Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We're too poor to buy new cars

From Crains:

Median-income families in the New York area cannot afford new cars at their average purchase price nationally, according to a study by Those families are in good company, though, since the same is true in all but one of the country's largest metropolitan areas. calculated what households in the country's 25 largest metropolitan areas could afford to spend on cars. They factored in median income, sales tax and insurance costs, creating an affordability index for car purchases. The New York metropolitan area ranked at No. 10 on that list, right behind San Diego and ahead of Philadelphia.

The study found that the affordable purchase price for a New York City household's new car is $21,464, or a maximum monthly payment of $431.

What the study mainly illustrates is that people spend too much money on their cars, said Mike Sante,'s managing editor. In New York, car costs are driven up by higher-than-average sales taxes and insurance costs.

"It just makes buying a car that much more expensive," Mr. Sante said.

Higher incomes offset this a bit, but New Yorkers also have to pay more for housing. There is much more flexibility in choosing a car, Mr. Sante said, so people in expensive housing markets like New York have even more to gain by making a smart car decision.

"The thing for New Yorkers that is so critical is that you have to pay a lot for housing," Mr. Sante said. "This is your second biggest expense and you really need to keep it under control."


Deke DaSilva said...

Higher incomes offset this a bit, but New Yorkers also have to pay more for housing.

Who needs housing when you can live in your car?

Jim Carrey did!

Snake Plissskin said...

Yea, but Jim Carrey was going places.

Tassilo von Parseval said...

Realistically, a new car is a bad investment anyway. When you're out there in Queens (or any borough really), just parking it is a pain. I took care of a friend's car recently and with alternate-side parking, it's a big nuisance.

And may the Gods be with you if you get a parking ticket. Apparently, it's $115 in Manhattan, perhaps less in the outer boroughs.

The upshot is, just don't get a car when you live in NYC. Awkward at times but less awkward than the car.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess Obama's "race to the bottom" is working!

Anonymous said...

We've been in a race to the bottom way before Obama.

Anonymous said...

Who needs a car living in urban NYC?
I take a car service when I need one or rent one as needed.

It's still cheaper to lease if you have to.
Repairs and insurance are a major headache.

Queens Crapper said...

Most of Queens is not "urban NYC" if you bother to open your eyes. It was built as the suburbs and has public transportation like them as well.

Anonymous said...

I don't know crappy, a lot of those garbage strewn lots in Jamaica you highlight look pretty "urban" to me.