Social Question

Aster's avatar

Do you think it's in bad taste to drive an over 40K dollar car in this economy?

Asked by Aster (19974points) July 31st, 2010

The economy is terrible; homes aren’t selling, food prices are going up. Knowing this, would you consider driving around town in a Rolls Royce? How about a BMW 7 series convertible? (if they make them). I would refuse to do it. I’d be thrilled with a new Ford SUV! Looks like I’m stuck with our old car for now. At least it’s trouble-free.

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59 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think it’s in bad taste to drive anything that isn’t a Chevy (but I’m a-ok with Ford, also.)

I know this is irrational and unfounded and absolutely unfair. But living in an area where GM is the only company keeping the local economy afloat, the only company to ever put a roof over my head or food on my table, and then nearly having that company taken away… I feel like it’s okay to be a little bit irrational sometimes.

And to elaborate on your question, I think it’s a bit obnoxious to drive certain vehicles. I still gawk at people driving Hummers, like “what nerve!”

Probably also irrational. But, I guess this is one of the areas that my thinking is most likely flawed.

Seek's avatar

If I had 40K to blow on a new car, I’d buy one at a modest price, then blow the other 25K on assorted other things.

Spread the wealth and help the economy – I couldn’t just dump a ton of money into one industry.

I suppose this attitude might be tempered by the fact that the current market value of my HOME is less than 40K.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’ve always been really boring about cars, I’m a serious “point A to point B” with no frills kind of person. I think it’s more obnoxious to drive a car that’s a resource hog Hummer, anyone? Lincoln Navigator?

DominicX's avatar

No, I don’t. My car cost over 40K. I’m driving it. It’s the car I have. I’m not going to go sell it just because some people might be offended. People need to stop worrying so much about how other people spend their money. It’s none of their business.

I also agree that it’s much more obnoxious to drive a car that’s a resource hog (such as a Hummer or a gigantic truck that a person doesn’t need; I’m not saying everyone needs a hybrid or anything like that. They do tend to be more expensive).

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

So, someone who can afford an 40 thousand dollar car shouldn’t buy one or drive the one they already had just because the economy is in poor shape? I fail to see the reasoning behind this.

Seek's avatar


I honestly wouldn’t know a 40K car if I saw one, so I couldn’t possibly judge someone for spending that much on a vehicle.

All I know is that I wouldn’t spend that much on a car, period. Even if I could afford to. It just seems a waste.

Austinlad's avatar

I agree with DominicX! and others. If you can afford a 40K car (and frankly, these days, that doesn’t seem all that much to me), then buy it and apologize to no one. My car didn’t cost quite that much, but close. I bought exactly what I wanted and needed. It gets pretty good gas mileage, it’s just the right size for me, it’s not a cop-magnet, and most important, I enjoy driving it and I no longer buy stuff to either impress or annoy other people. Well… unless unless you count my iPad and iPhone 4.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Oh, I agree with you completely on that. :)

I just didn’t understand the original premise of the question, in which it is somehow in bad taste to drive a 40K dollar car in a bad economy.

Coloma's avatar

I prefer to drive more modest cars and spend my cash on living well, good food and travel..but, no.

If you want to drive a nice car that’s your biz. Whatever turns you on.

Reverse discriminaton is every bit as bad as discriminating against someone who drives a beater car.

We are so much MORE than our bodies and possessions.

Funny thing…I am a pretty low profile person and nobody would ever guess between my house and car that I have a shitload of cash in the bank.

Quite frankly I think it’s funny, and I gaurantee we are almost always wrong when it comes to snap assumptions based on others presentations.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think it’s bad taste to drive a car period when you don’t need to.

Coloma's avatar

I prefer to live as green as possible, within reason.

But…for someone like me that lives on property in a rural community a car is a must.

I make up for my excess driving needs by being the best steward of nature that I can.

Aster's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities Let me give you an extreme example: husband has a blue C6; is that it? A Corvette. My daughter wanted me to drive her around ARKANSAS in it with the top off so she could WAVE TO PEOPLE. Now. Does it make more sense?
I think that’s crass.

Seek's avatar


Why have a Corvette unless you want people to see you in it? Nobody buys those things for the trunk space.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I do not know his motives for buying it. I don’t like it , I’ve never driven it, it’s bumpy and loud (he did something to make it faster whatever it’s called) and I had zero input ; he just wanted it. With the top on it’s not TOO vulgar. So my attitude was fine; enjoy. But the idea of driving around and waving to people? It curdles my blood.
@Coloma COOL !

nikipedia's avatar

Huh? Why would anyone care that another person has a more expensive car?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Aster Well, driving around just to wave at people is extremely wasteful, and a quite arrogant. But, if somebody drove around in a corvette under normal circumstances (to and from work, errands, etc.) then I don’t really see how it’s in bad taste, or anybody else’s business.

Aster's avatar

why do I bother? no one gets it. Fascinating to find how other people think.

Aster's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities ok; NOW we’re connecting. Arrogance. Perfect term.
If it’s arrogant to wave in one then it’s getting a little close to being arrogant to drive one. I don’t hold it against him or anything.

Coloma's avatar


Just do what YOU want, forget about gaining approval…that’s so, so, co-dependant…..hahahahaha ( teasing you..;-) )

Coloma's avatar

I have a gentleman friend with a Cobra…it is THE most FUN ride ever…it is pure joy, and sure, it draws attention, but it’s not about the attention, it’s about the speed, the handling and letting her rip on the track….and, you get to wear cool driving hats with scarves fluttering in the wind…who WOULD’NT get off on that just a little…really!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No one should care what others do with their money.I certainly don’t.
Luxury items are built,sold,serviced,marketed and advertised,etc. by people who need jobs.
I don’t chastise those who spend their hard-earned money pursuing their own happiness ;)

Aster's avatar

@Coloma racing on the track is one thing; racing it in the grocery store parking lot is entirely a different matter. I mean, people are using Food Stamps in there!

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@Aster No, I don’t think we’re on the same page. I just don’t see how it’s anybody else’s business. But, oh well. I’m walking away.

Coloma's avatar


Maybe the food stamp person drives a Mercedes. lol

jca's avatar

i think if someone can afford an expensive car and they want one, they should buy it. it concerns nobody else except the person buying the car (and maybe the salesman). i bought the nicest car i could afford, which was a Honda Civic, new. if i could only afford a lesser car, i would have bought the best quality car i could have afforded. if i had more money, i would have bought a nicer car. it’s my money and i’ll do with it what i want.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I drive Mercedes because they make good cars and I’ve always had them. Should I get rid of them simply because the economy sucks? My grandfather bought a V-12 Packard during the Great Depression, he believed that he was helping the economy by doing so.

Aster's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land Mercedes are good cars??
Not the one We had . They put the TRUNK open button RIGHT NEXT to the window DOWN button on the console. I was in downtown Austin late at night, had to look out the window to see better (I wore glasses then) and the trunk opened when I pushed the wrong button. Craziness! adored the suv though; should have kept it The economy was fine at the time and I had no problem driving them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The term Conspicuoius Consumption comes to mind. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
Let them enjoy. It makes up for a “shortcoming”.

Facade's avatar

@Aster So because you pushed the wrong button, Mercedes are not good cars?

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think that if you’re driving a car that costs that much simply because you want a car that costs that much, then yes, it is in very poor taste. However, if the car fits your lifestyle and needs and you can afford it, then I have no problem with it.

Having said this, at the school I go to, I see an awful lot of brand new, expensive cars and it’s obvious that these kids don’t actually need the car. I don’t know a single 18-year-old who needs a bright red Lexus SUV that costs more than my tuition.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I know an 18 year old who needed a 2010 M-B S400. She needed a car and that happened to be sitting unused in my garage.

@Aster The M-Bs I have (except for the S400 which I don’t drive) are not very gadget-laden; a ‘72 220D, a ‘61 190D and a ‘79 Unimog. Built like tanks, good fuel economy and last forever with proper maintenance.

Coloma's avatar

It’s all about intention, as always.

If ones intent is to prop up a sagging self image, a sagging ego, or other sagging body part , lol…by purchasing a vehicle with the intent to impress, then yes, this would not be the ideal reason. Neither would going into debt to have said ego prop.

But…if the intent is purely based on a love of a particular car, appriciation for it’s features, safety, performance and just because it’s FUN, then I’d say those are the right reasons to have whatever you want!

My dream cars include the older model Jaguars, I think they are splendid automobiles and things of beauty.

Likeradar's avatar

Maybe the person who buys a new 40k car is being conservative. Maybe they really had their eye on an 80k car but didn’t want to seem ostentatious. Or maybe they worked really freggin hard to afford the 40k car of their dreams. Good for them.

Frankly, @Aster, I don’t see your point. Your daughter’s behavior seems crass, not the expensive car.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land: Ah, giving a young person an unused car is different than buying a young person a brand new very expensive car just because they want it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@KatawaGrey True, she would have been happy with anything that ran.

