Money! We all want it. We even started a new channel to help you get it, and it’s called Ideal Money! But, if you’re like me, you don’t have enough for the latest and greatest in automotive technology. But what if you just want people to think you do
Today, I have 10 cars that you can buy on the cheap that will make you look like you’re a high-roller, including some fun ideas and a car that’s brand new, cheap, and makes you look filthy rich! And the last car is soo cheap, I bet a lot of you have already owned it! Buckle up and let’s go!
New Mercedes CLA – No Explanation Required
What we’ll do is start with the most expensive and work our way down all the way down to under $5,000. You heard me right. Under $5,000! Let’s start with the biggest surprise, though.
If you have around $34,000 and want people to think you’ve really made it in life, grab a new Mercedes. Yeah. If you want to look rich, just tell people the honest truth. You just bought a brand new Mercedes. You don’t have to tell them that it’s the CLA, also known as the entry-level Mercedes, or that it’s front-wheel drive and costs less than $35,000. All you have to do is show them the badge or your key fob and most of the people on the street will never question it. They’ll just go, “Damn, they have a brand new Benz. I wonder what I have to do to be that amazing.“
Mercedes has a reputation for being something that old people drive. Want to convince people you’re new money? Grab a Tesla.
Tesla Model S – To the Moon
It’s actually hard to believe, considering the Model S was so insanely difficult to pick up when it came out, that it could have fallen into one of our lists. Yet here it is. It turns out that used Teslas are pretty cheap. And even though they represent the “future of luxury,” the future will depreciate just like any other luxury option.
We found one for around $27,000. Roll up in it, tell people you work with computers, and there’s no one on Earth that won’t believe you’re some Bay Area tech genius.
Don’t want to give up gas just yet? I don’t really blame you. I like kicking it old-school too, which is why I can personally recommend buying a Porsche 996.
Porsche 996 911 – Do You Like Eggs?
On these cheap car lists, we usually recommend the Cayman or the Boxster. Let’s be honest, those are actually cheap. But this list is all about looking rich, and we have to face the facts. The Boxster has too much of a reputation. People will know when they see it that it’s the little, inexpensive Porsche. The 911, however, is so iconic that people will just assume that you bought it new and have been keeping it for your collection.
And the 996 with its polarizing headlights, which we liked enough to put on a t-shirt, is the most affordable 911 ever. Plus, Porsche people will give you a nod, which is enough to convince anyone watching that you’re in the in-group. Check out this video to watch the entire Porsche buying experience! How much do you need to join the club? Around $20,000, or less than the price of a new Miata. Which would you rather have?
The problem with Porsche is that the valet won’t park it in front of the hotel, but it is a perfect candidate for the Ideal Car Strategies. And you could be driving your ideal Porsche car with no money out of your pocket! Yes, I built these strategies to teach people like you and me the proper way to leverage finance, negotiate like a pro, and understand when to sell your car for a premium. So, when you buy that 996 911, in 6 months you can sell it and level up to an F80 M3 or even a Nissan GT-R! Life’s too short to drive boring cars.
Like I was saying, the 996 isn’t getting valeted in front. If you want that, you’d better take a look at Maserati, also known as the most depreciated brand ever.
Maserati Quattroporte – Pony Power
You know we can’t mention looking rich on a budget without mentioning Maserati. You knew it was coming. You probably clicked the link expecting to see at least one. And who are we to disappoint? Now, if you really want a great driving car with a Ferrari engine that is worth maintaining, get the GranTurismo. But, if you want something that’s super posh and super cheap, get the Quattroporte. I guarantee that no one will ever think you didn’t pay supercar prices.
The name sounds exotic, the exhaust note is definitely exotic, and the leather interior will impress whoever you decide to take on a date. And that’s all for $17,000. That’s nearly 90% off MSRP. With savings like that, you won’t just be looking rich, if you catch my drift.
Speaking of really unreliable cars, if you want to look legitimately Beverly Hills rich, you need a Range Rover.
