Do you remember that once in a lifetime holiday you took to Europe, the hard and fast period where years of savings and frugal planning played out over a month or two, the cash escaping your grasp faster than you expected? A Luxury Car is a lot like an extended overseas holiday – it’s extremely expensive, incredibly opulent and some would argue, unnecessary if one was to break life down into a stream of essentials and survival ideas. It’s true, no one needs a luxury car to drive from A to B; if you’re hoping to tour the whole alphabet and most of the country in style however, you need a tight handle on your cash flow and a clear direction.
Want Vs. Budget
There’s nothing better than a cherry red Masaratti parked in your driveway, waiting to purr into life and impress the neighbourhood, and while the Italian darkhorse might be your dream, shoot for stars you can reach without mortgaging everything. Don’t forget the sculpted automotive beauty shining in the luxury car lot will start depreciating in value as soon as you wheel it through the front gates – so while you may take out a loan and live off baked beans for five years, consider saving close to half to cover the short fall, otherwise you’ll end up blowing thousands of dollars paying off dead weight. Pretty dead weight, but dead weight nonetheless. So what to do? A nice mid-range entry level selection will occupy the fifty thousand dollar mark; consider the Jaguar Saloon XF or a 2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8.
To Finance or Not to Finance
As we mentioned, your new car will lose value almost straight away, so if you’re opting to finance part or all of your car, be aware of your repayment limitations. Try not to lend power to car companies by allowing their in-house dealers talk you into a ridiculous rate – instead, research banking institutions, credit unions or lending agencies independent from the dealership, and be aware of the sneaky extras. Go for a fixed low interest rate, experiment with various repayment cycles and identify what you can and cannot afford, if your savings don’t quite stretch that far. Remember, paying off any car is a long term commitment; make sure your current lifestyle is sustainable.
You may already have your perfect ride envisioned and ready to go, a modern marvel of engineered sophistication, but is it really achievable? Fantasy aside, research the market value of your luxury short list, roll into dealerships, book test drives, check the second hand market and be certain of every single inch before entering a negotiation. And you should definitely negotiate. If you need to borrow the poker face of somebody more experienced, or prefer email or phone conversations, enter into proceedings on your grounds, comfortable and ready to buy a bargain. If it’s still too much, walk away until you find something better.
Do you own a luxury car? Do you have any snippets of advice to share with your fellow readers? Let us know in the comments below.