When we think about being rich or acquiring a large sum of money, we think about the luxuries that come with it. Having a fancy car is often on top of the list of things to buy if money was of no concern. For years, we have seen music videos, movies, and TV shows of famous people driving expensive cars. This has become normal, so when we see a multi-millionaire movie star, athlete, or even a tech billionaire drive a $30,000 car, it is hard to believe. Why do these famous people drive cheap cars?
The reality is, many of them seek anonymity because they just want to do regular stuff like the rest of us. A lot of celebrities crave attention (duh), and it’s especially hard to go unnoticed driving around in a $400,000 USD Lamborghini. However, buying a cheaper car is much more relatable to the common person, even if their bank accounts have a few extra commas in them.
But what if you did want to stay low-key and simply buy an inexpensive car that gets you from point A to B without attracting a mob of paparazzi? Below is a list of Actors, Athletes, Tech Billionaires and Business moguls who for a variety of different reasons drive cheap cars:
Actors who drive cheap cars
Many of the Hollywood elite are environmentally friendly, while others like to remain anonymous when driving around town. We can’t really blame them with websites like TMZ and the Paperazzi chasing them down and trying to follow their every movement.
Jennifer Lawrence – Volkswagen Eos
This popular Hollywood actor who has stared in many successful movies stays frugal based off financial principals deeply embedded by her parents at an early age. Jennifer Lawrence has been spotted numerous times driving a white Volkswagen Eos, as well as a black Chevrolet Volt. Both cars are on the particularly modest side, especially for an A-list celebrity.
John Goodman – Ford F-150
Best known for his work in Pixar’s Monsters Inc, The Big Lebowski, Argo, and the hit TV series Roseanne, John Goodman has played a wide variety of roles over his career. His car of choice is a 1997 Ford F-150. This is quite fitting actually, as Mr. Goodman could very well be a spokesperson for Ford. He definitely looks the part!
Daniel Radcliffe – Fiat Punto
Harry Potter, sorry, Daniel Radcliffe has been heralded as the richest actor under 30 in the UK. Undoubtedly, the bulk of his fortune came from the super popular Harry Potter series. Radcliffe has been featured in other movies, and plays, but is mostly recognized as Harry Potter himself. The young UK actor drives a Fiat Punto. His reason for buying such a non-flashy, sensible car? It is environmentally friendly, and will help him zip around the streets of London with a low profile.
Zac Efron – Oldsmobile Alero
Zac Efron made his Hollywood debut in the High School Musical movie franchise, and has been popular ever since, especially with the ladies. For a long time, Zac Efron drove a beat up Oldsmobile Alero, while trying to keep a low key profile. He eventually donated the vehicle away to charity. Good on you, Zac.
Athletes who drive cheap cars
This list could have been built primarily on NFL players. The average lifespan of a career NFL player is about 3 years. To minimize their financial risk, a lot of them do not spend exorbitant amounts of money on things like vehicles. Of course this does not apply to all (or even most) NFL players, but at least we know some of them are thinking beyond Football. However, to diversify the list, we wanted to include some other athletes from other major sporting leagues.
Carey Price – Ford F-150
The goalie for the Montreal Canadians drives a very modest Ford F-150 pickup truck. He has stated in interviews that he loves the country life, hunting, and fishing. What better way to live that country life by ripping around in the world’s most popular truck. Ford even gave Carey Price his own limited edition 2016 Ford F-150, with only 100 models being produced in three different colours.
Kirk Cousins – GMC Savana Passenger Van
NFL Quarterback Kirk Cousins bought his GMC Savana Passenger Van off his Grandma for $5,000 back in 2014, and has been cruising around in it ever since. The GMC van has over 100,000 miles on it, but according to Kirk, “It’s better to buy appreciating assets than depreciating… No yachts, no sports cars.” This is what he told The Wall Street Journal back in 2016. This is a very level headed approach, considering Kirk will make just under $24,000,000 this season.
