What’s not to love about a car? You have independence, a status symbol, and when you take the bus for what seems like a century, it is the ultimate key to free you from the insane public transportation experience.
But wait before you purchase that car…. unless it’s the $35,000 Tesla. By all means, do it! You have my blessing. :-p Cost wise, it’s a $21k investment with most likely no more than $3,500 maintenance over your battery life. Why not own a $35,000 car that gives you an extra $20k in value over the first 5 years? If you purchase a gas guzzler for $20k and spend $120/mo to fill your tank not to mention all the parts, replacements (spark plugs, filters, battery, oil changes, etc.), you’re most likely spending the same amount and adding to the pollution of this growing planet, with the inconvenience of a fluctuating budget!
If you were in the market for a $20k or more gas guzzler and you paused for a moment, but resigned your selfish thought to it doesn’t go very far and I like to drive up the coast, what if I run out of power? – Ask yourself these three things:
- Am I this concerned about running out of gas? You stop to refill your tank, you’ll stop to charge your battery.
- How often am I driving up the coast? Can I do a rental for these trips? How much time and money can I save by flying?
- With our population scheduled to increase from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, if all those 2 billion people make it a point to drive gas cars, how scenic do you think that drive will be if you’re wearing a pollution mask?
Ok, that’s more than three questions, but if you’re still selfishly thinking, I’m 1 person, how many people do you think are thinking the exact same thing? Take a minute.
Now on to the topic that will interest most people not in the market for a $20k car… the answer to should I buy a car or take Uber.
I’m writing about this subject because I’ve made the mistake of purchasing used when I should have purchased new, I made the mistake of buying new when I should have kept my used, and I’ve definitely got the world of financing wrong whether it was a lack of impulse control or the absence of all the pieces to the financing puzzle. I’ve made more mistakes when it comes to cars than the average person and my goal is to empower you with the knowledge that I wish I had before going down that road.
My goal in this 3 part series is to arm you with the necessary information to answer your burning question of buying a new car or taking uber. It’s obvious that when you know better, you do better. Money discussions are important because many times the advice we are handed from our loved ones is not in our best interest. The more we discuss it, in an honest and doable way, the more financially prepared we’ll be to make the best financial decision for ourselves. I can not make the decision for you, but I can present all the information I have to help you do what’s right for you!
To get to your answer, we must first look at the purchasing decision for a car. Ask yourself the following questions and feel free to answer on a separate sheet of paper:
- Why do I want a car?
- Do I know which car I want? If so. Write about it along with the consumer report information. Is it the safest car, most economical? What do I love about this car?
- Have I test drove it? If not. Go for a test drive, but DO NOT PURCHASE THE CAR. They will tell you they have a deal for you and all these other promises. Those same promises will be there in a week. If you lack impulse control. Wait until we finish the series before taking it on a test drive. I want you to have all the information needed to make your decision first.
- Am I buying New or Used?
- Do I have 20% for a down payment? How much do I have to put down?
- Where are all the places that will I drive in my new car (include miles and how often per day, week, month)?
- Am I using my car for work? Or is it just a job ad that states that I need a car for the job, but will never actually really need to drive anywhere in my car for the job? Is it to work for a company that discriminates against people who take public transportation or ride sharing?
- What is my credit like?
- What’s the total amount I can afford for a monthly payment?
- Finish this sentence – If I don’t have a car, in my daily life I will have to…
Ok. Those are 10 questions to answer. They aren’t all the questions to answer, but a good start! Work on those and come back next week to check out part 2 and please hold off your decision until then!