For many people, a car can be viewed as a status symbol. Most of us have seen on TV a profile of a celebrity’s lifestyle, which often includes extravagant automobiles with personal showrooms. We even see luxury vehicles on the streets of major cities where it is often inconvenient to drive (let alone park). However, many of us view our cars with a more utilitarian purpose: a less-expensive car can provide both the usability and enjoyment found in many of today’s luxury vehicles.
To save money on a car that offers quality, buying used is one way to go. Many higher-end vehicles can be owned at significant savings when purchased used. In fact, the automobile sales industry has popularized the phrase “pre-owned” to market higher-quality used vehicles. Even people who have previously purchased only new cars are finding that a pre-owned vehicle offers similar quality at a significant savings. It is well-known that luxury automakers such as Lexus or Mercedes build vehicles that will last easily a decade, and yet still be in top-performance condition. Many of us also know family members who have made a habit of purchasing off-lease or one-owner luxury autos. Even Morgan Freeman’s character in the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” participated in this trend, buying Miss Daisy’s cars once they were no longer new.
Some automakers also specialize in high-quality low-cost new cars. Hyundai, for example, makes reliability and affordability easy with vehicles often under $12,000 with full warranty coverage. Consider also the Honda Civic, known for its durability and quality in engineering from the Honda name, which can be had for around $15,000. Cars such as these are among the more gas-efficient ones on the road today, and their longevity is legendary. This also gives you a higher resale value, should you later decide on a different vehicle. Additionally, replacement parts are readily available (as are qualified mechanics), and they are engineered to perform well even on lower-octane gasoline.
You may also consider purchasing a new luxury car that costs much less than similar vehicles. For example, the Audi fleet offers models that compete with Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Jaguar, but at a significantly-reduced price. Audi prides themselves on unmatched engineering quality, while offering performance and style for less money than their competitors. Included in this fleet is the Audi TT; while not inexpensive, it is a sports car that offers a sleek appearance and power to spare.
We mustn’t forget those of us looking for a functional, affordable car, who don’t necessarily worry about performance or appearance. For these people, the slightly-older, dinged or paint-faded car is the one for them. Many teens often have a car such as this as the first automobile they own. Such a car provides freedom — the ability to be on the move. These cars can also teach the elements of basic mechanics to their owners, should small problems arise. If this is your strategy, just remember that a deal that sounds too good to be true might be a warning sign: saving a few hundred dollars might not be worth the hassle if your car suddenly won’t start when you have to go to work.