Luxury car VS economical car
Southern California is such a car culture. Most of the time, people will make up assumptions about your character, financial position, or your status based on what you drive. I am sure all of you know someone who drives a 75k car and lives in a $1200/month apartment. While there might be reasons behind people doing that, most people see what you drive rather than where you live, and that’s why we buy expensive cars.
Because of this crazy car culture, the used luxury car market is a booming business, even in this crazy economic times. Why would you buy a brand new Camry, when you can get a 5 year old Mercedes S class for the same price? Lot of people see this kind of logic. While this kind of thinking seems to make a lot of sense, because you get a lot more perceived value in a Benz than a Camry for the same money, and you definitely look “cooler” driving it, you should realize that that Benz cost near a 100 grand 5 years ago, and even though you paid 1/3 of that for it, it will still need all of maintenance and repairs like a $100k car.
All those bells and whistles which are in the Benz just means more stuff to go wrong. and be prepared to spend $200+ for routine oil changes and $700 brake jobs. Now if you are one of the few who can afford that, then it is a very wise decision to buy that 5 year old Benz over a brand new Camry. But for all others, there is hope. Every luxury car maker offers a “Certified Preowned program” and you can go an get a 3 year old or newer car with factory warranty and free maintenance, for 20-40% discount over a comparable new one. So you might not be able to get a S class Mercedes, but you can get a C class or an E class for that 30 grand. Still lot more car than the Camry.