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Lifestyle & Budget

What the One Percenters are Driving

tesla model s, electric car


The nation’s wealthiest aren’t cruising around their posh ZIP codes in expensive sports cars. They’re opting for two surprising models: Teslas (TSLA) and Jeeps.

According to a new report  riding around in expensive cars isn’t as popular among the rich as in the past.  The report shows the five most popular cars the in 15 of the 25 wealthiest ZIP codes are: the Tesla Model S in the top two zipcodes, followed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class in a tie, then the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Jeep Wrangler rounding out the list.

Median home prices for those surveyed range from $3.4 million to $6.7 million.

The all-electric Tesla Model S was the most registered vehicle in 2013 in 8 of these ZIP codes, according to Edmunds.

Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds senior analyst and report author, says the shift in car choice is important because the affluent are often trend makers.

“If people in these locations can afford a $6 million home, they can probably afford as many cars as they want,” Caldwell says. “Tesla is an attractive car and a green car, and a total American brand. And beyond the people on this list of the wealthiest, there are a lot of aspirational buyers for Tesla that can’t afford it.”

Jeep may not be the most luxurious truck or SUV, says Caldwell, but it’s popular in New York City for its durability and crossover purposes for the Hamptons and beach set, she says.

“It’s a recognizable, all-terrain type of a car,” she says.

But don’t expect the fancy Ferraris or Lamborghinis to become ancient history, Caldwell warns.

“There is most certainly a place for these fancy sports cars,” she says. “But this year, they are definitely buying Tesla.”

Follow Kate Rogers on Twitter at @KateRogersNews

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