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Students who bought luxury cars during clerkship, how do you feel about them now?


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Hello everyone, I'm probably being stubborn, but I'm really interested in picking up a used luxury car once I reach the point where public transit no longer fills my needs (like in clerkship). To anyone who did this, or knows people who did, please let me know how these anecdotal experiences went. If my plan is unwise, I need emotional persuasion away from it, more than the usual "cars are depreciating assets" rhetoric, I've already seen that on a thousand other webpages.

I'm afraid that if I don't fulfil that car dream now, by the time I'm settled in as a fully-fledged physician my youth and appeal of a luxury car will be gone. By that time, I'll probably also start have competing priorities and have already spent money on a cheap car, on insurance, and on fixed costs like parking and gas. I'm not too fussed about taking less vacations nor do I think I want to retire early or buy an excessively large house. The last point about the house is particularly important because I live in Vancouver and enjoy apartments more - meaning any property that I do eventually buy would likely also have a not-insignificant monthly strata fee; I'm quite content to rent a smaller space at this point in time. I often see threads talking about spending less money on cars because they're a depreciating asset, while also saying that vacations are an appropriate way to spend money (even though vacations themselves can't be considered assets).

For reference, I'm currently thinking of something less than $60k like a Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid or any car that comfortably seats 4/5 people and has a hatchback to be able to move furniture. My Dad convinced me out of pure electric because not all apartment buildings have the options for electric chargers, but otherwise I'm a sucker for Tesla's hatchback cars. Adding to that, Porsche ranks 4th in reliability on consumer reports against Toyota (3rd), Hyundai (6th), Honda (12th), Ford (16th), Mercedes-Benz (21), and Tesla (23). Financially I don't have debt from undergrad and UBC altogether ends up being ~$40k/yr with tuition + living & food factored in. I have $350k in my LOC at prime - 0.25%. 

 

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Buy what you want, do your own math on what you can or cannot afford in terms of car cost and cost of debt. None of us can tell you one way or the other, as we all have different financial situations, some making more money than others before/during med school and residency. Bottom line is cars cost money, and a luxury car is not usually a “rational” decision, its a luxury decision - whether that matters at all depends on your finances. If you think you can support the carrying costs of a Porsche and are ok with it maybe not being the economical solution, then nothing any of us can say should change that. 

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I have two classmates I recall. One bought a luxury car and I think it went fine for him. He clearly derived a lot of joy from it. He's also not the financially responsible friend I have haha. However, I believe you should spend your life doing things that bring you fulfillment. If you're a real car enthusiast I think the happiness from that would outweigh the debt burden. Just make sure that purchase will really bring you that joy.

Another classmate I was also into luxury cars and bought one when he finished training (e.g. early 30s). and he is also having a great time while not being as financially irresponsible. He was still young enough to enjoy the benefits of a new luxury vehicle and had way more time.

 

Two call outs I would have:

1) Depending on your training path you may not have as much time to enjoy the vehicle as you would like. Clerkship can be pretty busy and residency can be insane. It would be a shame if you were just letting the vehicle sit around other than your commute with the additional burden of luxury car insurance.

2) You are early in training and while the vast majority of students make it through to the end I am always wary of the outlier students (e.g. illness, disability, dropping out, expelled, etc.) Once again this is very rare but something that I have seen. 

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GF bought a brand new 2018 Range Rover Discovery sport prior to the start of clerkship. She's always into sporty cars and loved having something she could drive to/from sites. But as others have mentioned, it depends on your debt tolerance and financial situation. GF parents are staff physicians, so even though she paid for it, she didn't have to pay for living expenses or tuition so her only med school expense was her car. 

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If you can afford it and will use it, then buy it. 

People who buy expensive stuff just to park it there and show off are the type that draws the ire.

Every time I see someone with a Steinway salon grand parked in their house I ask if they can play some Beethoven or Chopin for me, 9/10 times the best I get is twinkle twinkle little star lol.

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39 minutes ago, shikimate said:

If you can afford it and will use it, then buy it. 

People who buy expensive stuff just to park it there and show off are the type that draws the ire.

Every time I see someone with a Steinway salon grand parked in their house I ask if they can play some Beethoven or Chopin for me, 9/10 times the best I get is twinkle twinkle little star lol.

Not a Mozart fan :p

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Maybe try leasing if your credit is good enough (or your parents are willing to co-sign). I took over a lease to scratch my car itch before entering med school. I realized taking transit was more convenient for me. 

Porsches are fancy Audis. Audis are fancy Volkswagens. They should all be similar in reliability. 

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PM me, I did buy a luxury car at the end of med school and during residency. I have always been a car guy and I do tonnes of interest in cars, particularly high-end/sports cars.

Like many said, it's a personal decision you have to make. If you can live with the consequences (most cars depreciate, unless you buy very special cars like a LaFerrari or McLaren P1 or Porsche 918 or something like that, highly doubt we can afford them....), then go for it. Go for a new second hand car (2-3 years) because the 1st year is always the hardest hit (in terms of depreciation). Also, location matters, I used to live in AB and the tax there is only 5% so you can definitely pick up a nice car at a lower cost. Whereas in BC, cars over $150 K you have to pay 25% which is ridiculous. I would never pay that much tax on a vehicle. 

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18 hours ago, ATP said:

Maybe try leasing if your credit is good enough (or your parents are willing to co-sign). I took over a lease to scratch my car itch before entering med school.

How long was your lease? Did you end up completely not using a car after the lease ended? (How is that possible with odd working hours and locations?)

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From the Medscape Physician Lifestyle & Happiness Report 2020

image.png.4ff6e4e38f9c84f7158c396c1a8400ed.png

 

Most of my classmates who bought expensive cars - ended up selling them or trading it for something low maintenance. Clerkship/residency is busy, the last thing you want to do is spend time looking after your car.

On 10/27/2020 at 7:48 PM, HongHongHong said:

I'm afraid that if I don't fulfil that car dream now, by the time I'm settled in as a fully-fledged physician my youth and appeal of a luxury car will be gone. By that time, I'll probably also start have competing priorities and have already spent money on a cheap car, on insurance, and on fixed costs like parking and gas.

 

Usually the opposite happens. Your life style inflates as your income goes up, you get caught in the hedonistic treadmill and adaptation makes material objects not as fulfilling. The Porsche that was your "dream car" ends up being meh, and you start to look for the next car to replace that one. 

If you can afford it - go ahead and buy it. But most students I know... heck residents and staff... don't go from public transit to porsches. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, The Ace of Spades said:

Honestly, just bought my first luxury car as staff. Don't give a shit what I drove in residency, or a double shit what I drove in clerkship.

Hell I am staff and I still don't have a car....let alone a luxury one. 

(have bike, will travel.....)

Also the range of doctors' vehicles is so broad that unless you are driving a Columbo special (see below) no one will care....and well no one ever should either. Don't buy things to impress other people. 

Screen-Shot-2016-07-05-at-10.27.22-AM.pn

Edited by rmorelan
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3 hours ago, canada747 said:

I bought an iPad Mini and felt guilty lmfao

I'm a new staff and bought the black Friday promo Nintendo Switch that includes the mariokart 8 game and i feel guilty, too.

 

Different strokes for different folks.

Still remember the doc who proudly pointed out his 90-something tercel in the parking lot:lol:

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