A Car is NOT an Investment
Misconceptions are in every industry, but there is one in particular with the automotive industry that gets me every time. I believe the biggest misconceptions in the car industry is the idea of a car being an investment. The belief a car is an asset affects all levels of the industry from car sales, to part sales, to servicing the automobile.
When you purchase, when you service your vehicle or when you install aftermarket upgrades, you're not investing in an asset. You are securing or improving your transportation.
I was intrigued by this initial thought as I was thinking about selling my two older vehicles to go out and purchase my dream car. A Lotus Evora (*coughs* a used one naturally). I finally was committing to entertaining the idea. I began to run numbers and create pros and cons lists, even created a spread sheet of where different advantages or disadvantages carried different weights... By the time I was done I decided to keep my two old cars.
Spending almost $700.00 per month on a car payment for 5 years added more of a blow to morale than the car was going to provide. Yes, I would smile each time I would walk outside and see my baby in the driveway. But I could see what I could do instead with that money--like save for retirement...weekend traveling. (When working 10 - 12 hour days minimum 5 days a week, it's so important to recharge.)
Another thing I doubt people realize when looking for a new car, how much is maintenance actually going to cost? I'm not talking about the fluff number the manufactures give you -- remember they're trying to SELL you a car... When you reach out to brake manufactures, belt manufactures, hose manufactures-- it is interesting how different their maintenance requirements are in comparison to the dealers. (Auto manufactures put together a car...they don't really produce the parts...)
The maintenance and repairs was going to be much more expensive than I was used to paying. I enjoy European cars, but granted mine are both almost 20 years old. Much lower cost of maintenance and repairs, but still the amazing feel when driving them at peak health. Sure, the suspension improvements over the last 20 years is substantial. But I've had the privilege of driving a 1973 Rolls Royce and the new cars in the ~$40,000 budget don't come close to that ride...
What about all the new safety features, Karolena, like back up cameras and lane departure?
Why aren't you looking at the road to begin with?! Hitting the trash can and backing into the University Houston parking garage was actually a huge learning moment for me.
One day I will drive my dream car, but I'm going to be honest with myself and know it's about obtaining my goal and that justification should be good enough. Being a car girl, go figure I would have a dream car to be a major goal.