Aster's avatar

@Facade Of course not. They had other problems too; can’t remember now.
@stranger_in_a_strange_land Sounds like a nice collection.

ratboy's avatar

I carry a Mini Cooper instead of a spare tire. If I didn’t drive a Hummer, it wouldn’t fit i the trunk. Incidentally, I have excellent taste as evidenced by my mauve Porsche.

CherrySempai's avatar

Sorry, but I don’t see how it could be in bad taste. I may be biased because my car cost 40k (mom bought it when she was drunk at an auction, for my birthday, they never intended to give a 16 year old such a nice car) but I’ve had it for 4 years now, and would never dream of giving it up because of the economy. Sure, at the time, I would rather my parents have given me $40,000 instead so I could get a 20k car and spend the rest to my liking, but that wasn’t an option. ;]

What people choose to do with the money they worked hard for is their choice, and having a nice car to drive everyday at least keeps spirits up in the bad economy. :]

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No, it’s not about the car but you and how you act about your $40K car.

Buttonstc's avatar


I think you’re making a false generalization to other people with this Q primarily because of your daughter’s request which you’ve described as crass. And I agree with you that your daughter is being crass. So you need to put your foot down with HER and not accede to her ridiculous request.

But making the assumption that anyone else who drives an expensive car is doing so with the very same crass motivation shown by your daughter is simply irrational.

You have no idea what is in their heart and mind nor when they purchased that car. Are they supposed to sell it at a loss and buy something lesser just because the economy is crappy right now?

The moment a car is driven off the lot it loses about 30% of it’s value so trading it in for something cheaper is a false econnomy.

Your daughter’s request irked you. Don’t take it out on others who happen to drive expensive vehicles. Deal with your issues with her. After all, you and your husband are the ones who raised her :)

max_gutierrez's avatar

it is in a certain way the same that asking “don’t y ou think it’s bad taste to eat fine while there are people that have no resources to do it” ?

perspicacious's avatar

No. People can drive what they want and what they can afford at any given time as far as I’m concerned —and it will not be in “bad taste.” Silly question.

Aster's avatar

@perspicacious “silly question.” thanks for your kindness.
@Buttonstc “you raised her.” Yes; and her superlative sister, too.
I rarely see her. This was four years ago. thanks for your kindness.

Rufus_T_Firefly's avatar

No, I don’t think so. Aren’t most, if not all, of the most fuel efficient cars (hybrids) on the market priced over $40k? I certainly can’t fault someone for buying one if they can get a loan and make the payments.

perspicacious's avatar

@Aster My answer wasn’t unkind. Life happiness is diminished by envy—that’s a totally serious statement. And, $40,000 doesn’t buy a luxury vehicle—that’s a totally true statement.

Facade's avatar

@perspicacious GA. For some, spending $40,000 on a car is being modest.

BoBo1946's avatar

Well, I’ve one that cost over 40k, and by dang, I earned it the old fashion way. Worked my butt off for it. So, on i ride! Also, on the road, it gets 33 mpg!

Good question Aster! Provoked a lot of discussion.

Aster's avatar

@BoBo1946 thanks, boo. Provoked a lot of high blood pressure too from what I can see. Now I’ll dream up another hair-raising question.
Someday when we trade in the old caddy, we’ll probably have to get a stodgy Lexus since my son in law works for them and gets “great deals” for us. So since they’re at least not flashy, I will look forward to that purchase. Ohhhhh how I’ll enjoy that. salivates

BoBo1946's avatar

loll..well, don’t really see why. What the heck…in the scheme of things, not a big deal. Just something to talk about. Pass the time with friends.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Aster I wouldn’t call a Lexus ‘stodgy’.

Likeradar's avatar

@Aster I wonder how many people think it’s in bad taste to drive a Lexus in this economy when they’re driving a 20 year old Honda…
It’s all about perspective.

mattbrowne's avatar

If it’s fuel efficient, no. The 40K sustains the jobs related to building and selling this car.

Aster's avatar

@Likeradar I suppose some think a new Lexus would look crass. I’d like to have their smallest suv in metallic gold. Maybe that wouldn’t look too show-offish. I wish I had never posted this q.

Coloma's avatar


It’s a good worries.

I like gold, silver and black vehicles best myself.

My car now is a pretty silvery champagne color.

Check out some of the Honda SUV’s for economy and reliability. :-)

Aster's avatar

@Coloma My colors too. I think we’ll have to get a Toyota and I Detest their SUV’s. I don’t care for little cars; too dangerous.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, I prefer lots of ‘driver survival space’ myself. lol

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