Doctors, Lawyers in Luxury Cars Hurt Worst by Recession

recessionWho's being hurt the worst by the economic recession? Surprisingly enough, it's male doctors, according to a report by that analyzed which professionals are downsizing the most from expensive car leases. After all, if your doctor can't afford $1,600 or so a month to lease a Maserati and is getting out of the deal early, you know the economy must be in bad shape.

Hard times

"This is probably not the best time for doctors, financially speaking," said LeaseTrader spokesman John Sternal in a telephone interview with AOL Jobs. "Health care reform and the recession (causing fewer people to be able to afford health care) may be leading to doctors' woes," Sternal added.

To be included in the report, a driver had to list one of five specific industries for employment and place a car valued at $40,000 or above in the marketplace to escape the lease contract. The professions analyzed are doctors, lawyers, Realtors, financial executives, and insurance brokers.

When compared to the last time LeaseTrader did such a report, in 2008, a few stats stand out:

  • Doctors topped the list with 54 percent listing vehicles such as Maserati, Mercedes S Class, and BMW 7 Series.
  • Male doctors outnumbered female doctors, 69 percent vs. 31 percent this year, suggesting that women are doing better in the "mancession."
  • Lawyers were behind doctors in the 2010 figures, with 51 percent of lawyers getting out of their car leases.
  • Realtors were third at 43 percent, after leading the last survey at 68 percent -- which could be an indicator that the housing market is rebounding.
  • Financial executives were fourth at 32 percent. This profession had the highest percentage of men -- 78 percent vs. 22 percent of women -- to get out of a car lease.
  • Insurance brokers were doing better than the other professions, with only 17 percent opting out of leases.

The leases that these professionals opted out of through LeaseTrader typically run $600 to $1,100 a month, with most leases set for 12 to 24 months.

A popular arrangement

Luxury car leases are popular, Sternal explained, because the monthly payment is less than buying the car would be, and leasers can get a new car every few years when their lease expires without having the hassle of selling their car. Leases require a down-payment, such as $2,000 to $4,000 for a Mercedes, but can last as long as 48 months. The option to buy is offered when the lease is over, with the price being set at the start of the lease.

"For a lot of people, they don't want to hold on to a car after four years," Sternal said.

Leases are popular with real estate agents, for example, because a new car is part of their professional appeal to customers.

"They don't feel that it's appropriate to drive around in a 6-year-old car," he said.

Lawyer Jeffrey A. Devore of Florida, who specializes in U.S. immigration and nationality law, told AOL Jobs that the recession has caused his income to drop by about a third, causing him to change car leases twice in the past year so he could cut his monthly expenses.

Devore used to get out of two leases. He was paying $1,100 a month to lease a 2008 BMW 750Li and had about a year left on a 36-month lease; and had a 2008 Cadillac Escalade that cost $875 a month that he was halfway through a 36-month lease. He said he spent a few hundred dollars in fees to transfer the leases, which took less than 48 hours once the BMW lease was available online, and 10 days for the Cadillac. He was released from both leases, and the buyer had to pay small transfer fees to the auto finance companies Devore was dealing with.

"I am now driving a 2010 Lexus IS 250C Convertible in lieu of the BMW for less than $650 a month (36 month lease) and I bought a 2010 Honda Pilot to replace the Escalade with no money down and 1.9 percent financing," he wrote in an e-mail to AOL Jobs. "Overall, my automobile costs are down approximately $800 per month from where they were, and my wife and I are happier with these cars than with the ones they replaced."

Options for getting out

There are three ways to get out of a lease before the contract expires, Sternal said:

  1. Go back to the car dealer and try to negotiate a deal, although the dealer is there to make money and will often try to steer the customer into leasing another car while transferring the debt from their old lease to the new one
  2. Go to the bank financing the lease, and try to get better terms.
  3. Sell the lease to someone else.

The funny thing is that since a car is a status symbol to professionals such as doctors and lawyers, as soon as they get out of an expensive car lease, they'll turn around and buy a used luxury car for less money, Sternal said.

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How about real estate? the agents the offices. many agents have had to resort to other jobs if they can find them, real estate offices have been closing, unable to pay bills. I think they have been hit harder then Lawyers and Doctors. The Lawyers will soon be back in business, they'll be defending the unemployed that have been robbing people's homes so that they can live. That is exactly whats been happening in my area.

November 30 2010 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh good grief. I was laid off in May. (from my mediocre paying job that I was passionate about). I had a heart attack in August (with no health insurance) then my heart failed. I finally got work a month ago (better paying job, passionate about it) but they ran out of work and laid us all off. I just got hired again. (back to mediocre pay, fringe element of life's passion). I have a Toyota Corolla. (that I bought used on a favorable term loan from my credit union).

I am playing the littlest violin for lawyers and doctors who have to downsize their masarati. Sorry AOL, but I only respect you for email and I use my gmail more. So glad you're free because I wouldn't pay for this drivel.

November 30 2010 at 2:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't feel sorry for them since you should never lease a car anyway if you are upper income bracket. If you are really wealthy, pay for everything in CASH. Yes that includes your new car, and you should do everything you can to pay off Student Loans, Credit Card Debt. Why does Japanese fared so well in 30+ year recession? They SAVE for it. Guess what, it didn't hurt them as much because being frugal is considered honorable. Lavish spending like Victoria Beckham is not only frawn upon and will be spat by most people. It will get you utter disrespect in many circles. Most don't show that but they are laughing all the way to their bank..SUCKER!!

November 30 2010 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doctors, Lawyers in Luxury Cars Hurt Worst by Recession

Yep those are the groups hurt worst by the recession. What an inane article.

November 30 2010 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

I agree with you Tom. What an insane article. These people have made soooo much money off of all of us, but do have to say they did spend many years in school to do what they do, but please, I'm sure they are not hurting that badly as most of America is today. I know I am. I am a single parent, lost my job four months ago after working for the same company for twenty years, am almost fift six years old and I guess they want younger people now that they can pay less money too. I say this very humbly, but I have years of experience in the mental health field, have a degree, and years of supervisory and administrative experience, but have so many applications ou there for everything and anything and is very tough to get a job. I would have never in my wildess dreams ever believed thi would be happening at my age in the USA. I can't wait for 2012 to vote the bms out and hopefully get some poeple in there that will start to turn this country around again, but will take such a long time now because so much dmage has already been done. I have had to sell most of my beloved deceased parents and grandparents antique furniture, jewlry just to survive, take care of m family, etc. This has been a complete nightmare, so if the doctors and lawyers dont get to keep their Mercedes, BMW's am not jealous of them, but poor babies. Sure they are not hurting that badly, as so many people are homeless, starving, unemployed, etc. it is just so sad and makes me sick. So to all the doctors and lawyers, keep enjoying the high prices you charge, copayments, especially for us uninsured people that can't even afford to see a doctor now, when I had perfect credit, money in the bank and now has come to this. I don't feel sorry for them at all.

November 30 2010 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Has anyone watched the republican leo berman from the texas house legislature talk about obamas birth certificate????the guy is a big a**hole....and anderson cooper could not get it through that big texan head of his that the governor of hawaii and the republican incharge of the birth certificates office says the birth cirtificate is legal.....why are this birthers such tards??????

November 29 2010 at 11:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh this is horrible, maybe the rest of working class America should start making donations to help the uber-rich stay in their luxury cars. It is just not fair that the super-rich have to drive something less than luxurious.

November 29 2010 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a farce. What kind of morons write this stuff?

November 29 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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