Thoughts on car payments

lunchmoney

Woodpecker
Taking the current economic climate aside, speaking with a guy I went to college with last week made me realize how many I know who have exorbitant car payments. In his case, he makes salaried roughly 200k a year, no kids and casually dating with no plans for marriage (36).

His current ride runs 745/mo. His mortgage is 1400, but he also shared he has nearly 70k in student loan debt.

Maybe I am risk adverse, or just plain cheap, but even with a net monthly income of close to 10k, I don't want over 5% going to a depreciating asset.

Thoughts?
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
Cars are cool. Get a fast one.

Car payments are stupid. Figure out how not to have one.

Aloha!
 

AntoniusofEfa

Woodpecker
He should give his 200K to me. I would have been wise enough to pay off the loans, and not to spend so much money on depreciating assets. Your friend sounds like a typical MBA Dudebro.

Does he get Teh Gurlz?
 
Though I'm a fan of muscle cars and used to have one, I admit driving a car is one of the worst things for you. For your health, for your budget, for your game... I'm car free currently.

Some people live in places where they need a car, I urge them to relocate to a better city where they can have an active lifestyle (biking, walking, sometimes Uber and sometimes transit). Not only is it a healthier lifestyle, you can meet more girls being out and about on your feet.

Your car sits unused for most of its lifespan, that's the real tragedy. You're paying on and maintaining it.
If you drive a shit car, you'll be saving money for sure - so it's less of an issue. But who wants to drive a shit car? I once bought a $3,500 vehicle with cash. It lasted 3 months before the engine went out on the highway forcing an emergency pull over. There is certainly a middle ground where you get a low milage economy car, but think about how it will do nothing for your mojo to drive a cucked vehicle. When I bought my Challenger, girls were initially impressed. We'd be making out in the back seat. It was a good buy from that perspective, but if I had lived in the city, it would have been unnecessary and not worth the monthly expense. For me, it's either I drive something cool or I don't drive at all, the latter being my current choice.

In much of the world, cars are a luxury item. The tragedy is most Americans are extremely lazy and won't walk or bike places. Many Americans are also suburbanites to the core and are deeply afraid of living without a car. When you adopt this point of view, it considerably narrows the number of places you'd want to live. Most cheap Sunbelt cities come with what I call the car tax. Basically the financial advantages of living in a cheap car dependent city in the US mostly go away when you consider that you need a car to live there.
 
Buy a used Honda for 3k, get a CRV, accord, civic, Acura, certain domestics aren't shitty. Find a subaru with the head gasket done that was driven by a woman/beta male (not hard).

No one should be buying new cars unless you're seriously wealthy. You lose like 25% value driving it off the lot unless it's a Toyota.

Sam Hyde had a good point in looking at cars as a pair of shoes. Be smart about it and you won't get fucked.

FullThrotleTX, what car did you buy that exploded?

Edit: if shit goes down it's nice to have a car, I cant imagine having to rely on transit, even right now with covid. You can get minimal insurance and keep it kicking around. Unless you live DT in some metropolis (why would you do this, aside from access to dumb sluts) I think car ownership is a good idea.
 
forestdweller said:
Buy a used Honda for 3k, get a CRV, accord, civic, Acura, certain domestics aren't shitty. Find a subaru with the head gasket done that was driven by a woman/beta male (not hard).

No one should be buying new cars unless you're seriously wealthy. You lose like 25% value driving it off the lot unless it's a Toyota.

Sam Hyde had a good point in looking at cars as a pair of shoes. Be smart about it and you won't get fucked.

FullThrotleTX, what car did you buy that exploded?

Edit: if shit goes down it's nice to have a car, I cant imagine having to rely on transit, even right now with covid. You can get minimal insurance and keep it kicking around. Unless you live DT in some metropolis (why would you do this, aside from access to dumb sluts) I think car ownership is a good idea.
2003 Mitshubishi Outlander.

I disagree that when shit goes down it'll be nice to own a car. In disaster scenarios, it's virtually impossible to get out of a metro using a car. Just look at when hurricanes hit Florida.

You should live in a city. It's a better lifestyle. If you have a bike, you're pretty free. Even in Dallas, I don't rely on mass transit.
 
Lace em up said:
Driving means freedom.
A car is a 3,000 pound dependent you have to maintain, protect, and pay for. Imagine being in a suburb or rural area where the roads are closed (for whatever reason). You can't walk anywhere, not to stores, not to bars, grocery stores, or restaurants. That's not freedom. It's called "car dependent" for a reason.

Hardly freedom. Associating freedom with material things is very backwards.
 
Ah that's too bad, that's the kind of car I'd have recommended! I like the older Outlanders. I think you got a rare Japanese lemon.

