Amidst the snarling peak hour traffic on any given day, trendy and luxurious cars grace Hong Kong’s roads at any given time. Whether they’re open-top Ferraris cruising in the breeze of southern Hong Kong island or Rolls-Royces ferrying guests from the airport to the Peninsula, luxury cars are a common sight when you’re in Hong Kong.
/>Locals have every reason not to own luxury cars: the efficient transport system is one of the best in the world; Hong Kong has low tax rate for businesses and personal incomes but car owners are slapped with 120 percent tax rates; and roads are narrow, parking spaces expensive and sometimes hard to find. Yet many rich (or privileged) folks don’t mind. The demand is so high that the whole stretch of Gloucester Road in Wan Chai is littered with car showrooms with cars such as Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Lamborghini and Lexus.
/>It is not a secret that Hong Kong has more Rolls-Royces per capita than anywhere in the world. One would wonder even if the city isn’t that big, why the demand for luxury cars – those that cost in excess of HK$500,000 – is high. Most of the owners are successful businessmen engaged in finance, property and other prominent industries in the city. Some even own a fleet of 40 luxury cars, so they have something to ride for a specific mood and taste. To many of them, showing up with an appropriate car speaks about how they want to be perceived by society.
/>And if you think having dozens of cars in Hong Kong is absurd, think out of the box. Many of these owners take their big toys elsewhere for a spin. China for example has much wider roads, ideal for long, satisfying road trips. Other destinations include Malaysia and Germany, where lots of open roads are ideal location to ride these classy vehicles.
/>If Ferraris, Porches and Maseratis exude masculinity and are preferred by younger owners, Bentleys and Rolls-Royces are often seen as the hands-down choice for the discriminating taste of older passengers. The premium name of these brands provides exclusivity and elegance to clients who ride these cars. The total cost of owning car is about twice the actual purchase cost, including the 120 per cent tax rate, leasing parking spaces, and other expenses. But big time owners don’t mind, as this is one classy way of showing who is the boss.
Photo credit: orangevolvobusdriver4u