While owning a luxury car may be the dream, the reality is that it can be a big financial decision with lifestyle implications that you might not have considered. Before pulling the trigger on that Mercedes Benz or Bentley it’s important to think through some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a luxury car.
To help you make a decision, we’ve listed some of pros and cons of buying a luxury vehicle.
- Performance, features and comfort
When it comes to luxury cars, the first things most people think of are performance and comfort. It’s pretty much a given that these vehicles will include high-performance engines, high-tech components and comfortable, well appointed interiors.
For example, many luxury models feature a natural voice control system. This provides voice control for onboard systems like the stereo or GPS system. Some models also include compartments for wirelessly charging your smartphone.
Driver and passenger comfort are also an integral part of any luxury vehicle. You can expect a smooth, quiet driving experience with all luxury cars.
Of course, with luxury vehicles, you can also expect comfortable seats covered with premium leather or other high-end upholstery material.
As suggested above, luxury cars also provide the most important feature of any vehicle: safety. Models made by luxury manufacturers like Mercedes and Tesla consistently rank among the safest vehicles in the market.
Mercedes Benz models have a variety of car safety features. For example, the ‘Blind Spot Assist’ can visually and audibly warn you if you’re about to collide with a vehicle that’s in your blind spot. Additionally, when you’re parked, it will alert you if there are incoming pedestrians or cyclists that might collide with your door.
Many Mercedes models also have assistance features like Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Brake Assist and Evasive Steering Assist. These automated systems will give the driver less things to worry about when on the road, making the driving experience safer and more enjoyable.
Likewise, the Tesla Model 3 was the ‘2019 Top Safety Pick’ by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The model performed well in the headlight test as well as the frontal crash prevention systems test.
- Find bargains on used cars
Buying used models is one way to experience the comforts of luxury cars without having to fork out too much money. With used luxury cars, you can avoid those expensive price tags while still being able to say: ‘I own a Mercedes’.
Purchasing a luxury model that is around five-years old can potentially save you thousands of dollars.This is because luxury cars tend to depreciate in value overtime, giving used car buyers a huge advantage. Used buyers will still get the same advantages that were discussed above, but at a much lower price.
Yes, getting a used luxury car will cost you more than a used Honda or Toyota. You might have to spend a little more on maintenance as well. However, for some people, the high-end features that come with the vehicle justifies these costs.
If you want to experience your dream car without breaking the bank, buying used luxury models is a good alternative.
- The price tag
This is the number one reason people don’t buy luxury cars – and they have every reason to be put off by it. The upfront cost of luxury models are usually double (sometimes more) compared to standard vehicles. If you want certain features to be added to your luxury car (i.e. specific interior materials) you can expect to pay even more.
If you already have a working, reliable non-luxury car, a new Mercedes can be a tough sell. Additionally, considering how much luxury cars depreciate in a short amount of time, it truly is difficult to justify their hefty price tags. Compared to most lower-end models, luxury cars generally have a high five-year depreciation rate. Some BMW models have a depreciation rate of 70%. In contrast, some of the lowest depreciation rates for Toyota models hang around 30%.
Because there’s technically a bigger market for Toyotas than there are for luxury cars, you might also find that it’s quite difficult to resell that used BMW sitting in your garage.
For many, buying a luxury car means having to modify their current lifestyle. If you’re not careful, it can significantly affect your ability to stay within your budget. When considering a luxury car, think about the upfront cost, the depreciation rates as well as your ability to pay it off while maintaining a certain lifestyle.
- Costly maintenance and repairs
The price tag doesn’t not faze you? Then you might want to consider the money involved in the future maintenance jobs and repairs that you’ll have to pay for.
Repair bills for luxury cars can end up being double the amount that you pay for lower-end models. You’ll find yourself paying a wrecker much more for spare Mercedes parts than you would for non-luxury ones. This is because high-end replacement parts often have to be imported from a high-quality source. Additionally, specialist mechanics are usually needed to fix luxury vehicles, adding even more to the cost of repairs.
It’s worth remembering that advanced technology is often used in these higher-end models.Thus, repairing the electronic components of the vehicle can also be quite costly.
No amount of money can get you an indestructible car. So, when buying a luxury model, consider the potential costs of repairs, regular maintenance and insurance.
- Might not be compatible with your lifestyle
For many people, taking their luxury car out for a drive can be an anxiety-filled journey. This is because their lifestyles just don’t suit a luxury vehicle. If you have children or pets, chances are you’re also going to be constantly worried about the interior getting damaged.
Additionally, if you’re going to have teenagers or new drivers using your car, it might not be a good idea to get a shiny new BMW. Not only will you be worried about the driver’s general safety, you’ll also have to consider the financial implications if an accident occurs.
It’s also worth thinking about the types of road trips that you enjoy. If you love going to the beach or going camping, your car is going to need to carry a lot of items that can potentially damage its interior. In this case, it might make more sense to purchase a beater rather than a luxury car.
Before you cave in, think hard about your personal needs. Will a luxury car serve your particular lifestyle? Or will it simply distract you from what you need to accomplish? We all want to arrive at a fancy restaurant in the car of our dreams. But if you don’t consider the potential pitfalls in buying a luxury car, that dream BMW might quickly become an expensive headache.