Valid points, although I've had my subaru for 7 years and only had to replace the o2 sensor and do oil changes, pretty economical. I live 20 mins from downtown in the country so for me its practical.
 

BlastbeatCasanova

Kingfisher
It's nice being able to drive wherever you want when you want, but the costs do add up. I think I've spent $2500 on my car already this year for stupid stuff, standard servicing, cracked windshield, debris popped 3 of my tires (I do a lot of driving for my job so I guess I expose myself to this stuff more than the average person). Also a lot on gas...But I don't have a car note.

I'm not a car guy, my car is simply a tool to get me from A to B in relative comfort. It's kind of annoying how cars have become tied to social status (I'm sure the auto industry loves this). I think my used Toyota puts me low on the totem pole, but IDGAF. My identity isn't tied to the vehicle I use to get around. Muscle cars and cars that guys build/modify/work on themselves are pretty dang tight though. Buying a new car has always seemed like a pretty dumb idea to me for reasons mentioned by above posters.
 

aeroektar

Pelican
FullThrottleTX said:
forestdweller said:
Buy a used Honda for 3k, get a CRV, accord, civic, Acura, certain domestics aren't shitty. Find a subaru with the head gasket done that was driven by a woman/beta male (not hard).

No one should be buying new cars unless you're seriously wealthy. You lose like 25% value driving it off the lot unless it's a Toyota.

Sam Hyde had a good point in looking at cars as a pair of shoes. Be smart about it and you won't get fucked.

FullThrotleTX, what car did you buy that exploded?

Edit: if shit goes down it's nice to have a car, I cant imagine having to rely on transit, even right now with covid. You can get minimal insurance and keep it kicking around. Unless you live DT in some metropolis (why would you do this, aside from access to dumb sluts) I think car ownership is a good idea.
2003 Mitshubishi Outlander.

I disagree that when shit goes down it'll be nice to own a car. In disaster scenarios, it's virtually impossible to get out of a metro using a car. Just look at when hurricanes hit Florida.

You should live in a city. It's a better lifestyle. If you have a bike, you're pretty free. Even in Dallas, I don't rely on mass transit.
So owning a car is a disaster scenario if shit goes down, but you should live in the city, because it's a better lifestyle? That's an insane position to take.

Anyways, owning a car is completely reasonable, even for those living in a city. Imagine living in say, Seattle, Denver or Salt Lake City and not being able to freely access the surrounding nature, which is probably a deciding factor in why people move to a lot of cities. For those living outside the city, owning even a shitbox to get you from A to B isn't a must but it is a no brainer in todays world.

I don't see the desire to own new vehicles, I'd chalk it up almost completely to desire for status and an ego boost. Besides the fact that they're expensive and depreciate in value fast, there's too much digital tech and it feels like a soulless experience. All the vehicles I'm interested in are at least 10 years old and mostly mechanical, with straight forward knobs and buttons. Things you could still fix in your driveway or garage instead of having to bring it to a certified technician every time something goes wrong.
 

kel

Kingfisher
I've been looking into getting a car after not having one my entire adult life (I've always lived in urban areas and biked around) because I travel a bit more for work than I used to and flights are kind of a pain in the ass. Also there are no direct flights between where I live and where my parents live, so when I want to go visit them flying doesn't actually save any time. In theory it's at least passive time, I could work during that time, but in practice I don't really get any meaningful work done, so I've been renting cars and driving more and I think I'm reaching the point where I might be better off buying a car than renting as frequently as I do.

Call me silly, but I hate the look of modern cars (anything after early 90s, say) so I was looking on craigslist for older cars, just randomly putting in names of models I know about, and you can get kinda distinctive looking cars like 80s Firebirds and stuff for just a few thousand bucks, allegedly in good condition and running. I'm sure some have hidden problems, but there's so many, there's gotta be decent ones in there, even if I need to put another grand of work into it, I'm still coming out tens of thousands ahead of getting a 2020 Hyundai Whatever. What's the advantage of getting a modern lumpy box? Better gas mileage, bluetooth stereo.... what else?
 
aeroektar said:
So owning a car is a disaster scenario if shit goes down, but you should live in the city, because it's a better lifestyle? That's an insane position to take.
Not really insane because I don't think there are a ton of disaster scenerios that I'm worried about and it doesn't really shape my decisionmaking. The argument someone needs to own a car "just in case the shit hits the fan" is dumb. It's a lot of money to spend for something that will never happen. Fear of cities is very boomer. It's a boomer way to think.