Kawhi Leonard – Chevy Tahoe
Kawhi Leonard is one of the most humble NBA superstars you’ll ever come across. He doesn’t demand the spotlight unlike other NBA players, and goes about his business in a quiet, professional manner. His personality matches his vehicle. Why does the 2014 NBA Finals MVP, and 2015 Defensive Player of the Year drive his banged up 1997 Chevy Tahoe nicknamed Gas Guzzler? According to him, “It runs… and it’s paid off.” Sounds like good enough reasons to us!
Alfred Morris – Mazda 626
This is a cool story. Alfred Morris, an experienced and two time pro bowl running back (currently playing for the Dallas Cowboys) drove his 1991 Mazda 626 for years and years. The star running back even had a novelty license plate calling his old school ride The Bentley. Alfred claims the reason behind his choice of wheels is to keep him humble. He does not want to forget his roots and and the old Mazda 626 reminds him of all the hard work he endured to get into the NFL. Alfred eventually retired the Mazda.. his new ride?
In a parking lot of Bentleys & Beemers, Redskins RB Alfred Morris (@trey_deuces) has a different way to get to work: pic.twitter.com/zGeFRezQeF
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 9, 2015
Stay classy Alfred, we love it!
Daniel Norris – 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia Van
Originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB draft, Daniel Norris not only drives his 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia van, he lives in it too! In an interview with ESPN, he told them, “I’m actually more comfortable being kind of poor.” Norris lives off a very modest $800/month budget, and chooses to live a very minimalist lifestyle despite making millions in his career thus far. This is just amazing… especially coming from a guy who shaves his beard with an axe!
Other rich people who drive cheap cars
Some of the richest people in the entire world drive cheap, affordable cars. We are talking about the 1% of the 1%. A lot of these billionaires roll around in modest vehicles for a variety of reasons, but I guess what they say is true, the rich stay rich by finding cheap deals everywhere they go.
Mark Zuckerburg – Acura TSX, Honda Fit, Volkswagen GTI
The founder and CEO of Facebook, Mr. Mark Zuckerburg is worth over 56 billion dollars. In fact, he’s listed as the fifth richest person in the entire world according to The World’s Billionaire list on Forbes. With that type of wealth, Zuckerburg could buy every type of car imaginable 10x over, and not blink an eye. So what does the youngest person ever to reach a billion dollars drive? He is often seen cruising around in a black Acura TSX, valued at approximately $30k. He also owns a Volkswagen Golf GTI and a Honda Fit – both very modest cars. His logic behind his car choices? They are “safe, comfortable, and not ostentatious.”
Warren Buffett – Cadillac XTS
Warren Buffet is an eccentric billionaire, with quirky habits. He never spends over $3.17 on breakfast, and rarely drives over 3,500 miles in any given year. He lives in the same house that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500. What kind of car would you expect a guy who pays McDonalds in exact change every morning for breakfast to drive? The answer is a Cadillac XTS he bought in 2014, which he was pressured into buying by his daughter who claimed his old 2006 Cadillac was embarrassing. Oh, and we forgot to mention, Buffett is worth approximately 80 billion dollars.
Sam Walton / Alice Walton – Ford F-150
Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, and at one point, one of the richest men alive, was incredibly frugal. He famously drove around a 1979 Ford F-150 Pickup truck, which is actually now on display at the Wal-Mart Visitor Center exhibit gallery. Despite being filthy rich, he was very particular how he spent his money, and common sense often helped make his decisions, such as with his pick up truck. Sam famously quoted, “Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls-Royce?”
His only daughter Alice Walton, aka the richest woman in the world, followed suit of her late father with her vehicle of choice being a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch. Alice spent a lot of time on her private ranch in Texas (which she recently sold after being on the market for over 2 years), so having a reliable pickup truck only made sense for her.
So there you have it. Even with an excess of money available, for a lot of actors, athletes, and business moguls, cheap and affordable cars are still seen as a logical choice for a variety of reasons. If money was no option, would you react the same? Or would you spend your dollars on something extravagant?