Tag Archives: what vehicle to buy

You Are What You Drive??

Here is a list of the vehicles 10 of the richest people in the world are driving (as of last November).

Jeff Bazos, founder of Amazon: 2013 Honda Accord

Bill Gates: 2008 Ford Focus

Warren Buffett: 2006 Cadillac DTS, but after 10 years of driving it, his daughter convinced him to buy a new one last year

Mark Zuckerberg: Acura TSX with original sticker price of $30k

Larry Page and Sergey Brin: Both founders of Google drive two-year old Priuses

Steve Ballmer: The ex-CEO of Microsoft & owner of the LA Clippers drives a 2010 Ford Fusion

Michael Bloomberg: Chevy Suburban

Jack Ma: The co-founder of Alibaba drives a three-year old Roewer X5

Alice Walton: The daughter of Walmart Founder Sam Walton still drives her 06 Ford F150 with a value of maybe $5k

Hands-down these people can obviously afford any vehicle on the planet. Yet, they choose to all drive something pretty inexpensive in the view of most middle class earners. Rich people don’t buy things that go down in value – a large part of the reason they got rich.

I’m going to keep stating that middle class income people have no chance to build serious wealth with car payments. The math says that there’s just isn’t enough money left over. Payments of $500 to $900 truck payments are after-tax. That means the person is actually spending $700 to $1,300 of gross earnings (less taxes, EI, CPP) on perpetual payments.

Sure, anyone can cut their bills down by a hundred bucks to be able to save a little. But there’s only one change that can leave $700 to $1,300 in your pocket each month – in addition to now having less than half the insurance premiums.

Two Vehicle Shopping Heads Up Stories

Ford has a national ad that they’ll make your first three payments for you to a max of $1,500. Firstly, if you’re a cash buyer, and you should be, they’ll give you the same amount as a cash rebate.

This ad campaign reminds me of a nice retired gentleman when I was finance manager in Kelowna. He was buying a half ton to tow his 5th wheel. He really wanted a three-quarter ton, but couldn’t afford the price difference.

At that time, there was also an offer that the manufacturer would make the first three payments, but there wasn’t a limit on how much those payments could be. So I had the sales person find him a three-quarter ton and set it up for a one year loan at about $4,000 a month payments. That way he had the first three for free, and that $12,000 saving got him the truck he really wanted. He was a cash purchaser, so the huge payments weren’t an issue since he had the money. Since then, the payments have always been capped. There’s always an angle and a trick. 540 of them are in the Money Tools book. That $20 at Mosaic will turn into a ton of savings if you just read one or two of the chapters! In this case, if your payments will be $300 or so, times three, you’re leaving $600 on the table. Go to your bank or credit union, get the loan and take the full $1,500 rebate instead of the three payments that only add up to $900!

If You Want a Vehicle That Lasts 300,000 KM

Consumer Report does THE most extensive research and surveys on vehicle reliability. That’s great news if you’re looking for a new (or better yet, almost new) vehicle. If you keep your vehicles for a long time, you need to have the list from Consumer Report of vehicles that should last you for at least 300,000 km:

Unfortunately, nine of them are imports, which makes them more expensive to buy, but that may be worth the initial outlay if you can drive it for 8 to ten years:

Honda Accord, Civic, and CR-V

Toyota Prius, Camry, 4Runner, Corolla, Sienna and Highlander

and rounding out the top 10 is the Ford F150

With technological improvements, all vehicles are way more reliable than they were a decade ago. But these ten are the best of the best, according to Consumer Report.

On the other hand, Forbes just put out their list of the 13 worst vehicles to buy. From best in snow to the vehicles to avoid, I’ll post the link to their research and story on my website: