A BMW? Or A Civic Plus A Ferrari?

A few years ago I came up with the idea that buying a fancy car can be a real waste of money. Even if you are a “car guy” (like me), chances are that 360 days of the year you use your car to simply get you from A to B. Perhaps at most, you might go for a Sunday drive or a weekend road trip and really want to enjoy the sight and sound and visceral feel of a highly tuned car, maybe you want a “car” for a handful of days per year.

That being the case, instead of buying that BMW (or whatever), maybe you should buy a Civic (or whatever) instead. That way you can drive a Ferrari every now and then.

Say what?

Yes, that’s right. If you were willing to spend $750/month on that fancy BMW lease you would be willing to pony up $9,000/year. Not to mention paying for premium gas, and more expensive insurance. A bare bones civic (at least at the time I originally thought of this) could be had for as little as $200/month, or $2,400/year. This leaves you with $6,600 left over plus the savings on gas and insurance – call it $8,000 in total savings.

To rent a Ferrari F430 in Toronto for a Friday to Sunday (includes 300km of use) costs $2,999. Extra insurance per day is $99. So two of these weekends would cost you approximately $6,600. I got these prices from GTA Exotics, but I am in no way affiliated with them.

That leaves you with $1,400 left in your pocket. Good for a last minute trip down south in the winter to boot. :)

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee
...is an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 9 comments
  • Rendell @ BrandlessBlog.com


    I think that is really a very very good suggestion.

    You get to:
    1) Continue Driving (A to B)
    2) Save on monthly expenses
    3) Experience: driving your dream car (optional)

    It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN solution!


  • Brian

    Yes Preet, mixing finance and cars. What a good way to start the day.

  • Dillon

    Spend at least some time with the Ferrari pulling up beside BMW’s at stoplights and revving the engine. Trust me, they will instantly recognize you as a fellow automotive enthusiast and give you a big thumbs up! :)

  • Charles in Vancouver

    My idea of a cool car is a hybrid ;)

    So I’m a member of the Co-operative Auto Network in Vancouver which has plenty of car types. I don’t own a car, but if I ever want to impress some cute eco-conscious boy on a date, I can cheaply take out one of their Priuses and pick him up at his door :)

  • Preet

    I like hybrids too – but mostly for the fact that some of them run silently at low speeds and low loads – it’s cool in a freaky way. ;)

    The thought of saving money on fuel (even though the outlay may be greater) is more psychologically pleasing as well…

  • Mark

    Couple of years back I was in the market for a Volvo C70; I wanted that convertible like there was no tomorrow!!
    I sat down with my wife & did the math… We ended up buying a Mazda5 – enough room for us campers – and once in a while, I indulge in renting one to drive out for the week-end!!
    The fun part of it is that even with all that as expenses, we’re still able to go on 2 cruises per year!!!
    Talk about putting your money where your mouth is!!
    Great suggestion for us car guys.

  • joao

    In your calculations, why aren’t you considering the value of the car?

    What I mean is that, after a couple of years, your Civic will be worthless However, a Ferrari won’t. It can be the case that the difference between the value of the car and what you paid for it, could compensate to buy it new (or even second hand).

    What I mean is, in your suggestion you assume that the value of the car after you bought it is zero. That is not the case. You can even pick a car that increases its value with time!

    The big issue here is: can you/we afford it?


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