Please read Mr. Homegrown's delightful rant in its entirety. Here's an excerpt:
Image by Bull-Doser – Own work, Public Domain, Link
Here's the other big secret: since all cars are the same so you might as well own a crappy beater. Allow me to break down the economics of this. Buy and drive a beater until its last gasp and you can take the savings, walk it to the bank and by the time you're 60 the interest alone will be about a bazillion dollars. Take just the issue of unnecessary body work. With a beater you want dents. You should, in fact, drive your beater in circles at a Whole Foods to purposefully acquire dents. The more dents you have the less you care. This is what's called "beater detailing." With a lifetime of money not spent on auto body work you'll be soon be kicking back on a beater yacht in the Cayman Islands.
There's another benefit to driving a beater especially in this town. LA's the kind of place where a lot of people measure status with the brand and upkeep of your car. These are exactly the sort of people you don't want to hang out with. Your beater will act as a kind of filter for vain idiots.