To what extent does the type of car someone drives impact their professional image?
I have become aware that the type of clothes and appearance completely impact their professional image and am trying to slowly update my wardrobe accordingly. However, I am wondering the extent to which the type of car a person drives impacts their professional image. I tend to be rather frugal and do not enjoy spending money. By way of example, in 2008 I replaced a 1995 Ford Escort with almost 200k miles with a 1998 Lincoln Continental. I liked the freedom of not having a car payment. As I begin initially thinking about replacing the car I am wondering the extent that a car impacts a person's professional image. My natural tendency is to find a car for $5k-$7k that is reliable. I simply prefer to save and invest money rather than spend it. However, for the sake of an "image" should I consider spending more for a car.
I am not wanting this forum to serve as an excuse to spend more money on a car and do not want the response to tempt other people to spend money they cannot afford.