What Types of Cars Do Millionaires Drive?

If you live in America, it’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of keeping up with the Joneses. After all, the American dream is to buy a nice house for your family and buy a nice car to transport them around. But have you ever wondered if millionaires tend to think the same way? Sure, they all probably have houses and families, but what kinds of cars do they drive?

America’s wealthiest people are more frugal than you think

TrueCar did a study back in 2012 where they identified the ten most affluent zip codes around the nation according to the IRS’s data and then found the most popular cars that were sold in each zip code. The wealthiest zip code they found was lower Manhattan (10274), which has an average annual income of $5.7 million. In that zip code, the Mercedes E-Class was the most popular car, followed by the BMW X5 and the Honda Accord.

According to the Car Connection, among all of the 10 zip codes, downtown Chicago seemed to be the most down-to-earth as the most popular cars sold there Volkswagen Jetta, the Honda CR-V, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and of course, the Honda Civic. And as far as the wealthy zip codes in California, the Toyota Prius was the top pick.

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2019 Toyota Prius Limited
2019 Toyota Prius Limited | Toyota

Even billionaires are pretty sensible

As we can see, millionaires are quite pragmatic when it comes to choosing car, and why not? They didn’t become millionaires by going into massive amounts of debt just to impress other people. In fact, if you go higher up in the income ladder, there are billionaires like Warren Buffet, who drives a 2014 Cadillac XTS, which retailed for about $23,000 when it was new. And, according to Business Insider, Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft who has a net worth of over $50 Billion, drives a 2009 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which was worth $19,500 when it was new.

If they are so wealthy, why do they drive such mainstream cars?

Don’t get us wrong, there are many millionaire celebrities and sports figures that drive fancy, flashy cars and customized vehicles. But for the majority of America’s wealthiest people, the popular trend is to go with a mainstream car. According to Dave Ramsey, about 61 percent of America’s wealthiest people actually drive Hondas, Toyota, and Fords. Why? Because they understand that they don’t need anyone else’s approval or admiration for the set of wheels that they roll around in on a daily basis.

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The 2009 Acura TSX is unveiled on March 19, 2008 at the New York International Auto Show
The 2009 Acura TSX | STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

It’s all about common sense

The studies that have already been done, along with the reports of what certain “rich people” drive tells us that one thing is for sure: Drive whatever makes you feel comfortable. Even Mark Zuckerberg drives an Acura TSX but considering his wardrobe, it’s safe to say that he doesn’t care as much about the flashier things in life. And while you don’t need to be a millionaire, or a billionaire, to drive a fancy luxury car, it can pay more, in the long run, to be frugal and sensible. Just ask Jeff Bezos, he drives a Honda Accord.