6 Awesome Cars for Attorneys (at 6 Different Price Points). Put Some Real Horsepower Behind Your Law Firm Marketing. Call Black Fin.
Are you a Lincoln lawyer? An Audi advocate? A Porsche practitioner? A Benz barrister?
…Or are you maybe more of a Kia counselor?
If you’re wondering what kind of car an attorney should drive, you aren’t alone, even if many lawyers hate to admit they would worry about something so superficial.
The concern isn’t unreasonable, though. The sort of vehicle you drive is part of your career and lifestyle. It might even have an impact on the jobs you’re offered or the clients you land.
Cars are expensive, though, so it’s not as if every lawyer can justify a Jaguar on business grounds alone. And besides, depending on your area of practice and the nature of your practice, that might not even be the best approach.
Here, we’ll look at the factors you might consider when buying a new car as an attorney. And once we’ve set up a rubric, we will highlight seven of this year’s must-have cars for lawyers, with entries at each price point along the spending spectrum.
Mind you, you’re capable of car shopping on your own. You certainly don’t need a marketing firm to find a ride for you. But in our research, we’ve found that this is a topic a lot of lawyers are searching for online, so maybe there’s more to the whole lawyer-specific auto inquiry than meets the eye. Let’s take a look.
Factor #1: Interview Impressions (Because Law Firms Have Windows)
When you pull up for that first interview with a fancy firm (or even a not-so-fancy firm), you want every aspect of your appearance to impress: the suit, the hair, the handshake, the smile… and yes, the car.
Because here’s the thing: law firm interviews happen in offices, and those offices almost always have windows. In many cases, those windows look out at parking lots. And if your door nearly falls off when you open it and lurch outside, well, you might look like you’re worth less than six figures.
There’s a Catch-22, though. You need a job before you can buy a nice car, and it’s never a good idea to count one’s chickens before they’re deposited in your checking account (or however that expression goes).
So if you’re searching for a new car and a new job at the same time, choose something that looks sharp but won’t break the budget. You’ll send the right message to the hiring powers that be.
Factor #2: Client Assumptions (Because Everyone’s a Critic)
Back in 2015, a corporate attorney wrote a story for LinkedIn about the reason he doesn’t drive the “beat up truck with rust holes” that used to get him to his law firm every day (the same truck he once used to pick up a client for court).
He’d been out to eat when he overheard two women saying they needed to find a lawyer to handle their car crash case.
“‘You should hire attorney so and so,’ said the lady as she fished through her oversize bag for coupons. ‘He drives a Jaguar.’”
Clients look out of windows too, you see. And whether their case is worth $10 or $10 million, clients always want to hire the best lawyer their money can buy (or the best lawyer they can get on contingency, as the case might be).
The Lawyerist also wrote a piece on what attorneys shouldn’t drive, which essentially warns against the perils of being caught operating something overly flashy, incredibly tacky, or just plain weird.
So while there’s absolutely no shame in being a Kia counselor, you might make a better impression on prospective clients as the Lincoln lawyer.
The wealthier and more sophisticated your clientele, the more this matters, of course.
Factor #3: Practicing What You Preach
In a caveat to our previous point, if you practice in personal injury, it’s important to drive a car you’d recommend to your clients.
After all, the last thing you want is for your client to read your blog article about the importance of consumer safety ratings… and then park beside your 2005 Dodge Neon sedan (a discontinued model considered one of the most dangerous cars ever made).
To that same point, what you drive probably doesn’t matter as much as the way you drive. It’s hard to effectively advocate for clients who lost a loved one in a texting while driving case if they catch you on your phone ten minutes before the consultation.
Factor #4: The Usual Suspects (Cost, Gas Mileage, etc.)
The fourth factor might be the most important because it comes right down to your bottom line. How much is the car actually going to cost you?
There’s a lot to consider when calculating your car costs:
- Do you drive as part of your job? (For instance, some attorneys travel throughout the state to meet with personal injury clients or to courthouses in different counties.) If so, gas mileage and warranties become especially important considerations.
