For a lot of people, a luxury car is just that: a luxury. And an expensive one. However, there’s more to prestige cars than just the status and the price tag. Compared to their economy counterparts, these cars offer superior technology, performance, comfort and styling. But they also come with some pretty big downsides.
So, before you start drooling over that Porsche 911 Carrera or the fully loaded Range Rover, it’s worth taking a look at the pros and cons of buying a luxury car.
Okay, let’s start with the fun stuff.
As the name suggests, luxury vehicles are more luxurious. From ultra-comfortable leather seats to timber dashboard inlays, these cars are designed for comfort and style. Luxury vehicles tend to be larger, better appointed, more comfortable and offer a more pleasurable driving experience than the equivalent economy models.
Luxury vehicles will offer superior performance and handling compared with similar sized economy cars. The majority of cheaper vehicles feature smaller four-cylinder engines. They generally drive smoothly, but don’t offer much in terms of power or performance.
Luxury vehicles, on the other hand, will usually have six-cylinder or eight-cylinder engines (and sometimes larger!). And it’s not just the engines. Luxury vehicles will generally handle better due to superior technology across a range of components including brakes, suspension, steering and more.
When it comes to vehicle design, much more care and attention is lavished on the aesthetics of luxury vehicles. The body lines tend to be sleek and stylish, while the vehicle detailing is often more elaborate with greater attention to detail and higher quality materials. Brands like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Alpha Romeo all have iconic design styles with many people buying these brands for the styling alone.
Luxury vehicles generally offer top-of-the-line safety features as standard. While many economy vehicles now offer premium safety equipment like ABS brakes, traction control and front-side airbags, luxury brands will include all these features as standard. Plus, they also include the latest safety technology not yet available in most economy vehicles, such as proximity sensors and auto-brake systems.
While luxury cars cost more to buy, they tend to generate better resale prices than economy vehicles. Whether you’re looking to sell privately or sell your car to a dealer, there is always a strong market for late model, low-kilometre luxury vehicles.
Let’s face it, few things in life announce your social status better than a luxury car. These vehicles carry with them the image of success. They project a certain type of luxury lifestyle and make a statement about the driver’s style and sophistication.
As you can see from the points above, there are plenty of reasons to invest (or indulge) in a luxury car. However, there are some downsides.
Luxury doesn’t come cheap. A new luxury car will cost you at least two to three times more than the equivalent economy vehicle. For example, a new Toyota Land crusier will cost between $90,000 and $115,000, while a new Range Rover will cost between $230,000 and more than $400,000. And that’s just the up-front purchase price. There are other costs on top of that, as we’ll see below. Read our blog post on How to prepare your car for sale
On top of the hefty purchase price, luxury vehicle owners will also get hit with serious month-to-month insurance costs. Luxury and prestige vehicles cost quite a bit more to insure than economy vehicles. This makes sense when you consider that not only does the vehicle cost more, but that it also costs more to repair.
Repairs and maintenance
Like any vehicle, high-end cars also require regular maintenance and repairs. However, because of the premium components and technology, luxury vehicles tend to be much more expensive to repair and maintain than economy vehicles. You may even need to take your car to the dealership or a specialist mechanic for servicing and repairs, which can further jack up the price for maintenance.
Unfortunately, luxury doesn’t equal reliability. Because of their simpler design, many economy cars are more reliable than many luxury cars. This can mean that you end up paying more for repairs and maintenance and that you require repairs more often. And these costs can add up.
Unsurprisingly, bigger, heavier vehicles with larger engines tend to have much higher fuel costs. Add to this the fact that most high-end cars require premium fuel and you’re looking at some serious running costs, despite the high-end technology that these vehicles boast.
This is not always the case, however. Fuel costs for Tesla cars and other electric or battery vehicles will obviously be significantly lower. But in most cases, luxury vehicles will cost a lot more to run than their economy counterparts.
So, there you have it. With a luxury car comes world-beating performance, beautiful styling and superior safety and technology, but it comes with a hefty price tag and some serious ongoing costs.