One of the things that struck me when I was thinking about getting a Tesla was that the price of leasing a $150,000 car was achievable to me now, and more importantly, paying that price would not negatively impact the other financial plans and lifestyle that I enjoy (more on that in an upcoming post). While I decided not to proceed with getting the Tesla, what I learned from that investigation opened my eyes to possibilities.
Just quickly, in terms of not negatively impacting the other financial plans I have, I wrote about that back in 2015: Is it pretentious to own a BMW?
…don’t worry. I’m aware of good financial management. I have obligations and responsibilities I need to also consider as I head into my future. Whatever I do has to fit within the paramaters of ensuring I have significantly more money coming in than what’s going out, and that I have a plan in place to ensure my future is comfortable.
And that’s never going to change.
So when I saw the kind of car I could actually afford, it started a new process of thinking… The car I bought earlier this year was a 3 year old BMW 535i which I got on a 4 year lease. Lovely car, very enjoyable to drive, and I’m very happy with it. But now I’m already thinking of the next car. Let me take you through my thinking…
My parents-in-law are likely moving from China to Australia next year, and when that happens I’ll be getting an SUV for my wife to drive around as her ‘daily driver’ so she can drive herself and her parents around without impacting my own driving needs (we’ve been sharing the one car for a few years now). When we have the SUV available, then that will be our ‘practical car’, and this, combined with the opportunities that my Tesla experience brought to mind, has led me to realising I won’t really need the practical BMW sedan any more, since my car will mostly be me in it…
There’s something else that’s been part of my thinking… Car park driveways in shopping centres are getting smaller in width as the average car is getting smaller, and there’s a need to fit more cars into the car parks. Nearly all four of my BMW’s wheel rims have been scraped by the curbs, and I hate that. It’s made me think that getting a smaller car would be a good idea.
So that’s the recent thinking around my car and the practicality of it. Let’s go back a bit further…
For quite a few years now I’ve had the thought in the back of my mind that it’d be really nice to have a car with a V8 before climate change enforces changes in our society that bans petrol cars (especially V8s), or at least makes them highly regulated and expensive. It makes sense that this is a likely outcome. However, for practical purposes, a 4 door sedan or SUV has always been a better option, and V8 versions of those were too expensive. But now the practical doesn’t matter much when we’ll have an SUV that will suit that purpose….
Over the past few years I’ve thought about a 2013 BMW M3 because it was the last of the M3 V8s and was at a price point I could consider, but then I decided not to consider it because maintenance would be too expensive outside of warranty. Warranty is very important.
I then thought about a later model BMW M5 with V8, but it’s just not the same as a nice coupe, and I’d get the same issues with the wheels in car parks… It’s too big. The same with a BMW 650i with V8…. even the 2 door coupe is about as big as the 5 series, and the last of those was made in 2014…. V8s are dying out today.
So last week I thought about the BMW M4 as the best coupe I’d enjoy driving – sticking with the BMWs because I really love them. But two things are against it. One, it doesn’t have a V8, and two, reviews of it say it’s pretty bland and boring compared to the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S. And that’s when I first discovered the AMG C63 S, last week.
It excited me! It looks much better both inside and outside than the BMW M4 does, and it has a V8…. I’ve looked at it a lot on YouTube, and it sounds fantastic too. But I need to take it for a test drive to see how it FEELS. It needs to be very comfortable as well.
I took a few screenshots of how I’d like it to look, based on the configuration tool on the Mercedes-Benz website. Dark grey, black tyres, extra body kit, with comfort seats instead of sports seats. I love it.
So next year an SUV for my wife, and then in 2020 I just might trade in my 535i for a 2-3 year old AMG C63 S. The price brand new is about $180,000 but of course I won’t be paying that! Buying a luxury car brand new is silly when you consider how much value they lose over a few years. The BMW 535i was $140,000 brand new but I bought it aged 3 years old for less than half what it cost new. From what I can see of 2016 models today (this car first came out in 2016), the 2018/19 AMG C63 S will probably lose 40-50% of it’s value as well over the next 2-3 years, and likely to cost just a bit more than $100,000 in 2020.
And at that price it becomes quite achievable on a 4-5 year lease.
Watch this space. 🙂
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