The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?

Photo by Federico Marsicano /

Mercedes, BMW and Lexus — oh my!

Although wealthy Americans can have their pick of vehicles from those luxury brands, many prefer to own the same modest models as Average Joes and Janes.

A study conducted by business research organization MaritzCX reveals that the top vehicle for wealthy Americans — those who earn more than $200,000 annually — is a Ford F-150 pickup truck, the most popular vehicle in the nation, USA Today reports.

Are you surprised? Take a look at the top five most popular cars for high-income Americans — those who earn at least $200,000:

  1. Ford F-150
  2. Jeep Grand Cherokee
  3. Honda Pilot
  4. Jeep Wrangler
  5. Honda Civic

Robert Ross, auto editor for the Robb Report — a magazine for the ultra-wealthy — tells USA Today that practicality often supersedes luxury-car lust. Some rich Americans view vehicles more like an appliance than a showcase item.

“Some people, like the actively employed wealthy, are too busy working to think about luxury cars,” Ross explains.

Purchasing a modestly priced vehicle rather than a luxury vehicle with a hefty price tag is a smart money move. That is especially true if you want to be wealthy enough someday that you can buy whatever car you want. In fact, “Live below your means” is one of the tips included in “7 Simple, Free Moves Guaranteed to Make You Richer.”

As Donna Freeman writes in that story:

“The more you live below your means now, the wealthier you are likely to become in the future.”

Keeping your financial wits is important if you want to build wealth. Being frugal is one of the key ingredients to getting rich.

For example — as we point out in “3 Lessons for Getting Rich” — instead of purchasing a $30,000 luxury car, why not buy a $20,000 vehicle and invest the remaining $10,000 in a mutual fund? That’s a particularly attractive alternative when you consider that with an average return of 10 percent for 30 years, you’ll end up with roughly $175,000 in extra savings.

For more tips on getting rich, check out “10 Ways to Make Easy Money.

What kind of car do you drive? Sound off below or on Facebook.

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