We all know at least one person who claims that they will never drive an expensive car no matter how much money they make. Their philosophy is that a car just needs to get you from point A to point B and those expensive cars only create more expenses and endless worry.
As a car fanatic, this argument does not work for me. However, it is interesting to look at some of the costs of driving a high-end car (aside from car payments) and why this may put some people off.
Here are the potential reasons driving a high-end car would not be worth it.
In the United States, burglaries are all-too-common. Your house should be secure no matter what car you drive. However, driving an expensive car may create extra issues, especially if you have nowhere safe to park it. Parking on the side of the road overnight is not a risk you will want to take.
Adding security features to your home specifically to keep your car safe can be expensive. So can renting a parking space out in a nearby lot. Also, if you have to walk (or get a lift) to your car because it is parked elsewhere, you are already sacrificing a lot to own it.
Expensive cars are understandably more expensive to maintain than cheap cars. This is not only because parts are expensive, but also because high-end cars now contain a large number of electric components. These may require specialist mechanics to work on and problems can spread more easily as well.
Part of driving a high-end car is regularly checking it for any issues, so you should not get into a position where neglect leads to huge expenses. Nonetheless, accidents happen and some roads are harder on a car than others.
Insurance coverage for your car is another expense you will need to take into account, and this one is monthly. Premiums for high-end cars are, proportionally, more expensive. Insurers will also raise premiums according to the risk of owning a car that is coveted by thieves. The security of your home or wherever you keep your car is going to have an impact on your coverage, so by spending extra on security, you save money here.
Getting the right insurance for your car is essential, as without it you are leaving a lot to chance. While legally you probably only need liability cover, it is worth getting comprehensive coverage. Any repairs are going to cost you, and losing your car to theft or a major accident will leave you severely out of pocket.
One final matter that concerns many car owners is depreciation. The moment you drive a car out of a dealership it depreciates in value. It continues to lose a significant percentage of its value every single year. A car makes a terrible investment unless it is a limited edition.
Depreciation won’t matter to most new car owners, as you are not buying with the intention of selling. However, if you do not want to impact your net worth too significantly, this is something to take into account. Especially if you plan on trading it in within a few years. When it comes to the most expensive cars, depreciation can mean that after years of payment, you still owe money even if you trade your car in.
Is a high-end car worth it?
Considering the extra costs you’re going to be paying, is driving a high-end car worth it? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It is important to remember that high-end cars can save you money on fuel and provide a comfortable driving experience. You are comfortable and enjoy getting into your car every time.
That said, if it is going to eat into the money you need to spend to put food on the table, you will have to consider your priorities. People who have the money to spare have the freedom to choose whether they want their cash in a bank account or in a prized possession. Those who are living month to month, unfortunately, don’t have the freedom to make such a decision.