Luxury car buyer demographics

Luxury cars are designed to make you feel special because they offer lots of technology, premium materials, and an overall superior comfort experience. However, not everyone is able to afford such a premium asset, especially because they also cost more money to maintain.  

Luxury cars such as large sedans and SUVs usually depreciate like crazy and most people tend to finance or lease them because that makes a lot more financial sense. Either way, they are expensive to buy, expensive to maintain, and expensive to fill up because they usually come with larger displacement engines.

The average age is an important demographic factor when it comes to car purchases and 45 is the average age of car buyers in the US. Premium luxury cars are usually bought by older buyers while the younger population primarily resides in the compact car segment.

As far as gender is concerned, men still dominate most car segments besides the compact SUV and crossover segment which is more popular with women. These numbers differ quite substantially on an individual level, especially for the most expensive cars out there.

Buying luxury cars – Age groups

Luxury cars are expensive assets which means that you will need to accumulate a lot of money before you can buy one comfortably. Of course, there are many people out there who are willing to stretch their budget to buy a luxury car, but these people are not the demographic we are looking for.

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Most luxury cars are being bought by buyers aged between 50 and 60. More specifically, an average compact luxury car buyer is 51 years old while an average mid-size luxury car buyer is aged 56. Large luxury cars are usually associated with older people and according to a few online sources, an average large-luxury car buyer is 59 years old.

Luxury SUVs are more or less the same, but it seems that the average age group that buys luxury SUVs is continuously becoming younger and younger. As such, an average buyer of a compact luxury SUV is 52 years old, an average buyer of a mid-size luxury SUV is 53 years old, and the average buyer of a large luxury SUV is around 57.

Buying luxury cars – Percentage of female buyers

As mentioned previously, most cars are still being bought by men, but the stats are changing and there are a few segments where women are starting to lead the charts. It seems like women aren’t as interested in luxury cars as much as men are.

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Only 37.9% of compact luxury car buyers are female. As far as mid-size luxury cars are concerned, the discrepancies are even greater with only 28.4% of customers being women. However, men dominate the large luxury car segment the most because only 22.5% of women are interested in buying a large luxury car.

SUVs are a bit different because 47.5% of compact luxury SUVs are women. As far as the mid-size luxury SUV segment is concerned, women only make up around 38.3% of sales. However, if you take a look at the “regular” compact/small SUV segment, women make up around 55% out of all compact/small SUV sales.

How do people purchase luxury cars

As previously stated, luxury cars cost a lot of money and they tend to depreciate like crazy. As such, it’s not a particularly good financial decision to buy a $100k car which is likely to lose 50% of its original value in only 5 years’ time.

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This means that you will lose more than $25 per day if you buy a luxury car outright. In order to avoid losing that much money, most luxury car buyers tend to finance their cars. Besides financing, they also tend to write them off as company expenses which makes the entire ordeal a bit more plausible.

It is also important to note that most luxury car buyers tend to finance their cars over a relatively short term compared to most buyers which means that they will pay lower rates compared to mass-market car buyers.

The most expensive limited-edition luxury cars made by high-value brands are different because cars such as these don’t lose as much value as most luxury cars do. This means that people are more willing to pay for these types of cars outright because they are also often used as investments.

FAQ Section

What are the most popular luxury cars in the US?

According to a few online sources, most Americas prefer luxury cars built by Lexus, Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes. The Tesla Model 3 is the number 1 best-sold luxury car in the US for 2020 with more than 200k units sold. The second place is reserved for the Lexus RX with more than 100k units sold.

The most popular BMW luxury cars sold in the US are the BMW X3 with 60k units sold and the BMW X5 with more than 50k units sold. The most popular Mercedes luxury car is the Mercedes GLC compact SUV. Mercedes has delivered more than 50k examples of the Mercedes Benz GLC in the US for the entirety of 2020.

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What are the cheapest luxury cars currently on sale in the US?

If you want a true luxury car, but you don’t want to pay huge sums of money, there are a few legitimate luxury cars you can buy for relatively affordable prices. If you want a brand-new luxury Mercedes, be sure to check out the Mercedes Benz A-Class sedan which costs around $32k brand new.

The cheapest Luxury car offered by Lexus is the Lexus UX which also starts at $32k. You can get the Cadillac CT4 for pretty much the same amount of money as these two. The Audi A3 is a thousand dollars more expensive while the BMW X1 compact SUV costs around $35k.

Does it make any sense to buy a luxury car?

Luxury cars are as the name might suggest – luxury assets. They are not necessary, and some might even argue that luxury cars are nothing else but a waste of money. However, no one can deny the fact that driving a luxury car offers you a unique experience that can not be matched by a more value-oriented car.

As such, if the price is justifiable, it is worth it to buy a luxury car. Be that as it may, it’s never a good idea to overstretch your budget on a luxury car because you also need to be able to maintain the car comfortably. Finally, be sure to swallow hefty depreciation as well because that’s something that plagues most luxury cars these days.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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