- The cost of repairs. (Foreign-made luxury cars tend to require expensive maintenance.)
- The cost of auto insurance in your state. (The higher your income as an attorney, the more liability coverage you might need.)
- Will this be your only vehicle, or will you also need a personal and/or family car within the next few years?
- If you’ll be spending a lot of time in your car for work, interior features might be of higher value to you than external flourishes.
But, remember: a penny saved is a penny earned. The dollars you shave off your monthly car expenses are dollars you can treat as additional income.
6 Awesome Cars for Attorneys (at 6 Different Price Points)
- Kia Forte: All Kia counsellor jokes aside, the 2019 Kia Forte is an excellent choice among compact cars on the market this year. In general, one of the best things that Kia vehicles are able to do is combine functionality and minimalist luxury into each of their models. The 2019 Forte is no exception; here, this Kia model includes exceptional driving features like driver attention monitoring and automatic emergency braking, along with a highly advanced infotainment system and impressive interior space. Generally speaking, with an MSRP value starting at $17,790 for the standard model, this vehicle would make a great first car for most young attorneys, or those who want something fun and spunky yet inexpensive to drive around to client meetings.
- Audi A4: Closing in at #1 among luxury small cars, the A4 gets the job done in terms of both comfort and drivability. Due to its incredible driving performance and ample safety features, the A4 carries on the Audi namesake as truly a dependable, world-class brand of vehicles. From heated front seats to more cargo space, adaptable entertainment features, and connectivity perks, the 2019 model is certainly the best among the A4 model family, which started in 2017. Coming in at $37,400, the Audi A4 is an excellent choice for any attorney who wants to upgrade to better drivability and comfort without completely breaking the bank.
- Porsche Macan: Hitting the top-ranking position of luxury compact SUVs, according to U.S. News and World Report, the Macan model brings style and comfort together with sport utility and excellent handling and drivability. The 2019 S model has also been equipped with a new turbo V6 engine, making it a great choice for anyone looking at luxury class SUV models. Designed with space and efficiency in mind, this model is a favorite among consumers, starting at $49,000.
- BMW 5-Series: Ranking the highest among its luxury midsize competitors, the BMW 5-Series has been hailed for its stylish design, great attention to detail and drivability, athleticism, and impeccable safety scores. Praised for its family-friendly design, the 5-Series features lots of space throughout the vehicle (including in the trunk), agile handling that will feel like driving on a cloud, and an impressive 36 MPG on highways. Though choosing this vehicle will set you back at least $53,400, its long list of both comfort and cruise features make it a better investment than its competitors, the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
- Jaguar I-Pace: The first of its kind among the Jaguar brand, this brand new model is a savvy, ultra-sleek battery-electric SUV made to compete against the Tesla Model X. Though it’s been introduced as an SUV, some of its car-like design features and overall smaller size show that it’s been designed with multiple functions in mind. Most notably, the Jaguar I-Pace is one of the first fully electric SUVs to hit the American market (which means they’ve beaten their competitors to it), making this an appealing choice for consumers interested in both functionality and environmental friendliness. The MSRP for this vehicle starts at $69,500, which could be considered a worthy investment for some attorneys.
- Mercedes-Benz S-Class: Without a doubt, some of the nicest cars on the market are those of the Mercedes-Benz family. The 2019 S-Class model is certainly no exception. Ranked #1 this year among all super luxury cars, it’s become the gold standard of how cars can combine sheer horsepower with style and elegance. Though it’s heavy on the horsepower – anywhere from 362 to 621, in fact – it still achieves an MPG of up to 28 on highways. It’s also chalk-full of safety features that can help you improve your overall commute safety, making its starting price of $91,250 worthy of consideration.
Put Some Real Horsepower Behind Your Law Firm Marketing. Call Black Fin.
Sure, cars are important, but many more clients will see your website than will ever see your Kia. So if there’s anything you really ought to invest in, it’s your web presence.
At Black Fin, we use website design, SEO marketing, PPC advertising, and other digital strategies to make law firms grow. Our clients get bigger, better cases because of the work we do.