Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Economics of Renting Sports Cars

Normally I am very frugal.  Key to enjoying the decline is to participate in Minimalism so that you are free from any employer and what little money you do make can go much further.  So how do you rationalize renting a sports car?

The key is to realize that Minimalism does not mean "starvation."  You don't want to spend so little that you never treat yourself to anything and therefore prohibit yourself from enjoying the decline.  And renting a sport car, though it may seem unnecessarily frivolous, is a perfect and "must-do-once" example of treating yourself.

Understand that it IS stupid to buy a sports car.  If you think about it the vast majority of your driving will fall under "errands," "work," or "transportation."  You're either picking something up, going to work, or driving to a particular destination, say on "vacation."  A sports car achieves all these objectives, but at an incredible price.  A cheap econo-car will suffice just as well and nobody will care nor expect you to be doing such things "in style."

However, there are instances where a sports car is called for.  A hot date, a high end event, a big party (wedding for example, etc.).  Instances and events where, very similarly, you would wear a tux, don a suit, or get a new dress.  But since these events are so rare, it is better to rent the sports car than own.

THere are other advantages to renting a sports car instead of owning.  First, insurance, maintenance, is a mere fraction of what it would be if you owned it.  It is very similar to what we refer to in banking as the "Three F's. - if it floats, flies, of f%cks, rent it."  Technically sports cars do none of the three, but is closely related to a boat in the infrequency use is called for.  Second, once you buy a sports car (say a Corvette) you are committed to that one car.  YOu get to sample no others and life is too short for that.  Finally, it's not like you can constantly push the sports car to its limit.  One of the biggest drawbacks of the Challenger was being able to drive around 170 MPH, but effectively being forced not to because it would be foolish - cops would be pulling me over left and right.

So the next time you are at the car rental joint and the situation calls for it, upgrade to the sports car of your choice.  Life is too short not to.


Anonymous said...

Aside from which if you don't own a car, or own a second frivolous sports car, then you can afford to rent a lot of weekends for much less than the cost of ownership.

Not to be crass but that's one of my younger pals attitude towards women too. Put then his taste in women runs to pretty but nuts, so I do get it.

Frank said...

I am sold on the idea of renting sports cars and yachts. You don't have to worry about the maintenance and you get all the enjoyment with no stress. It is also a great way to impress a date until she gets to know you and accept your older SUV as regular transportation.

Southern Man said...

Absolutely. There is - finally - an outfit here in town that will rent you a boat with water-skis. Now we can water-ski three or four times a summer for WAY less than boat payments would be. It's great. If it flies, floats, or f*cks, RENT IT!

Tam said...

"However, there are instances where a sports car is called for. A hot date, a high end event, a big party"

I guess if you're more worried about what the car looks like rather than how it drives, that's absolutely true.

C.J. Caswell said...

If you like driving, then at a certain point, it is not stupid to buy a sports car. Values are subjective: if you make really good money and come to the conclusion that you are solidly positioned to retire, and if the value of driving the car regularly for an extended period seems greater than whatever else you can do with your money, then go for it.

Likewise, if you use a boat every week, buying one makes perfect sense. It's just that most people don't, same situation with sports cars. But it would be nice to have such money that the hit in your wallet taken for buying either one could be considered a marginal cost.

Anonymous said...

"Three F's. - if it floats, flies, of f%cks, rent it."

wait, cappy, are you endorsing prostitution????

Anonymous said...

Just don't pretend that you own a sports car when you are renting it, unless of course your aims are ENTIRELY short term.

"I thought it would be be fun to drive a sports car but they are impractical as a daily driver" works fine and doesn't make you look like a faker later.

dtrum said...

Get a Scion FR-S and keep it until you die. That's how owning a sportscar makes sense.

Anonymous said...

If we all blogged for a living and sold e-books, who would buy our e-books?

Anonymous said...

You know, these cheap 'economy' cars can hit 170mph too. Just tweak the computer a bit and up the revs at which the engine is limited.

Just saying, there's cheaper ways even to drive at those speeds.

Blackwing1 said...

Or you can just find a used Miata (pre-97), and enjoy a slightly less-powered but great-driving vehicle for very cheap. Handles like a car costing multiple-times more than you pay for.

Nothing beats a rag-top on a beautiful sunny Minnesnowta summer day.

Anonymous said...

What if I want an Abrams M1 Tank instead of a sports car ?

Anonymous said...

Hey Cappy,

How about a "The Economics of Dating Hot Girls" ?

There, you could draw a parallel between renting a sports car instead of buying one between dating a hot chick instead of marrying one.

If it IS stupid to buy a sports car, then it IS stupid to marry a woman and have kids.

uk best essay said...

That is really awesome way to your dream of driving most expensive cars comes true by spending some money.