Why Rich People Drive Cheap Cars, and Why You Should Too

If you were rich, what kind of car would you drive?

A Bentley? A Porsche or a Ferrari? Maybe a $100,000 Tesla Model X? How about a Lamborghini, to be really obnoxious?

Ah, but here’s a little-known fact: Most rich people don’t actually drive fancy cars.

It’s true. When Experian Automotive pondered which cars the wealthy favored, the number-crunchers dug into their massive database of 600 million vehicles and came up with a surprising answer. They found that more than 60% of people who earn $250,000 or more aren’ t driving luxury cars after all. Instead, they’re buying the same Toyotas, Hondas and Fords as the rest of us.

Sure, some of the rich are tooling around in luxury vehicles. Mercedes, Lexus and BMW are particularly popular brands among the well-to-do, Experian found. But the other models in their rich people’s top 10 included three Hondas, a Toyota, an Acura and a Volkswagen.

Now, what can we learn here? Here are three financial lessons that we’re taking away from this. It’s all about:

  1. Living within your budget.
  2. Avoiding today’s freakishly high car prices.
  3. Getting a car that’s not too expensive to maintain.

1. The Rich Don’t Need to Show Off, and Neither Do You

When it comes to the wealthy, you could argue that not spending gobs of money on flashy things is how they got to be rich in the first place.

A popular personal finance book that we’ve previously recommendedcalled “The Millionaire Next Door,” elaborates on this idea.

Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live on Park Avenue and snack on caviar and guzzle champagne as they go to the opera in their chauffeured Rolls-Royces. Instead, they amass their wealth through consistent work and smart choices and frugality — yes, frugality.

So: Maybe get a Honda, not a Mercedes. You don’t need to impress anybody. Buy a car you can actually afford.

Pro Tip

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