Finally bit the bullet and got a car, a new 2012 Nissan Versa SV sedan. It's surprisingly big, has good gas mileage, and best of all it really squeals the tires going 0 to 60 mph in a breathtaking 10.2 seconds.
How did I end up getting the car? I got a decent price of $14,975 from a
Chicago dealer, shopped that around in , then bought it for that price. Well, not exactly $14,975. Let's take a look at some of the taxes and fees I paid: New Jersey
From what I understand, this seems to a be a standard fee.
Dealer Title Documentation Fee: $75
Another standard fee, although apparently this fee can be used by dealerships to recoup money in a sale. Keep an eye on it because it can widely vary from dealership to dealership. I think $75 was more-or-less reasonable.
VIN Etch Title Policy: $395
This is supposed to be a way to help prevent automobile theft, but I think it's a basically a modern-day rust proofing. Just a way to get more money out of me. I could have probably haggled and lowered this fee.
Uncle Sam needs to get paid, there's no avoiding that.
So, at after all the taxes and fees, the car comes to $16,903. Decently expensive, but I plan on keeping the car for a bare minimum of seven years. So, if you factor that in, the cost per year comes out to a reasonable level, assuming low maintenance costs. I paid in cash money, because Debt is Slavery. More on that in a later post.
I read a recent article that posed the question: Why are US teenagers driving less? I think I know the answer. It's because everything about owning a car is a pain in the ass. Buying a car, driving it, fueling it, maintaining it, insuring it, selling it... Everything is a big, complicated, time-consuming pain in the ass. If I didn't absolutely need to own a car, I wouldn't.
I love reading stories about people avoiding car ownership, which seem to be popping up more and more often. Cars seem to be the big status symbol of the baby boomers, an item people bought without really thinking if they needed it or not just to show off. Luxury items are fine, but cars are really, really expensive, even the cheap ones. As more and more households go from two-car to one-car to simply carless, their lives lives will simplify and they'll be better off for it.