “flexing” as showing off our valuables in a not-so-humbling manner, and the most expensive cars to insure could be not-so-humbling for the pocket. From coast to coast, cities are known throughout the country for their flexing abilities. But which of these cities are affording to live a life of luxury?
Cities With the Most Luxurious Drivers
There’s a reason why valets always put expensive cars upfront, and that’s because what you drive says a lot about your status. Analyzing what city truly holds the ultimate flexing reign without looking at what luxury vehicles they drive would be incomplete.
Owning a luxury vehicle isn’t only a status symbol; it’s a lifestyle. There’s no better way to make a shining first impression than to pull up in a set of wheels that will make any crowd envious.
Los Angeles: Kings and Queens of Sport Cars
Coming in at the top of the list, it’s no surprise at all that the top city with the most luxury cars is Los Angeles. The L.A. style is slick and shiny with lots of tech, which is why seeing almost any luxury sports car model going down Melrose or the Pacific Highway isn’t uncommon.
Having over 10 dealerships along the California coast makes L.A. the top location for Tesla and Porsche of America. Tesla is increasingly becoming the dream ride of Los Angeles, with over 70,000 newly registered drivers this year.
Chicago: Playful and Professional
With over 30 Fortune 500 companies, the choice drive for this most expensive city is an Audi. The Austrian-German automotive company is the top pick in the Windy City due to its high-quality materials and technical features. They make living in Chicago’s wintry conditions painless.
Though Chicago hosts 22 billionaires, the average salary for the top 10% of earners in Chicago is roughly $158,000 and up, making various Audi models available to the Chic-Town bourgeoisie class.
Miami: Lavish and Relaxed
The luxury of choice in Miami varies as it’s the vacationing spot for many Americans, and the flaunting is always extreme even if it’s a simple trip to a nearby restaurant or grocery store.
Ken Gorin of The Collection, a rare car dealership in Miami, says, “I love driving my Porsche 911 Turbo S down to Joe’s Stone Crab because there is nothing like going over the MacArthur Causeway with the top down.”
Driving limited editions is the ultimate show-off for Miami drivers because it relays the notion of lavish living while enjoying all the beauty Florida has to offer. Are you running to the grocery store? Make sure you take the Jag.
From nightclubs to coastlines, you can expect to see an Aston Martin parked at a nail spa or a McLaren while going into yoga.
New York City: Always Go in Style
Elite New Yorkers will laugh in your face if you even mention the subway. To them, anything other than an all-black or white vehicle without a chauffeur is a joke.
However, for the NYC bosses that do own a vehicle, BMW is the top choice. They’re known for building variants of each model, so when a BMW owner is looking to upgrade, they’ve got a plethora of customizations at their fingertips. BMW insurance costs can be high as well, to reflect the value of the vehicle.
Owners rarely ever go outside the brand to find the kind of luxury that fits their needs. This allows NYC automobile owners to keep a timeless piece with interchangeable parts that will consistently fit their needs and changing trends.
New Yorkers like what they like and know what they want. No discussions. No negotiations.
Other Cities with Luxurious Auto Tastes
Of course, all across America, the biggest and latest automobile models are used to measure wealth, but needs and style vary from coast to coast.
For a more broad view, a list of what luxury auto brands hold popularity in major cities is:
- Atlanta – Maserati
- Dallas – Porsche
- Kansas City, MO – Cadillac
- Las Vegas – BMW
- Minneapolis – Mercedes Benz
- Portland, OR – Mercedes Benz
- Phoenix – Audi
- San Francisco – BMW
- Seattle – BMW
- Washington D.C. – Cadillac
Bonus insurance tip: the higher your car’s MSRP, the higher your insurance will be, so by keeping your driving record clean, you will ensure yourself the best market rates.
Insuring Lavish Items
Riding in style doesn’t come cheap, but for those engulfed in the lavish lifestyle, what good is flaunting wealth on the road, if you can’t also live in it? Owning collector’s items, original art and artifacts is a coveted position to be in, which museums and auction houses use to fuel the justifications for their high prices.
Collectibles insurance safeguards exquisite items such as rare jewels, historical artifacts, and priceless art collections.
Upon finding an insurance company that best fits the items, conduct an appraisal outside of the insurance network that is an expert in the item that needs coverage. This will support your agreed value coverage (an agreed value of assets between you and your insurance) and inflation guard protection (insurance that increases with the age of your item), which can adjust the agreed-upon value of collectibles up to 8%.
The Gagosian Gallery in New York City will request to borrow items from private collectors for special exhibitions. Hence, a great way to measure a city’s status is by researching who has the best museums with the most elite collections. Any town that advertises its collected historical artifacts or art is likely home to some hefty millionaires and billionaires.
Bonus insurance tip: Adding additional coverage like a collector’s choice plan to your policy will ensure that any items being used for public events are insured during restoration and transportation. Collectors and fine art insurance follow the 80% rule: guaranteeing full coverage of lost or damaged items as long as the owner has purchased insurance coverage equal to at least 80% of the possessions.
Cost of Living for the Most Expensive Lifestyles
Expensive American cities have good reasons for their cost. Since residents are willing to pay extra for their lifestyles, these areas provide the best housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, miscellaneous goods, and services.
While the cost of living in New York’s Manhattan is based on the desire to live in the city, Honolulu’s cost of living is driven by the need to import goods by boat or plane.
The Council for Community and Economic Research releases a Cost of Living Index (COL) for each quarter of the year that measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services in 257 urban areas.
The top three most expensive cities, according to the COL index, are:
- New York
- San Francisco
Income may not provide the spending power you’d expect, depending on where you live. New York City leads the pack by being the most expensive city in America, with the cost of living being 154% higher than the national average.
Throughout the five boroughs, the median cost of homes is over $650,000 compared to the national median of $272,000.
Outrageously Extravagant Things
Money can’t buy everything, but it most certainly offers the highest quality commodities and privacy.
Being able to have certain luxuries all to yourself makes a big impression. From owning a professional sports team or taking a personalized trip into space, these rare privileges speak the language of the finest and the most elite.
Anyone can charter their own jet for as little as $2,000 an hour, but the genuinely affluent will simply buy it. So it’s no strange notion that the outrageously rich tend to have some obscure possessions that anyone with a regular-sized wallet wouldn’t even think of.
In most major cities like Honolulu and NYC, a few million can get an entire building named after you. To have a hospital wing named after you in Boston (COL’s 10th most expensive U.S. city) would cost about $15 million, while a college wing could run over $20 million.
Bonus insurance tip: Small aircraft insurance varies by policy coverage. When selecting small aircraft insurance, which tends to run between $1,200 to $2,000 per year, it’s best to consult with a licensed aviation insurance agent.
It’s difficult to choose just which city unbiasedly has the most bragging power. There are many attributions to take into account.
Los Angeles is the world’s entertainment capital, offering various activities and attractions that vibrate culture. New York City is often referred to as the melting pot of the country, but the city offers more opportunities for affluent living that’s exclusive.
These cities have been passing the braggadocio torch back and forth for years, gaining momentum and economic precedence.
From coast to coast, you’ll find lush cities glimmering, but the best way to see any of these cities show off is to experience the wealth for yourself. Happy flexing!
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, 4AutoInsuranceQuote.com. Danielle has lived in several big cities and held positions servicing high-class clients.