a car is a status symbol

Philippines
January 28, 2009 6:22pm CST
hi all! in our country, owning a car, especially being able to afford a new one, even if it is on installment, is a status symbol. not everyone can afford to buy a car here--even a motorcycle is expensive. and it is not easy getting loans here, unlike in the US. and even if we will be granted loans, where will a regular rank and file employee get the monthly payments, especially if they have a family to feed and send to school? is that the same in your country? are cars way out of your reach? do more people use the public transport than owns cars? i would appreciate you thoughts on the matter. take care and God bless you all! happy mylotting!
3 people like this
26 responses
@balasri (26553)
• India
29 Jan 09
The story is the same in all the developing countries.In India the buying power has increased many fold with the earning younger generation.People are buying car left and right and thousands of car are added to the already crowded roads every day.Gone are the days when people look at a car with an awe.But still you can see the pride in the faces of the people who drive their own cars.It will take one more generation to realize that the car is only a machine for our needs. "Spread a smile"
@balasri (26553)
• India
30 Jan 09
• United States
29 Jan 09
Yes, it is easier to get loans in the U.S. Alot of people in my town already have 09' cars. Do to the bad economic times in the u.s. however it has not recently been so easy to get loans. We are struggling and getting new cars makes it worse.
• United States
29 Jan 09
Cars are def a status symbol no matter what country they're in imho.
@Kamil83 (44)
• South Africa
30 Jan 09
In South Africa where i stay a car is definitely a status symbol! Here people downgrade their medical insurance to upgrade their car because anybody can see the outside but not whats on the inside. So even though we are affected by high fuel prices and interest rates people seem to care more about their status than well being which is sad and cruel at the same time. Unfortunately here our public transport is not safe and reliable so thats a risk one is not willing to take... at least some of us.
@gr8life (6253)
• Malaysia
30 Jan 09
Hello spoiled311, Owning a car is not a big problem here. Most people can get it by installment. You can get a car loan easily as long as you don't have a bad credit history or blacklisted by the bank. It is a necessity here. Most people can afford to have a car at least. Like me, the car that I have now is my third car. Really, it is nothing to proud of unless you are driving a luxury and expensive car like Mercedes or BMW, etc. A lot of people still depend on public transports. It is not bad either just that you can't depend on public transports 100% sometimes...
@cripfemme (7715)
• United States
29 Jan 09
To some people I'm sure it is. To me, it would just be a way to get around. I wouldn't care what the car looked like and as long as it wasn't horribly ugly I would be happy to have it. But I'm not the most normal person you'll ever meet (trust me). If I had a car, which I don't, I would be more concerned with it's carbon emissions than what it looked like.
• United States
29 Jan 09
Well I am from the US and I would have to say some people use their cars as a status symbol. They feel the more expensive the car for example Benz or BMW, or Landrover the more rich they will appear, but in all reality anyone an buy a car. thats if you choose to use the money on a car rather than your household needs. You find it very easy to get a loan, if you have a job, a nice income or not, and ok credit. you also have the option to rent with a co signer so its very easy, thats why so many US citizens are in debt because its sooo easy to get a loan. The funny thing is those who buy those expensive cars usually are not making that much money, they only look as though they are making good money. most US Citizens will buy a car before a house or spend evey last dime they have on their car, especially In Los Angeles, where I am from, if you don't have a nice care they will automatically think your poor... how shallow... but I for one love cars, not because they are status symbols, I love good economic cars like Honda Toyota's cars that last long...
• Brazil
29 Jan 09
Yes here in my country car is also a status symbol. It´s getting easier to have a car here but still people have too many bills to pay and sometimes they do buy a car but is still expensive to keep it so they go to work during the week by bus and use the car only to go out on the weekends. I wish it was less expensive for me to buy one right now cause it´s a nightmare our public transport here. Too crowded!!!
• United States
29 Jan 09
I think cars are definately status symbols. However, I also feel that it's a necessity for some. For example, families with young children. It's hell taking young kids in public transportation. Much easier with your own vehicle. You have to transport car seats and all the "gear" that comes with children.
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
it's the same here. having a car becomes a gauge of how successful a person is, if you purchase a brandnew car the more people would think that you are that successful in life. even my husband adapt to that mentality, imagine our car is more expensive than our house, when we bought it. According to them, banks approve loans to those who have the capacity to pay its monthly amortization, few banks offers up to 5 yrs.payment scheme only, meaning the shorter the period the higher you have to pay on monthly amortization if its on installment basis, but you can save interest. if you are just an average earner, owning a brandnew car is just a dream. just calculating from its price to its maintenance and accessories already adds to ones budget.
