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Jay Leno: To look rich, drive this kind of car

A brand new BMW 7 Series starts at about $81,000.

It's a really nice car. For those who can afford it.

Even the BMW 2 Series, which is among BMW's lowest end models, has an opening price tag of more than $30,000. And it's just a compact.

So what kind of car should a person buy to appear rich, even if he or she doesn't have a lot of money?

Jay Leno, host of CNBC's "Jay Leno's Garage," argues that pulling off the impression isn't actually that difficult if you make one simple choice: Go used.

Mercedes Benz 2011 CLS 63 AMG.
Ted Soqui | Corbis | Getty Images
Mercedes Benz 2011 CLS 63 AMG.

"The good and the bad is that cars depreciate pretty quickly," he says. "So, you can get a four- or five-year-old luxury car for the price of a brand new car."

A simple online search supports his argument. There are plenty of slightly older luxury cars out there for a fraction of the price of the newer models.

"I mean, you could get a four- or five-year-old Mercedes Benz for the price of a new Fiat," Jay explains. "That's probably the way to go."

2017 Fiat Spider 124 is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 11, 2016.
Raymond Boyd | Getty Images
2017 Fiat Spider 124 is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 11, 2016.

What scares off some buyers is the idea that older cars come with older car problems. But Jay isn't concerned: He believes that notion isn't as true as it once was. A car with 100,000 miles on it can last you for years.

Modern technology, he says, has allowed cars to easily tack on 200,000 miles and more.

"I've got a '68 Mercedes next door that has 325,000 miles on it," Jay says. "It still runs really, really well."

CNBC's " Jay Leno's Garage " airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.