Fancy Cars

Can a Catholic drive a BMW? How about a Lexus?

Why not? Its not a sin.

If you want a more interesting question perhaps, change “can” to “should” and “drive” to “buy”.

Not a sin but perhaps not the wisest use of money. For example the Audi A3 is built on the identical platform to my car, a VW Golf, but a fully-equipped VW Golf is thousands less than a base Audi A3. To me, paying for “prestige” is a monumental waste of money especially if its mostly just an issue of “branding”.

You could…but why would you want to?

–They’re theft magnets;
–They’re a fortune to repair;
–They’re a fortune to insure;
–Driving one? Trying to move over to the lane beside you? The beater behind you on the right is a lot less apt to let you in, than when you are driving a Chevy.
–They are atrociously bad investments and/or a waste of money even if you can afford one.

Above any beyond that, I personally will buy a Japanese car only when all of the following happen:

  1. When Japan formally apologizes for Pearl Harbor; the Bataan Death March; the execution of American POWs and allied civilians throughout WWII (i.e., airmen shot down at places like Midway; civilian and military POWs at Wake Island, and on, and on, etc.); AND
  2. When Japan makes restitution to every survivor of their atrocities in WWII, and every surviving US serviceman (or woman); and every family of one of their victims; AND
  3. When pigs fly.

Buy a Lexus?!? I won’t rent an Altima from Hertz.

I kind of see where you’re coming from. If you have the money for a car like that, would it be better spent on charity? It’s a good question, and one I hope to have to ask myself some day.

As it is, I drive the world’s most magnificent average car: a 1998 Toyota Camry with nearly 300,000 miles on it and absolutely no reason to believe that it’s not good for another 100,000.

Yes. The Church has not teaching regarding specific brands of automobiles. :slight_smile:

If they have the money. I have been a millionaire for a good part of my life and can assure you that there is nothing worse than wasting money on an expensive car which only depreciates 25% of its value as soon as you drive it out of the showroom.
I don’t consider a BMW a fancy car, more a german workhorse. The Lexus is a waste of garage space and is overpriced.
If you look at our moral priorities we may certainly buy a car for ease of transport, but it should not be a luxury car for if we have money for such useless assets then we should be considering the poor instead.
We shall have to answer for every dollar we have received through His providence, and our treasure lies in an answer before His throne rather than an admiring look from a neighbour.
There is nothing wrong with a good Japanese saloon class car. In Australia where cities are thousands of miles apart a good reliable car is essential thus many get four wheel drives which are useful. Thus there is nothing morally wrong with buying a reliable car to the level of your needs, but luxury cars are bad investments both morally and in financial terms.

I think the Catechism forbids BMW’s unless you have a dispensation.


Sirach 14, 03-

Wealth is not the right thing for the niggardly, and what use are possessions to the covetous?

4 Whoever hoards by stinting himself is hoarding for others, and others will live sumptuously on his riches.

5 If someone is mean to himself, whom does he benefit? he does not even enjoy what is his own.

6 No one is meaner than the person who is mean to himself, this is how his wickedness repays him.

7 If he does any good, he does it unintentionally, and in the end he himself reveals his wickedness.

8 Wicked the person who has an envious eye, averting his face, and careless of others’ lives.

9 The eye of the grasping is not content with what he has, greed shrivels up the soul.

10 The miser is grudging of bread, there is famine at his table.

11 My child, treat yourself as well as you can afford, and bring worthy offerings to the Lord.

12 Remember that death will not delay, and that you have never seen Sheol’s contract.

13 Be kind to your friend before you die, treat him as generously as you can afford.

14 Do not refuse yourself the good things of today, do not let your share of what is lawfully desired pass you by.

15 Will you not have to leave your fortune to another, and the fruit of your labour to be divided by lot?

16 Give and receive, enjoy yourself – there are no pleasures to be found in Sheol.

One should enjoy the fruits of their labor. Ponder the above scripture- I do think there is truth to the idea that someone who begrudges spending money on themselves will also resent spending it on others. If someone has made a pile of money and can easily afford an expensive car, why not? Should they only spend the money on charity, only work for other’s benefit, turn themselves into being a slave for others? No, I think if you’re meeting your responsibilities and being generous to others, there’s no problem with whatever you drive.

I tend to hold onto my cars until they fall apart. I’m not inclined to drive a luxury car because of all the things that break over time. That’s what gets expensive-- trying to keep every single one of the cool features working. I’m not into name-plates, I’ll take the vehicle that fits a requirement— however, if I had the money I would be sorely tempted by the Cadillac CTS-V (556hp and a manual transmission in a 4 door sedan, or if you prefer the station wagon version…)

The idea that you lose 25% of a car’s value driving it off the lot means you don’t know how to bargain or shop for a car. Every new car I’ve bought, with the exception of the one I bought through a buying service, had a higher used kelly blue book value than what I paid for them new. (But admittedly, I haven’t purchased high-end vehicles) But even then, if you’ll hold onto the car for 8-10 years losing some percentage going off the lot is irrelevant.

As an oblate, one of the biggest things for me is detachment from material goods. Also one of the most difficult I’d say. We also believe in good stewardship of the goods entrusted to us.

A luxury car, even if I could afford one, would go counter to my oblate promise, unless I had a good reason to drive one such as a company car or my employer requires it (and reimburses at least part of the expenses) for corporate image purposes.

I don’t believe in putting my family’s safety at risk though so I do believe in driving a safe, reliable car. My wife and I generally buy new cars, maintain them well, keep them for a long time and then hand them down to our sons. Safety, longevity, practicality and fuel consumption are all important considerations for us. We drive Volkswagens because we live in the rust belt of Canada, and it’s the only company making affordable cars that warrants them for 12 years against corrosion; they also are the only company making affordable diesels, and all our current cars are diesels which are known for fuel efficiency and longevity. Our oldest car is almost 10 years old and has over 270,000 km on it, and has already had two front fenders, the trunk lid and the two front doors replaced under warranty. Our son currently drives it. I drive a Golf hatchback and my wife, a Golf station wagon.

Now that I’m semi-retired we hope to cut our car expenses further as I’ll be putting a lot less mileage on my car. That should help it last much longer. We retired one of our cars last year when my wife bought herself a new Golf station wagon. She passed her previous car to our son (the one that’s 10 years old). He had to scrap the car he had been driving (which had been my wife’s at one point), a 15 year old Honda minivan, because it was so rusted, when he had a flat tire the jack punched its way through the very rusted frame when he tried to jack it to change the tire :eek: We knew he was no longer safe in it at that point and so sent it to the junk yard.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit