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The Cheapskate’s Guide to Buying a Luxury Car

posted by Chris Valentine

So you want to buy a luxury car, huh? Only problem is—you’re broke. That’s all right. You don’t actually need ocean-deep pockets to get a sweet ride. You don’t need to take out a loan that’ll cost you an arm and a leg (and your house), and you don’t need to work-until-wrinkles to stock up your savings account.

All you need to get yourself a luxury car is this simple guide. This isn’t a get-rich quick scheme and it’s not a mall raffle. With just a little bit of financial and pragmatic planning, you’ll be cruising through town in style. Here’s how to do it.

Keep Insurance as Low as Possible

Insurance is an expense that you’ll have to deal with even after you’ve paid off your luxury vehicle in full. It’s important to remember that insurance for luxury vehicles will always be more expense than insurance for standard run-of-the-mill vehicles. Luxury cars are more expensive and they usually have more expensive parts. If your car gets damaged, it will cost more money to repaired or replaced, and that’s why insurance is so expensive for luxury vehicles.

No matter—if you’re able to keep your insurance rates down, you can dramatically reduce the cost of your luxury car.

The best way to sustain low insurance rates is to drive safely and without incident:

Collisions and traffic violations will be reflected on your driving record, and your insurance will get more expensive. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you get in frequent fender-benders, or you skyrocket through red lights, there’s a greater chance that you’ve caused or will cause damage to your vehicle that your insurance company will have to pay for.

You probably see plenty of auto insurance commercials that preach: “we’ll reward you for safe driving!” Well, it really is true. In the insurance world, safe equals savings.

There are a few other ways to maximize your savings on auto insurance, including:

  • Excluding teen drivers from coverage
  • Using Pay-As-You-Go insurance

Don’t include a teenager on your luxury car policy. Teenagers make for much more expensive insurance because they’re… well…they’re not the most experienced drivers on the road. Teens are more likely to get in collisions. And, besides, a teen’s first vehicle shouldn’t be a luxury car! Go buy ‘em a rusty ‘ol VW bug. Your teen will be humbled.

What if you only plan on driving your luxury car “on occasion”? Not as crazy as it sounds. The less you drive it, the less likely it’ll get damaged, and it won’t get dirty as fast. And you’ll keep the mileage down. Pay-As-You-Go-Insurance, as a matter of fact, is insurance that’s based upon the number of miles you drive. Those who drive less receive lower premiums.

Leasing

Instead of buying a luxury car, you could lease one. The regular car-buying process works like this: you get a loan for a new vehicle (unless you have enough money to pay for it in full—but if you did, then you probably wouldn’t be reading this article), and you’ll own the car once you pay off the loan.

Leasing, on the other hand, works like a long-term car rental. You’ll sign a contract that designates how long you’ll be able to use the car (typically it’s 2-3 years), and when that time is up, you return the car to the dealership and pay any fees on damages and excessive wear.

Some luxury car dealerships only offer leases if you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, but you’ll have smaller monthly payments. If you want real-world examples on the cost of luxury car leasing, search “Mercedes dealer near me”. Mercedes offers pretty low fees on leases, but they’re certainly not the only luxury car dealer that offers them. Actually, car leasing was first developed specifically for luxury vehicles.

Will you own the car? No—and for those of you who want the title of “proud luxury car owner”, you might not fully enjoy this option. But if you’re in need of a luxury car for more practical purposes, then car leasing might be a perfect option for you that will save you a ton of money.

Treat Her Like a Queen

When you finally get behind the vehicle of your new luxury car—whether you bought or leased it—you might be tempted to GUN IT. You want to blaze down the highway. Careen around turns. Cruise over bumps in the road like they don’t exist. We don’t want to be a buzzkill, but it might be better that you drive like a grandpa.

Like we mentioned before, luxury cars have more expensive parts, and so they’re much more expensive to maintain. If you barrel around turns, you’re going to wear out your tires much faster. If you gun it over rough imperfections, you’ll wear down your suspensions faster—and so on, so forth. If you have lots of money, you won’t be bothered so much by taking your car into the shop.

But if you’re like us regular folk, one trip to the shop could cost you half of your paycheck (or more). So take care of your car and keep it out of the shop. Replenish the air in your tires when need be. Change the oil regularly. Top off the fluids. Get it waxed and frequently washed.

It might be tedious doing your weekly or monthly car maintenance, but you’ll save lots of money if you keep your car healthy and out of the shop.

There you have it, ya cheapskate. If you want to make a luxury car more affordable, all you’ve got to do is strategize to keep your insurance down and take care of your car. In no time you’ll be cruising in a sweet pair of wheels that’s bound to be the envy of the town.

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