• Mauritius
29 Jan 09
yes its same in my country. people prefer to use public transport which is much cheaper
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
Hi Spoiled, May I know from where are you? By the way Im from the Philippines. I pressume we are from the same country coz I feel the same way as you did about the possibility of getting a car. That even until now that I'm earning a bit higher than most of the Rank and File I still find it difficult to raise the budget to buy a car. Having a brand new car is not on my dictionary as I know that its really impossible. Im just up to 2nd hand cars. But I do have a diiferent view on owning a car. Yes it adds to your status symbol but for me it also answer to my childhood dreams of owning my own car. I just love driving.
@forslahiri (1042)
• India
29 Jan 09
Hi, In India, majority people are from middle/lower- middle Income group.Yes,Car has become a status symbol here of the society.Lower middle income wants to show I'm actually upper M.Class & so the Upper Middle Class.Fuel price, maintenance,bank's interests etc noone is considering.All are in Rat race.... =Lahiri,Kolkata,India.
• India
29 Jan 09
It’s the same here in India. Way back in the 80’s when the Indian car company Maruti was established, it was a dream to provide a small car to each Indian family at least. However, majority of the middle class in India is still without a car and heavily dependent on the public transport system. For those who do own a car, it is definitely a status symbol, a symbol of the fact that you have arrived. Its also true that the older generation did not much care for the cars and in the 50’s and 60’s only the very rich used imported luxury car. However, after Maruti, more number of people could afford the car and once the sons and daughters bought the car, the older generation was so proud of the achievements of their children. The entire community knew of it in no time. Nowadays, easy loans are available and paying off for the car is not a problem…the main problem is the cost of oil…petrol and diesel are become more and more expensive and using the car everyday is really expensive. So in that way too, it’s a status symbol.
• United States
29 Jan 09
Going from point A to B here is quite far and by just barely walking is not advisable. Riding a public transportaion is also not easy, wherein most of the time bus stop is a couple of blocks away, added to that long waiting time. Riding a taxi is also too much for our wallet. Having our own transportation is a must have here. Not only it became a part of our freedom to where we want to go but, also it tells us who we are, our status in life. Since car became a part of our day to day living, buying a car now is more affordable to everyone, different model and style, and pricing just to suit our needs.
@drakesuyat (1063)
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
while others look at it that way, i don't. my dad use to have a car. its an old 80's model and was being maintained most of the time. he had spent too much amount on his car that he forgot to invest a house. just 4 years ago, we were advised to leave the house that we were renting for 30 years coz someone just bought it. it gave me a very important lesson to invest on appreciating properties rather that depreciating. :-(
@Erusaro (27)
• United States
29 Jan 09
Cars are status symbols no matter where you live. In the U.S. or any country owning the newest and coolest car is always a sign of power and money. In the U.S. its just different because more people will own cars but not the newest or prettiest. It's normally a used POS. The rich and powerful get the BMWs and Mercedes the cool cars that most people use as status symbols. In other countries it might be other cars that people use as status symbols but no matter what cars are cool toys that have become more and more extravagant for no reason other than to impress others.
@hi_deepp (36)
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
I'm guessing that the country you live in is the same as mine. Yes, it's really hard to own even a second-hand car. And even if you have one, it's very stressful having it because you have to maintain it everytime (cost of maintenance is very high). Considering also the traffic and the cost of gasoline. But if you really want to contribute to a greener environment, public transport is better or if the place you want to go is just a walk-away distance, why not stroll... its a good exercise anyway.
@dong1970 (1573)
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
You are right my friend,Owning a car is status symbol here in my country also.I guess we belong to the same country.Having a car or sending your child to a private school is also a part of making a status symbol.But Sometimes it makes us proud for the achievement and hardship we are doing for our family.
• Philippines
29 Jan 09
almost everywhere, a car is a status symbol but if you are contented with having none, that would be great, why? because it will really minimize your bills, gasoline, maintenance , you must also know how to repair so you can do it yourself and others. one more thing it's not income generating but you have to spend for it. we'll it might be very convenient having a car too especially if you live far from the city, you can use it anywhere you want to go, but if you are that practical you can use public transportation.
@rsa101 (15522)
• Quezon City, Philippines
29 Jan 09
That is true getting a car is a status symbol many are even putting their lifetime saving just to buy one even a second hand car will do just so to be in. I think that is why many of them who cannot really afford end up being so burdened by the debts it created.