How to drive a car you can’t afford!

BMW_3-Series_F34_GT_01_China_2014-04-20I’m in my mid-twenties, have a decent wage and am pretty sensible with my money, yet since passing my driving test 10 years ago, when I didn’t even have a job, I haven’t ever felt an increase in purchase power when it comes to what car I drive, in fact it’s probably gone the other way as I got a lot of help from my parents with my first car.

Nevertheless I have sat and watched as my mates who are in similar financial positions to me are driving around in brand new mercs, beamers and audis. My best mate got an Audi Q2 business car leasing deal with his new job which I could stomach, fair play to him. He admitted he couldn’t afford a personal car lease Audi Q2. But my other mate is driving around in a brand new 3 series, that he has got on a personal car lease. Now when he mentioned this in the past I always just thought he was an idiot who was throwing money away and putting himself in a terrible position just so he could show off his car. Sound bitter? Well I was. I admit it. Anyway I was chatting to him the other day about it and he maintains that he hasn’t had to change his lifestyle much if at all to accommodate the monthly payments, and to be fair to him it sounded like it was adding up. He said he was originally looking to get finance on a much lesser used Audi A1 worth £13,250, that would have ended up costing him £315.97 a month for 4 years. That means he will have spent £15,166 on the car by the end of the contract, to own a car that will be worth less than £10,000 by the end of the 4 year contract. Ultimately then he would probably have spent somewhere between £6000 and £8000 over the course of the 4 year period. Alternatively he could drive a brand new BMW 3 Series for £275 per month (after an initial payment of £2690) via a BMW 3 Series contract hire deal meaning he would have to spend a whopping £15615 for the luxury of driving a 40 grand car for 4 years. So the decision comes to this, £7K (give or take) to drive a second hand Audi A1 for 4 years or £15615 to drive a BMW 3 Series Diesel Saloon 330d M Sport 4dr Step Auto.

Obviously it depends on what you need your car for, but in me and my mates case, I just want the best car I can have for the money I can afford, and I would rather have the gift of a brand new BMW 3 series than the gift of an Audi A1 with an £8000 hand shake. So now there’s 2 of us with a personal contract hire BMW 3 series on the drive!

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