Originally Posted by MiddleAgedAl
Perception and ignorance can create a weird dynamic, that may work against you, especially when your boss (who decides your raise) sees you driving a car that he thinks is more expensive than it is.
When I got my first BMW, it was almost 4 yrs old, and hardly the most expensive car in the parking lot. At that time my boss was driving a loaded Eddie Bauer edition Excursion, which he just bought new. He almost certainly paid at least 10-15K more for his than I paid for mine, those were crazy expensive when loaded with options. Yet, not perceived by the average person as such an "extravagant" purchase as something with a roundel on the hood, even if it was used and cheaper.
But, I still heard the comments about how it must be nice to have an "expensive" car like that. He wasn't a gearhead, so it's possible he really thought mine was more costly; since he would trade in cars every couple years, I think the cumulative financial penalty of depreciation just didnt resonate with him.
Honestly, I think some ignorant/insecure bosses fear that if a subordinate drives a much more expensive car than their manager (or is perceived to do so), others might think that it challenges the entire premise that you should be motivated to work harder and move up the ladder so you can afford nicer things.
My truck with the additions I had put on before I took delivery of it at the dealership cost more than most BMW's here (except the M3's). Perception and ignorance can cause a lot of trouble sometimes. No one really expects my truck to be that expensive, so no one thinks much when I drive it.