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They're $80,000 cars. Having one means you spent $80,000 on a vehicle.

Way more than that. The current cheapest model, with UK fees and taxes, at today's exchange rate, is $134,860.

If you want one with a V-12 (Which, if you're buying an Aston you do), you're looking at $200k, minimum.

Maybe a used V8 model from 6-8 years ago. New ones go in the mid 100's to start.

Do British cars not support leases or loans? It seems odd to look out the window at the car park and think you can judge somebody's whole financial situation, and from that extrapolate how they should handle other peoples' money.

People don't think about how little a car can possibly cost. In San Francisco, it seems that every third car you see is a BMW 3 series. If I asked the majority of my friends/coworkers who know nothing about cars what they thought about the owner's finances, they would state that that person is probably well-off. A used 3 series can be had for less than $15,000, around $12,000 if you get a much older one, less than the cost of a new, say, Mazda 3.

The 2005 Ferrari F430 your boss drives may have cost as little as $100,000, and your boss may have financed part or most of it. Good credit + an above zero net worth will get you very nice finance terms. If you looked at the car alone, you might deduce that your boss is quite wealthy, but in reality their net worth could be less than $25,000.

Even if you are into cars, a person's choice of vehicle is probably not going to give you any meaningful insight into their personal finances. Many people just like status symbols because they communicate how the person wants to be seen, not how they actually are.

Flashing status symbols in front of people who can't or don't realize they could obtain them is uncouth, though.

> The 2005 Ferrari F430 your boss drives may have cost as little as $100,000

Only $100K?! Holy fucknozzles, I'll take five of them!


That is about 1/3 of what its out-the-door price was at time of introduction. The $15,000 BMW 3 series is around 1/3-1/4 the original price, too. People generally assume brand new price = price that was paid by current owner. This contributes to the "flashy car = very wealthy" outlook, despite it not always being the case.

Well, $15K for a BMW? I'll take ten!!!1!

[eyes nearly roll out of head]

I guess you've never actually priced a car?

Low end for okay new cars is $10->30k. Most BMWs are quite nice, reliable cars with low maintenance costs. Acquiring a used one for the price of a new lesser car is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Now, if you're snarking at spending $15k on something, I'm not sure what I can tell you.

If you've never spent $15k or more on something in a year, I guess you've owned neither a vehicle nor a house, and don't rent in a highly desirable part of a metropolitan area.

"Most BMWs are quite nice, reliable cars with low maintenance costs."

I like mine and it's reliable, but 'low maintenance costs', that I wouldn't say...

> I guess you've never actually priced a car?

Your guess is absolutely incorrect. The difference is that I don't consider $15K to be chump change.

By all means, though, do continue your condescending snobbery. It just makes everyone around you look all the better.

I drive a car with a current value of about $2500. The other family car is worth about $1500.

We're getting pretty close to trading up the lower-valued car for a 5-to-8-years-used one with around 100k miles on it, costing us about $13000-17000. That requires planning and savings, and maybe a bit of financing. $15k is serious business to a middle class household, and we would expect that purchase to last us at least another 5-8 years, whereupon we can pawn it off on a kid as their starter vehicle. We want to ride it all the way down the depreciation curve, then take whatever is left in it as a charitable tax deduction.

It definitely is not chump change, but it isn't entirely out of reach for the middle class, either. It is, however, well beyond the ken of lower-paid employees.

The range of $10k-30k for new cars is completely bogus. You are looking at a bare minimum of $12k for a glorified go-kart and $16-18k for a decent sedan with automatic (or CV) transmission. Those used B-Mers going for $15k are probably about the equivalent of a year-old Honda Civic. If you can afford that, you are well off, and very much above the median household income for the US.

Ancestor post shows a serious lack of knowledge of the economy outside the Bay Area. For huge numbers of people, the value of that car is still well above anything they might be able to get for themselves. Deprecating $15k as not being all that much money is somewhat insulting to all those people for whom such an amount would exceed their entire net worth. By that perspective, the guy driving the $100k car in to work, to fire some people, is lucky that so many people in the US respect other people's property, even if they are hugely self-centered assholes. $100k can buy an entire house in some places, complete with rooms, floors, and indoor plumbing.

Furthermore, if anyone with a net worth of $25k is driving a car valued at $100k, they have no business whatsoever making business decisions at any company that employs me. If they make shit decisions in their personal life, they will probably make worse decisions with other people's money.

>$15k is serious business to a middle class household

>If you can afford that, you are well off, and very much above the median household income for the US.

Agree on point #1, disagree on point #2: one of my points is that you don't need to have 15k cash-on-hand to drive a car worth 15k, but driving said car makes you appear to be much wealthier than you are.

>Ancestor post shows a serious lack of knowledge of the economy outside the Bay Area.

Not at all. SF is just a good example because of the prevalence of "luxury" cars and "rich" people who don't actually own their surprisingly low-cost cars outright.

>If they make shit decisions in their personal life

This was my point exactly. Appearances can be massively deceiving, and in many cases, they actually are. Judging someone's financial situation based on the car they drive doesn't factor in their income, how much they're willing to spend each month on a car, and how much debt they're willing to take on for it. People do silly things. I think the combination of easy access to credit (i.e., debt) and "keeping up with the Jones" is to blame.

And a great point it is.

Given the nature of financing, and the nature of an automobile as an asset, I have to question the sanity of anyone obtaining a loan to buy any new car, which drops in resale value the instant you drive it off the dealer lot. If the car in question, new or used, retails for more than $25k, I no longer need to question; at that point, I know the person is insane.

If you can make a $25k down payment on a $100k car, you could pay cash for a $25k car and own it outright. The only reasons anyone should be taking a loan to buy a car are as follows:

1. Owning the car would increase that person's potential to earn disposable income to a greater extent than the loan costs would reduce it.

2. The person has no realistic means for saving up for the purchase price of any acceptable car without having such a car already.

The traditional, rational means of buying a new luxury car is to first buy the best beater you can afford at that moment, run it into the ground, and repeat that step until the money saved by driving beaters and junking them is enough to buy a reliable car that can eventually be resold. Then, you continue saving and trading in your old vehicle until you finally achieve the quality of vehicle that you desire. The best trade-in point is right at the end of the flat part of the maintenance cost bathtub curve for that car, at which point you buy the best car you can afford that is still a few years/miles away from that point.

In that light, all those people buying used BMW 3-series instead of new luxury cars are showing themselves to be somewhat prudent car buyers. But you still don't know if they gradually built up to it, paid in cash, or took a loan.

Even so, just about everyone middle class or lower will look at someone driving an obviously expensive car and instinctively think, "what an asshole." It's probably related to the deep-rooted primate instinct for judging fairness in social interactions. All the other monkeys hate the monkey that gets more bananas and doesn't share. That's really the primary reason to avoid ostentatious displays of wealth in public, especially in the wrong social contexts.

If he financed the whole car, hes paying ~ $1,400/month usd. Thats a mortgage payment for some people, and a months salary for for some people.

It's a conspicuous display of wealth either way; people can and do lease luxury cars, but only if they're trying to look richer than they are, which is still a cunt move.


> you're ignorant, unimaginative and small-minded

I'm sure you know that personal attacks are not allowed on Hacker News. Please don't do this.

Did you friend lay off a bunch of people making minimum wage while his luxury car was parked right in front of the workplace? If not, then it's not actually comparable.

Obvious troll is obvious.

I drive an expensive car. I've also put 40x the cost of the car into a company in order to pay people their salaries. The expensive car barely registers as noise on this budget. If I had to lay people off, that would still be true.

Someone who's never run a business can't understand that. I mean, they can 'realize', at a rational level; but they can never understand. Just like I can never understand what it's like to be a single dad (or mom, although that'd be physically impossible for me...) working a minimum wage job or whatever. (I guess this opens me up to be jumped upon with 'cry me a river, being a single parent is much harder than having a business' or whatever, which I have no interest discussing or grading; my point is that some (most?) things cannot be understood until one has lived them)

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