Is a Luxury Car Worth the Expense?

Every now and then, I consider letting go of my 2003 Camry and buying a newer car.

This is a fleeting thought, not something I expect to act on. Overall, my goal is to drive the Camry until (a) it will no longer let me drive it and (b) self-driving cars are commonplace.

But a small part of me likes the idea of shopping for a car when I don’t have an immediate need for it. You have more negotiating power when there’s no urgency.

There’s an even smaller part of me that fancies the idea of getting a used luxury car. Certainly not for the image or prestige. Rather, I’m often the chauffeur among my friends, so I like to provide them with a pleasant experience. Also, the few luxury cars I’ve been in have been really nice (an Audi was the most recent–that’s the level of luxury I’m talking about).

Of course, luxury comes with a price. The timing of whether or not I can afford it would make a difference, though for commodities, I generally look at the cost spread out over many years. $35,000, for example, is a lot of money, but if I use the car for 10 years, that’s only $10/day.

But here’s my biggest concern: If you have a really nice car, do you frequently worry about it? Like, is it more stressful to drive a $50,000 car than a $10,000 car? With my Camry, if it gets a little scrape in the bumper, it’s not a big deal. And as far as I can tell, no one cares about stealing it, so I don’t fret when parking it in sketchier neighborhoods.

What do you think? Is a luxury car worth the additional expense as compared to its mass-market counterpart? Is it worth the stress? And if you’ve ever been in or drive a luxury car, which one do you recommend? I love my Camry, so I was thinking I would feel at home in a Lexus.