The Vehicles Billionaires Drive

By: Jenny Mclane

One of the most important aspects considered by common car buyers is, of course, the price of the vehicle. But for the elite, the billionaires and millionaires, they can easily afford a fleet of Ferraris, Bugattis, and Maseratis.

But if one should look at the garage of the world's wealthiest, one cannot even find a BMW or a Ferrari in it. The world's wealthiest, of course, did not become billionaires by spending lavishly on their personal carriers.

Mr. Microsoft, William Gates III, is an example of the thriftiness of the elite. For his net worth of $56 billion, Mr. Gates only has two cars in his garage - a 1999 Porsche 911 Convertible and a 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe. While Porsche has already redesigned the 911 entirely, Gates is yet to replace the 1999 Porsche 911. The other classic car in Gates garage is the rare 1988 959 Coupe which was produced in a limited quantity of only 230 units. The said car was only made legal for Bill Gates to drive after a federal law was passed during President Clinton's term.

For a billionaire such as Mr. Gates purchasing newer Porsches is easy but he might have had more pressing businesses than buying a new car.

The billionaire Warren Buffet is another wealthy individual who prefer the relatively lower-priced vehicle compared to Ferraris and Bugattis. Buffet has only one car in his garage which is a 2001 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series. The license plate of the car which reads THRIFTY says it all. It seems that for the net worth of $44 billion, Mr. Buffet is content with his daily driving machine. Considering the sleek styling of the Lincoln Town Car, it shows that Mr. Buffet may not splurge on expensive cars but knows how to choose a good-looking car.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, the nephew of the Saudi King Abdullah, may have a lot of cars in his garage but none of them are what you would expect from a person with a net worth of $20.3 billion and has the distinction of being the 13th wealthiest person in the world. The Prince's fleet is composed of two Infiniti FX45s, two Hummer H1s, two Volvo XC90s, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms, and two Daewoo Matizes. The reason for the two car set of each vehicle model is that the Prince uses one car and the other is reserved for his bodyguards. An oddity in the lineup is the Daewoo Matiz.

The reason for the Matiz's presence in the Prince's fleet is that he holds a stake in the Korean car company. All of the cars in the Prince's fleet are known for their sleek styling which can be enhanced further with the use of aftermarket products.

With a net worth of $33 billion, what would you buy as your personal vehicle? Answers may vary from a BMW or an Aston Martin, but for Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, a boxy 1993 Volvo 240 GL is enough. While Kamprad has a Volvo, he still takes the bus to work and uses his discount card. Further proof of Kamprad's thriftiness is the fact that he flies economy and rarely stays in luxury hotels. With this philosophy, it is not a surprise why he is the 4th richest person in the world and the wealthiest in Europe.

Another billionaire who shows that cars are not the only symbol status of being wealthy is Paul Allen - the partner of Bill Gates in founding Microsoft. He is currently ranked as the fifth richest American with a net worth estimated at $18 billion. He owned a 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe that is similar to that of Bill Gates'. But before the federal law that allowed Gates to drive his 959 Coupe was passed, Allen shipped his to Europe where it is allowed to be driven. When in the United States, Allen uses his 1988 Mazda B-Series pickup.

The Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Oracle Corporation, Larry Ellison, has a net worth of $21.5 billion and he has but one car. He owns not a BMW but a Bentley Flying Spur. His thirst for adventure is apparent in his choice of a car. Meanwhile, Jim Carr Walton, the youngest son of the Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton has a net worth of $16.8 billion which makes him the 23rd richest man in the world. For all his money, he uses only a 2002 Dodge Dakota for everyday driving. Aside from the pickup though, he also owns a 2000 Acura Integra, a 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport, a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado and a 1959 Cadillac. Jim's sister, Alice Walton has an estimated bet worth of $16.6 billion but for this she settles for a 2006 Ford F-150 King Ranch. In the past, she owned a 1987 Porsche and a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner.

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