Appropriate Car at Junior Level

The MD car discussion gave me an interesting thought. What do y'all think is an appropriate car at the Analyst, Associate, VP level? Better put, what's the most flash you could get away with without looking like a dbag? I bought a new Lexus GS when I was an associate and got a little shit for it. I thought it was a very reasonable purchase considering my comp but wanted to hear everyone's thoughts. I realize this is more tailored to guys living in commuter cities like Houston, LA, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas

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Comments (84)

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Nov 19, 2020 - 2:41pm

Just buy a very normal car for your work commute and buy whatever else you feel you can reasonably afford and makes you happy for your weekend car.  Plenty of bankers have flash cars that they don't tell their colleagues about.  If you're into cars as your main hobby, you'll spend more on it than someone who's into taking multiple vacations a year or likes to buy a $20k watch every year.

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  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2020 - 6:09pm

TBH no one really cares. There are fewer folks than you'd think who can tell a M3 from a 328i. Also who TF shits on a practical Lexus GS?

If you're a car guy, you're not buying a car just to impress others and I've found people who do find out what you drive tend to react positively to that. I drive a F80 M3. From the few people who even know about it, I've only gotten positive comments since cars are my main hobby and I can talk about them nonstop. I wouldn't care about what others thought anyway though, I love cars.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Nov 19, 2020 - 6:14pm

Plenty of other juniors in the office and building with cool stuff as well. 911 S, C63S, X3M, multiple M2/M3/M4s. And then a lot of other juniors driving around in A4's, C300's, and 3-series. Also surprisingly few trucks given this is Texas.

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2020 - 11:47am

2nd year analyst here. Bought a Used grand Cherokee during quarantine - analysts in my group drive similar cars. MD cars range from Hyundai mini van (I shit you not) to $80k+ sports cars

Nov 20, 2020 - 6:17pm

That's exactly what I have. Mileage is decent (~23MPG) but I live in the southeast where gas is less than $2.. 

"The future will be better tomorrow" -Dan Quayle

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 25, 2020 - 9:59am

Recently bought a 2020 Grand Cherokee and before that had a 2010 Grand Cherokee that had close to 150K miles. Love both of them. Very reliable and requires little to no maintenance which was my favorite part. Never would have any issues. I say that because I know other analysts who have BMWs or Audis and seems like a couple times a year they have to take into the dealership to get something fixed

  • Summer Associate in IB - Cov
Nov 20, 2020 - 6:01pm

Love the grand Cherokee. Do the associates or VPs have anything cool?

Nov 20, 2020 - 10:53pm

How do you like your C? Looking at a used C300 Sport

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Nov 21, 2020 - 12:13am

I got shit for buying the GS because I bought it within the same 2 month period of getting A2A and our bonuses. It was just playful humor from the senior guys. "Big shot coming through with the new car".. "Look who blew their bonus check"... that kind of stuff

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 20, 2020 - 11:46pm

dumb question but never owned a car before, am an incoming intern at a high-paying group for 2021, and if I were to convert, I was thinking about spending my signing bonus (~25k plus looking at about 7k of savings from SA) on a car and was thinking about either the Mustang or the BMW 435i Coupe or a C300 or something (all second-hand of course). Are those cars fine for a first-year analyst?

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Nov 21, 2020 - 8:49am

I think it really depends on where you're working. If you're in the Bay Area that might be considered too much. All that put aside, figure out which type of car you enjoy, those 3 have nothing in common. The bmw is the more playful/tricky with the right power and steering capabilities. The merc is classier, probably more expensive, but is overbought in the US. Can't speak on the Mustang. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 21, 2020 - 12:00pm

I will be working in Houston, does that change anything? Definitely agree choices are kinda all over the place. There are just so many options and just one car to be had lol, probably gonna end up in analysis paralysis. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2020 - 12:17am

Thinking of getting the corvette 2020, ~$60K, thoughts? I'll be in SF. Is it too much? Looks like a ferrari.

  • Analyst 3+ in HF - EquityHedge
Nov 21, 2020 - 3:56am

I live in SF, the only reasons to own a car are 1) you have to regularly commute to/from east or south bay 2) you enjoy providing entertainment to the local homeless population (and wasting hundreds+ dollars on repairs) by giving them something to break-in to. Otherwise, SF is a terrible city for driving/parking and I would strongly recommend not owning a car here

  • Analyst 3+ in RE - Comm
Nov 23, 2020 - 12:44am

If you live in SF, you more than likely won't need a car. You'd probably need a car if you chose to live in the east bay, but you probably won't commute in with that so I bet it'd sit parked more often than you think. Plus with all the bad drivers in SF it might get scratched up too easily.

  • Business School in CorpDev
Nov 21, 2020 - 1:02pm

Currently a T10 MBA recruiting for IB. Have had my Tesla S 100D for a couple of years. Is that going to be a problem as a summer associate or full time?

Nov 21, 2020 - 1:39pm

From a PE Firm Managing Partner who grew up poor and now drives a different car each day of the week:

"Buy nice enough things that people assume you work because you love it,

not because you need the money"

In short, just get the Porsche. 

  • Summer Associate in IB - Gen
Nov 22, 2020 - 3:26am

97 4runner. All season tires. Recently did the brake pads and rotors. Might get the new Bronco depending on feedback after a few years. The Cybertruck is interesting as well, but, again will need to wait a few years for solid feedback. Actually it really depends on when my 4runner dies. 

Nov 22, 2020 - 9:49pm

As a lifetime automotive enthusiast I would suggest get whatever the fuck you want, I mean it's your money brother, BUT I recently pandered a purchase of a Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit to suit the opinions of my clients. I live in Toledo, and it's mostly a blue collar world. My true advice is don't concern yourself with the opinions of your peers, but if you are client facing it really could matter. I lost close to 2mm AUM within a few months because of my G wagen... but I work directly with clients daily.... Long story short... If clients are in your office daily, cater to the local market. If they aren't buy what makes you happy.

Also consider this.... If you live in a commuter city, you likely have a garage... Mostly have multiple doors. One of my friends who is a Franklin/Templeton External owns a very nice Bentley Arnage in top spec, but drives a Hyundai Veloster daily as he called primary on Edward Jones guys.... If the right bankroll you can live like a prince while appearing like a pauper...

Nov 24, 2020 - 8:32pm

Moving to Bay Area in a year or so, wondering what's appropriate for an analyst in Menlo Park. Seems like car culture isn't much of a thing esp. when compared to TX or LA, but I'm sort of a car person so will pay for something decent. Any thoughts?  

  • Intern in IB - DCM
Nov 24, 2020 - 8:39pm

Not a working professional yet, but am from that area so can provide some color on cars. There are more Toyotas/Hondas there than in other parts of the country, so those are safe picks. Since it's the Bay, there's also a fair deal of tech money, so plenty of Mercedes C-Class, Audi A8s, Lexus sedans. Teslas too obviously. Would advise against buying anything too sporty since people around there think that those who drive sports cars are pricks. For some reason you aren't a prick if you drive a luxury sedan or SUV, but once you drive something more sporty you're a prick?

Nov 25, 2020 - 9:25am

IMO just buy whatever makes you happy. You'll get chirped but that banter is just part of the game - I get chirped for everything from my dinner choices to my affinity for Suit Supply but it's all just fun. My director is a multi-millionaire and his daily is like a 2005 VW or something. Associates at my firm drive everything from fully decked out F150s to Honda Accords hybrids.

When I was an analyst I drove a used 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid and loved it. I bought a Tacoma a few years back and love that thing to death but certainly got chirped for it.

As long as you're not obnoxiously flexing about your wheels it isn't a problem IMO

  • Associate 3 in IB - Gen
Nov 26, 2020 - 10:05am

How does one have a Porsche that's both a 991 and 996 considering there's over a decade separating the two generations?  :)

Nov 26, 2020 - 6:34am

As a guy who's super into cars and lives in nyc, I obviously don't have a lot of clout given no one drives a car where I've worked both banking and PE side (senior people have but given the garage situation in my building, no one know what who is driving). I will say though, that if you live in a non-NYC city like LA or Dallas where you need a car, I'd absolutely get the car I wanted given my affinity for gorgeous cars and honestly don't think you'd be judged super hard (especially if you're a VP like your profile suggests) given at that level people just accept and move on from the frivolous spendings which make a junior-mid level manager's happiness. This could be different obviously if you have a tiny team maybe which judges everyone based on your every move in life but that's a whole different story

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  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Dec 23, 2020 - 10:28pm

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