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Analyzing the "Midlife Crisis" Car Purchase - Guest Post

Posted May 01 2011 12:00am

A midlife crisis is an event that some people experience around the ages of forty to sixty. People going through a midlife crisis say that they experience extreme self-doubt. Some psychologists speculate that midlife crises come about when people realize that they are getting older. Other times, crisis is brought upon by life changing events such as being cheated on, menopause, andropause, death of friends and family, unemployment or departure of children from the home.

Yet another theory speculates that men who are undergoing midlife crises are doing so not due to their own increasing age, but in response to their wives’ aging and menopause, resulting in them becoming attracted to younger women who are still able to reproduce.

What About the Car?

Whatever the cause of a midlife crisis, there are a few common stereotypes associated with it. The most popular stereotype is that of the midlife crisis car. There are countless stories floating around about men who went out one day and bought a sexy new sports car. What’s the deal with midlife crises and cars?

Advertising Manly Success 

One explanation for the midlife crisis car for men is that at this particular point in life, the man in question does not feel successful for whatever reason. By purchasing an obviously new and probably expensive car, he is advertising his success to the world at large. Whether this success is real or not is not relevant to the man – the perception of success is all that matters.

This may or may not actually help the man’s psyche since it doesn’t actually solve his problems and may even create more stress due to the expense.

Showing Off

Another reason for the midlife crisis car purchase is that a man may be attempting to attract younger women, either consciously or unconsciously. Women tend to be drawn toward men who appear to be financially well off, confident and successful. The man may be using his car to attract women much as a male peacock uses his beautiful feathers.

Driving Younger, Feeling Younger

Buying a new car is also a way to make someone feel better about their age. Bright red convertibles are for young people, not fifty-year-old men with a wife and five kids. It breaks the common stereotype of that particular age and allows a person to feel “wild” and “rebellious” even though he hasn’t done anything that outrageous.

Things He May Have Missed Out On

It’s also possible that when someone reaches the age of fifty or so and takes a good hard look at their life, they realize there were many things they never got to do in their youth. When they were twenty, they may not have been able to afford their dream car, but, now at age fifty, they are financially secure enough that that dream can now be a reality. With half of their life gone, they see no reason to keep on deferring those desires, so they go and shell out the money for the car of their dreams.

About the Author
Trevor Stuart is interested in car and travel topics. He writes for the Canadian motorcycle and car insurance website, Complete Insurance.


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