Anyways, owning a car is completely reasonable, even for those living in a city. Imagine living in say, Seattle, Denver or Salt Lake City and not being able to freely access the surrounding nature, which is probably a deciding factor in why people move to a lot of cities. For those living outside the city, owning even a shitbox to get you from A to B isn't a must but it is a no brainer in todays world.
I pretty much know a lot of "greenies" living in Denver and Seattle that would strongly disagree with you. Seattle and Denver happen to have a large number of people who have gone "car free" because those cities make it easier to do so with pretty good bike and pedestrian infrastructure. It's kind of the opposite of what you are saying, because the people who are active and care about the environment hate driving. Most of us car freers use Zipcar or a rental for the off time we need to go out to the country, we don't need to own a car 24/7 for that...
 

Mountaineer

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Not having your own car and depending entirely on the system is rat thinking that will severely limit your options when SHTF.
 
Bury Zenek said:
Not owning a car and depending entirely on other forms of transport is rat thinking that will make you stuck where you are when shit hits the fan.
There is no shit hitting the fan. Where is the shit hitting the fan?
Nurses are dancing...
 

aeroektar

Pelican
FullThrottleTX said:
aeroektar said:
So owning a car is a disaster scenario if shit goes down, but you should live in the city, because it's a better lifestyle? That's an insane position to take.
Not really insane because I don't think there are a ton of disaster scenerios that I'm worried about and it doesn't really shape my decisionmaking. The argument someone needs to own a car "just in case the shit hits the fan" is dumb. It's a lot of money to spend for something that will never happen. Fear of cities is very boomer. It's a boomer way to think.

Anyways, owning a car is completely reasonable, even for those living in a city. Imagine living in say, Seattle, Denver or Salt Lake City and not being able to freely access the surrounding nature, which is probably a deciding factor in why people move to a lot of cities. For those living outside the city, owning even a shitbox to get you from A to B isn't a must but it is a no brainer in todays world.
I pretty much know a lot of "greenies" living in Denver and Seattle that would strongly disagree with you. Seattle and Denver happen to have a large number of people who have gone "car free" because those cities make it easier to do so with pretty good bike and pedestrian infrastructure. It's kind of the opposite of what you are saying, because the people who are active and care about the environment hate driving. Most of us car freers use Zipcar or a rental for the off time we need to go out to the country, we don't need to own a car 24/7 for that...
"car free culture" is a leftist ideal, further removing the individuals ability to freely travel.

I know I know, you can get on a bus or train or whatever and go over to another city for a different flavor of hedonism.

Imagine for a second, the life of someone ordinary, who isn't a greenie, who wants to build or construct anything, go hunting, fishing, take up archery, metal working, wood working, launch a boat, how is one supposed to practically do any of that on a regular basis without a vehicle?

Not to mention raising a family. Imagine life with 3 or more children without a vehicle. Is it doable? Sure. But in practice no one does that who has the choice to own a car.
 
aeroektar said:
"car free culture" is a leftist ideal, further removing the individuals ability to freely travel.

I know I know, you can get on a bus or train or whatever and go over to another city for a different flavor of hedonism.

Imagine for a second, the life of someone ordinary, who isn't a greenie, who wants to build or construct anything, go hunting, fishing, take up archery, metal working, wood working, launch a boat, how is one supposed to practically do any of that on a regular basis without a vehicle?

Not to mention raising a family. Imagine life with 3 or more children without a vehicle. Is it doable? Sure. But in practice no one does that who has the choice to own a car.
Eh, no... Cities are supposed to be for people not cars.

Those are your hobbies (sitting in your shack making things out of wood like a wannabe Ron Swanson). Mine are boozing, biking, womanizing, restaurants, art museums, music shows, events. We have different lifestyles. I live the way I want, you want to go live in the woods. Good for you. Some people aren't built for cities, I'm a former New Yorker so it pretty much goes without saying, I don't want to live in the woods. I lived a good 15 years of my adult life without a car and I still made it out to the nature from time to time.

As far as raising kids goes, millions of New Yorkers raise kids without a car. I had plenty of neighbors in Brooklyn with 2, 3 4 kids, no car. It certainly can be done. I don't disparage anyone from owning a car, I'm just saying why set your life up that way if you don't have to. Pretty sure you can work your wood without a car too. Plenty of New Yorkers have hobbies! Fuck, I could walk over to the corner hardware store and find you some wood to whittle. People have boats in NYC. Louie CK drove his into a mud patch a few years ago.

And yeah, I'm left wing on transportation issues and I used to be a bike advocate. Visit any European city and see how well designed it is for people, and not cars, and you'll probably take my side. That's soulless to me, designing cities for cars and not people... We have different ideas of what is soulless. I happen to think suburbs are very soulless. People driving around all day by themselves, to go home in their suburban cul-de-sac, not interacting with their community. It's weird to me. It's what the baby boomers wanted though...
 
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