7 Billionaires Who Drive Regular Cars
It's true that billionaires live in a rarefied world of private plane travel and helicopter commuting. However, their choice of ground transportation might surprise you. It's not all Bugattis and Bentleys. In fact, some billionaires are downright down to earth in what they choose to drive home to their sprawling compound.
Call them eccentric or in touch with the common folk, but we’ve found some certified billionaires who drive “regular” cars. The kind of cars you wouldn’t look twice at if they pulled up next to you at the stoplight. We’re talking cars so nondescript, you have to wonder if these billionaires drive them just to avoid attention. Many of these billionaires will attest it’s a matter of substance over style; placing importance on practicality over swagger.
In any case, here are seven billionaires who drive regular cars.
Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon
Vehicle of choice: Honda Accord
The man who revolutionized online shopping and founded the most valuable company in the world drives a … Honda Accord? Even when Bezos first hit it big in the late 90s, he shunned flash for pragmatism. It’s an ethos that guides his worldview. For Bezos, the car was a symbol of staying grounded on behalf of the customer. Hard to argue with the logic, considering Bezos is now worth almost $200 billion!
Ingvar Kamprad – Founder of IKEA
Vehicle of choice: 1993 Volvo 240 GL
Look around your home – there’s a good chance it contains something from IKEA. You can thank common-sense furniture visionary Ingvar Kamprad for that. Up until his death at age 91, Kamprad was well-known for his frugality, despite being the 8th richest person in the world with a $58 billion net worth. For decades, the Swede drove a 1993 Volvo 240 GL until he was convinced it wasn't as safe to drive anymore.
Jim Pattison – Business magnate
Vehicle of choice: Chrysler Pacifica
Jim Pattison, the 92-year-old owner of the Pattison Group, owns dozens of car dealerships across Canada. Not to mention a media empire. He is worth over $5 billion! You would think he would have his choice of some nice prime rides. Nope. Pattison drives a very non-flashy Chrysler Pacifica. But on summer days in Vancouver, when the mood strikes him, Pattison might bring out his 1975 Pontiac convertible.
David Cheriton – Academic & Google Investor
Vehicle of choice: 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon
He’s not exactly a household name, but Canadian academic David Chariton plays a key role in the early days of Google. Cheriton was one of the earliest investors in the search engine giant, he gave them one of their first investment cheques, and today he is worth north of $9 billion. It hasn’t changed Cheriton’s frugal lifestyle in Palo Alto. He drives a classic 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon camper van, and even once made a list of “cheapskate billionaires.”
Jack Ma – CEO of Alibaba
Vehicle of choice: Roewe RX5 SUV
Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce company in China and Jack Ma is its leader. That also makes him China’s richest man with a net worth of around $40 billion. You wouldn’t know it by his choice of car – a Roewe SUV valued at a modest $25,000! That doesn’t seem like much for a guy who reportedly bought the most expensive house in Hong Kong for $191 million. We’d wager to say $25,000 is just enough to cover his monthly pool maintenance bill. Ma’s investment in the RX5 isn’t just about understated practicality though; Alibaba designed the operating system for the infotainment system.
Mark Zuckerberg – Founder of Facebook
Vehicle of choice: Honda Fit
For a guy who made wearing a hoodie and jeans to the office famous, it comes as little surprise that Mark Zuckerberg prefers avoiding symbols of wealth. The Facebook CEO reportedly motors around Silicon Valley in a compact Honda Fit. He also owns an Acura TSX sedan and Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback to complete his collection of understated cars.
Steve Ballmer – Former Microsoft CEO
Vehicle of choice: Ford Fusion
While Bill Gates gets all the glory for starting Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was one of the software giant’s first employees and eventually became its CEO in 2000. He now owns the LA Clippers and has a net worth of around $70 billion. You wouldn’t know it by his choice of car – a Ford Fusion hybrid. Apparently, Ballmer is deeply loyal to Ford because his father once worked there. You have to wonder what the players on the Clippers think of their boss’s low-key vehicle of choice.