At one time the car you drove said much more about you than being an illustration of your taste in automotive engineering. The car that you drove gave people an insight into the kind of life you were leading, what kind of job you had, and more importantly just how much money you were earning. The car has always been and will remain to be a status symbol of wealth and power, but these days, as far as the average man in the street is concerned it’s getting a lot harder to judge the lifestyle of the driver just by looking at the type of car that he drives.
One of the standard dinner party questions that were bandied about at social events was about the kind of car that you were currently driving. Not that the person was actually interested in the car itself, but the answer that was given revealed more about income and social standing than any background check ever could. No one likes to ask questions about money, that is still one social taboo that remains more or less intact, but indirect questions seem to be acceptable.
Social Hierarchy of the Car
Traditionally, if you said you were driving a German made car such as an Audi or a BMW you were considered to be doing well - money was flowing and your life was on the up. If you were driving an Italian made car or a vehicle made by a French manufacturer such as a Citroen or a Fiat, then you were considered to have high aspirations, but not the money to back them up. Those that drove a Ford were thought to be sensible as far as financial matters were concerned. If you admitted you were the owner and driver of a British made car then you were expected to hit rock bottom pretty soon, and for those who drove a car made in the Far East such as a Toyota or a Nissan, well you never said it out loud as to do so would be social suicide. All of this has now been turned on its head and the answer someone gives when you ask them about the car that the drive will tell you next to nothing about their financial stability or their social status.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
The Mercedes Benz that was once the epitome of luxury for the executive on the move is now just as likely to be seen doing the school run, driven by a mother of two. The brand names which once offered style, class and sophistication have had to broaden their range in order to remain a contender in today’s market. With cars ranging in price from £14,000 to £350,000 telling someone that you drive a Mercedes means next to nothing in terms of revealing your finances. Several years ago if you had admitted to driving a Volkswagen you would have been thought to have been hard up, and pictured behind the wheel of a battered old camper van whereas now VW have a range of vehicles to suit just about every pocket, no matter how shallow or deep they may be.