What Does It Mean to Be Cost Prohibitive?


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You wish you owned a Porsche 911 and a mansion. However, if you earn an average income, the cost of both items is likely well above your means. You may say that the Porsche 911’s price is prohibitive. The price is prohibitively expensive for your present income level.

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Definition of Restriction

The adjective “prohibitive” has numerous distinct meanings. A restriction is something that is prohibited or restricted. For instance, “the homeowner’s association’s exorbitant restrictions prevented her from walking on the grass.”

A second definition of the word “prohibitive” is something that is prohibitively expensive, typically for the average individual. When discussing prices, you could say “prohibitive” instead of “cost prohibitive.”

Business Examples of Cost Prohibitive

Not only the individual wanting the Porsche 911 may find the price prohibitive. Additionally, businesses face prohibitive expenditures. For instance, a corporation may wish to enter a new market. However, the cost of doing so may prevent them from expanding.

If a company has already expanded, this would also be considered cost prohibitive. It could be an American retailer that has opened locations in Canada. However, if the stores do not generate a profit, the corporation cannot afford to continue in that area.

Examples of Cost Prohibitive in the Public Sector

The government may tax specific products in an effort to make them prohibitively expensive and discourage their consumption. The government typically gains from continuous use of taxed products due to the tax.

Some municipalities have begun taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas. In certain locations, the levy has made it prohibitive to purchase soda and other sugary beverages. During the first three years of the levy, Berkeley, California observed a decline in soda consumption of more than 50 percent, according to NPR.

Examples of Unaffordable Expenses in Private Life

Aside from sports cars and mansions, several vital products can be prohibitively expensive for the typical person. The cost of attending college or acquiring an advanced degree is one example. According to Bloomberg, the cost of higher education grew 1,225 percent between 1978 and 2014.

However, the high cost of education has not prevented individuals from attending. Instead, students are likely to obtain student loans to cover tuition costs. High loan amounts can make it difficult for students to preserve sufficient funds for future acquisitions. This might also make purchasing a home or investing for retirement prohibitively expensive.

Other Expressions Are Price Prohibitive.

There are simpler ways to express that something is unaffordable. If you cannot afford something and will not purchase it for that reason, you can simply state that it is too expensive. You might also state that the price is “too expensive for your blood” or that you would prefer a less expensive alternative.