Range Rover – Mechanic Not Included
SUVs are pretty much a staple of modern wealthy individuals because being comfortable is often the number one thing to look for. Go to a movie premiere and all you’ll see are Escalades, Yukons, and, of course, Range Rovers. Now, Land Rover is not known for being reliable in any way. Just ask Squidd.
But if you roll up in one, your friends will expect you to buy lunch every time, even though you just spent your last $15,000 on an SUV. Better stick to Wendy’s. I know that the 4 for $4 has saved my butt a few times.
Range Rovers don’t turn heads, though. If you want that and nothing else, get a Lambo or Ferrari kit car.
Lambo Kit Car – Wish.com Supercar
Alright, look, we don’t always recommend actually buying the cars on our lists. This list is about you looking damn fine, not making practical decisions, right? It’s about dreaming and seeing what’s out there. Well, let me introduce you to the weird-as-hell world of building replica supercars using crappy cars as a base.
The Pontiac Fiero and Toyota MR2 are popular platforms for the car underneath, and you usually get a body that kind of looks like either a Ferrari 308 or a Lamborghini Countach. The best part is that if you’re a certain kind of crazy and really want one, you can find them in running condition for $12,000 or less every day.
Just don’t try to win any stoplight drags and avoid going anywhere where enthusiasts are. As my old car-building buddy would say, they’re purely 50/50 cars. They look good at 50 miles per hour or from 50 feet away. If you want something that can actually walk the walk, Audi has you covered.
Audi A8 – Rolex Not Included
Enter the Audi A8, Audi’s flagship luxury car meant to stare down the legendary Mercedes sedans. And it is actually very nice. There’s a V8 under the hood, top-tier German interior, and exterior styling that is difficult to pin an age to. It’s basically the perfect car for feeling like a trust fund kid without actually being a trust fund kid.
All you really need, in fact, is $10,000. Thanks to our friend depreciation, a car that started out costing the same as a condo, can be yours for less than what your buddy paid for a used Accord. A8s are also roomy enough to haul you and your friends around.
But what if you have a dog that needs to go to the groomer too? Stay with the Germans and pick up a BMW X5.
BMW X5 – I Need Your Manager
This is another car that isn’t fast or showy or even really interesting. But, like the Range Rover, it’s not about standing out, it’s about doing the one thing that actual wealthy people do and that’s to prioritize comfort and brand identity. BMW is a prestigious brand and the X5 is amazingly comfortable. Oh, and they’re really cheap used. You can probably find one that fits your budget no matter what it is.
Even better, the older ones tend to be more reliable, not really reliable, but more reliable than the newer ones. And they cost less than $10,000, which is good because you’ll have money for repairs. And to the average person, it’s just a nice BMW.
Still, I think we can make you feel like a million for even less cash. Did you know that a used limo can be found for around $5,000 every day of the week?
Limousine – Drive-Thrus Are for Squares
Here’s how you do it: you buy a used limo, then get your friends to sit in the back. Drive to the event and your friends get out and establish the scene. You go park and sneak into the event and hang with your friends. Everyone will see the whole lot of you as people that are so important that you all showed up in a damn limo.
It’s really hard to top that if your goal is to look rich. And you really can find them for nothing. We found one on Craiglist for $6,000 and it actually looked like it was in good condition.
What if you don’t even have $5,000 but still want to feel like you have fat stacks? Get a G35.
Infiniti G35 – Fancy Three-Fiddy
Now, the manual G35 is a drifting diamond in the rough. It’s basically the legendary 350Z with a fancy jacket. The problem is that they’re being snatched up and it’s nearly impossible to find a clean one now. But, drift kids don’t want automatics, and that means the drift tax only applies to the manual G35s.
What does that mean for you? It means you can get a fantastic luxury car with the legendary VQ motor and a decent automatic transmission for less than $4,000. We found a clean one with less than 100,000 miles. But if you do more looking and are willing to deal with high mileage, you can definitely find one for $3,000. How’s that for ideal?