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What the Rich Really Drive: Uncovering the Truth About Wealthy Car Owners

Published on Apr 12, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

You might think that if money wasn't a problem, people would be cruising around in luxury cars like Mercedes, Bentleys, or even Ferraris. However, the truth about what wealthy people drive might surprise you.


A 2022 study by Experian Automotive discovered that many wealthy individuals don't actually drive fancy cars. For those with a household income above $250,000, 61% choose to drive non-luxury brands like Toyotas, Fords, and Hondas. Other research, such as a study by MaritzCX, found that the Ford F-150 pickup truck was the top vehicle in the U.S. for folks earning more than $200,000 annually.


Even some super-rich individuals, like Meta (formerly Facebook) co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, are known for driving more budget-friendly cars like the Honda Fit hatchback and Honda Accord.


Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, is also known for being thrifty when it comes to cars. His daughter mentioned in a documentary that he keeps his cars until she convinces him it's time for an upgrade.


We often think that wealthy people live extravagant lifestyles, but that's not always true. 


Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey emphasizes that those who have built wealth between $1 million and $10 million typically drive "understated" cars. He says that people in this wealth bracket often drive used Camrys, Hondas, or old pickup trucks, as they're not trying to impress others.


Considering the rising costs of car ownership, experts suggest buying the least expensive car you can, which typically means going for a used car over a new one.


So, can driving a cheaper car make you wealthy? There are a few reasons to reconsider buying a luxury vehicle:

  • Depreciation: Luxury cars lose value fast, with some models depreciating as much as 72.6% over five years.

  • Maintenance and insurance: Luxury cars often cost more to maintain and insure compared to economy cars.

  • Repair costs: Luxury cars can be more expensive to repair once their warranty expires.


All of the money you save by not purchasing an expensive car can be invested elsewhere.


So next time you see someone driving a modest car, don't jump to conclusions. They might be a secret millionaire!

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