What to consider when buying a luxury car
The billionaire founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, famously never flies anywhere first class. Regardless of where you sit in the plane, he argues, you arrive at your destination at the same time. The same argument could be used when about buying a car. So long as it has four wheels and an engine, a budget knockabout will do just as good a job of getting you from A to B as a chauffeur-driven stretch limousine.
While this may be factually true, it doesn’t make any allowance for the experience of the journey itself, and how much better you would feel arriving at your destination in the more luxurious of the two options. Here are some other considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a prestige vehicle.
The sheer joy of it
A big part of what sets luxury vehicles apart from other cars is the fact they will generally feature state of the art technology and advanced features not available in cheaper, smaller vehicles. Such innovations not only make every journey you take more comfortable, but they will also keep you safer.
If you are truly passionate about driving, you’ll get more enjoyment out of a prestige vehicle that has been designed to provide the very best in handling and performance. Great drivers deserve great vehicles, and if you’ve been working hard and wanted to reward yourself, a luxury car is an option that will provide enjoyment for many years to come. Every time you drive, you’ll enjoy premium levels of comfort and convenience. It’s the mobile equivalent of being the member of an exclusive club.
The luxury vehicle market is also closely linked to the world of custom design, meaning you can take your standard car and create something unique that better reflects your personality. Of course, you don’t have to keep all the fun to yourself. Buying a luxury car for a loved one or significant other is a gift that is guaranteed to leave the recipient breathless.
Be a backseat driver
If you want to truly immerse yourself in the luxury car lifestyle, you need to look beyond the sheer pleasure of driving such a vehicle, and check out the experience from the back seat as there may be times when you prefer to be driven by someone else.
To truly be a luxury car, there should be almost as much legroom in the back as there is in the front. Take a test drive as a passenger and stretch out as much as you can. The only exception to this rule applies to luxury sports cars, which ideally won’t have any back seats at all.
During your trip, listen out for noise – it should be whisper quiet at all but the highest speeds. High-quality infotainment is a huge selling point for most modern cars, but many systems cater only for the driver. The best prestige cars will have plenty of bells and whistles for you to play with to keep you entertained throughout even the longest journey.
Luxury cars tend to depreciate at a faster rate than less prestigious vehicles. This is important to keep in mind if you are buying new but also means you can enjoy the luxury on a budget by looking at the second-hand market. Such cars tend to be well looked after and, with the addition of a personalised number plate, can be indistinguishable from a brand new vehicle.
If you do buy a second-hand luxury vehicle, make allowances for the fact that looking after your vehicle is going to cost considerably more than you would pay for a cheaper car. Any servicing will have to be carried out by a licenced dealer, for which you will pay a premium. The highly tuned sports engines that are fitted to the most prestigious vehicles generally require high-end components, all of which adds to the day-to-day cost.
When it’s time to replace your tyres, you may find that budget options are simply not available in the size required for your vehicle, especially if it’s a sporty model. It is, however, worth spending a little extra to make sure you have the best possible car tyres fitted to your vehicle as they will do far better job of keeping you safe on the road. Better tyres won’t just provide better grip across a range of weather conditions; they will also give you a smoother and quieter ride.
Money making machines
Although most cars start to depreciate the moment they leave the showroom, some luxury vehicles will actually increase in value, and a few models are so desirable that they can be sound financial investments. Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson bought a McLaren F1 supercar for £640,000 in 1997. In the 18 years that followed, he covered just 41,000 miles and was involved in two spectacular crashes, each of which required the vehicle to be completely rebuilt. Despite this, Atkinson was able to sell the vehicle for £8 million.
First impressions are hugely important. The clothes that you wear, or the landing page of your website will speak volumes about the way you conduct yourself and your business, and the same goes for your choice of vehicle.
When you drive a luxury car, people tend to make snap judgements about you. This isn’t always a bad thing in a business setting, as it can be a huge advantage. If you go and visit a potential client or customer and turn up in an old rust bucket, they may wonder how good you are at what you do. If you arrive in a gleaming sports car or luxury saloon, you will project an immediate impression of success. Think of the car you drive as an extension of your business; investing in yourself is just as sound as investing in any other part of your business.
One key consideration to keep in mind is to make sure you choose a car in the colour that will suit your field of business. If you are in the entertainment or sports industry, a red or yellow car will send the right signals, but if you are involved in a more serious industry, such as law or medicine, such a choice may be frowned upon and you may want to opt for grey or white instead.