Theres no shame in admitting it: Youve been coveting the Royal Familys cars longer than you care to disclose. The Queens three Rolls-Royces? You can see yourself behind the wheels, playing with all of the over-the-top options. And you wouldnt turn down Her Majestys Bentleys and Daimlersincluding the Phantom VI gift from the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders in honor of her Silver Jubilee–either.
But youre not worried about how HRH gets around because shes got enough money to shop retail. You long for a head-turning luxury car like a Jaguar, BMW or Bentley and even if you inherited Uncle Freddys estate, you may still lack enough funds to afford the tricked out ride you covet. Fret not. All you need is a game plan for sleuthing out the half-priced luxury car of your dreams, another for customizing it and extra advice about getting it on the road once youve got it in such terrific shape, even the royals might be envious.
Go Cyber Shopping: Nigels Neighborhood Wild Wheels likely wont have what you want in stock if you desire a half-price luxury car thats top drawer. Nor will any of the new car emporiums in London give you what you want if youre not selective about where you look. Time to strategize from the comfort of your recliner with a Guinness in one hand and electronic device in the other. Access websites like Auto Trader.com or Gumtree.com to window shop either sites luxury car menu. Skip through the pedestrian cars and scroll through the pages until you locate that 5,500 Executive Edition Benz that meets your every desireincluding the price tag.
Take a Stroll: If you consider luxury car shopping an outdoor activity, there is no shortage of auto dealerships in the London area who will happily let you take nicely treated, pre-owned luxury cars for test drives as a precursor to taking one off their hands. On the day we checked availability on the West Londons Motors site, there were 42,126 cars for sale and many of them were high-end brands. The secret to success is to focus if youre as short on time as you are on money. Shop by model. Resources like Exchange and Mart categorizes previously owned luxury cars on their lot by brand , so identify one you cant live without, put on your walking shoes and grab a credit card before you leave home.
Focus on the Top 6 or 7: Half of your work will be done for you if you refine your search for a half-price luxury car by shopping only the top six or seven brands currently on the market and available from dealers specializing in recycled luxury cars. Auto Trader.com tracks trends , so if you visit the site, you can learn, for example, that the 2008 Audi A6, the 2008 BMW 550i, the 2008 Jaguar XJ8, 2008 Lexus LS460, 2007 Mercedes-Benz S550 and the 2008 Volvo S60 are all on these car experts half-priced luxury car hot lists. Additionally, prestigious resources like Bottom Line Publications www.bottomlinepublications.com/7-luxury-cars-for-half-the-price can verify your initial findings and help you make a buying decision that wont transplant you to The Land of Buyers Remorse should you choose unwisely. Let others do the math, crunch the numbers, analyze the most recent trends and figure out depreciation numbers on your behalf.
Colour Your Car Expensive Even a rusty Rolls Royce picked up at auction can morph into a Cinderella car if you paint it in a luxe colour thats been declared trendy by forecasters years in advance. But what constitutes trendy, you ask? One year its black. Next year, its silver. As this article was being written, white is passing out of favor for luxury cars and shades of brown are at the forefront of chic. Its anybodys guess why Chinese millionaires insist on brown interiors, but they do, so help yourself to the huge range of hues in the brown spectrum like mocha, chocolate and tan. Confused about what needs a color makeover and what doesnt? Use your budget as your guide by making two lists:
1) Fixes you cant live without and
2) Accessories and features that can wait awhile.
Lighting is Hot: Got your eye on a vintage Porsche? Why not? Even a really old luxury car will zoom into the 21st century if you hire a professional to make the interiorand especially the dashboard–look like an airplane cockpit. Retrofitting an older, half-price car with enough bells and whistles to light up your social life can come down to the drama LED lighting technology brings to the party. Want to emulate the interior look of the Rolls-Royce Wraith? Ask your restoration pro to hand-sew lights into the ceiling to suggest the night sky. If youre a stickler for detail and want the exact number of ceiling lights found in the Wraith, make that exactly 1,300 classy white bulbs. Proceed with caution if you opt for multicolored lights or you risk turning your tricked-out, half price luxury car into a tacky joke.
The Nose Knows: When you walk into a food market and realize that youre being so acutely assaulted by the smell of freshly baked bread, you crave butter, youre not mistaking your sense of smell. This is a marketing ploy, of course, to hype bread sales. What does this have to do with half-price luxury cars? Some auto retrofitters are meeting an over-the-top demand for circulating fragrances that hype interior ambiance. If youd like to add this feature to your remodeled car, ask restoration artists what it would take to pipe a fragrance through the cars venting system. This is the ultimate alternative to those tacky deodorizers made to hang from rear-view mirrors by strings or leather strips. But dont get carried away. No need to pipe in Clive Christian No. 1 Pure Perfume for Men costing $2,350 USD, partly because the stopper design is a replica of a pattern granted by Queen Victoria.
Find the Right Contractor: This is no time to let Cousin Egbert get his hands on your half-price luxury car, even if hes a whiz at detailing cars and bringing transmissions back from the dead. You need a specialist. Someone capable of ingenious engineering feats like stripping away ordinary leather and replacing it with custom leather, jettisoning run-of-the-mill paneling in favor of panels crafted of rare woods and a knack for adding metal embellishments that returns even the smallest half-price deal to its days of glory. Ask contractors for credentials, photos, endorsements and references. Nobody wants to get the deal-of-a-lifetime on a Lamborghini only to have it worked on by the clueless and the untrained.
Consider Consultants: When BMW opened a car customization plant outside Newbury Park, California, the firm choose its location wisely. Los Angeles is Mecca to those living the good life; the land of one of a kind where the word unique is used on the hour. If you can afford this resource, knock yourself outbut if your half-price luxury car is going to be worked on by someone with passable but not ideal credentials, you may wish to call in an interior designer to coordinate the over-the-top embellishments, baby calf seats, rare wood insets and trim that screams exclusive before you get out the checkbook. And dont forget insurance. Whether youre having your car customized in the UK or the US, dont let anyone light a blowtorch until youve protected your expensive ride, especially if the model luxury car youve chosen has yet to make it onto prospective collectible lists like the one published by Hagerty Insurance
Eye of the Beholder: Using the phrase high-end luxury car brands brings to mind a predictable list of car makers, but these days, everything is relative. Consider Will.I.Ams never-ending customizing project that began life as a 1958 VW Beetle . His restoration now sports a $900,000 USD price tag. The Black Eyed Peas front man began reinventing his Beetle in 2009 and the car has passed through several customization shops. Modifications on the nearly 60-year-old Beetle include futuristic body work and a supercharged engine installed under the front hood rather than VWs standard rear-mount. Fenders came off. Fenders went on. The car received a Bentley front grill. And its still not done. Our point? Even when it comes to half-price luxury cars outfitted with over-the-top restyling and embellishments, your idea of luxury will always remain unique to you since beauty will forever remain in the eye of the beholder.
If this work on transforming your half priced luxury car falls into the …. who the hell could afford that, just use an executive chauffeur service. You only pay when you need them.
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