Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Have a Car

When I see commercials for new cars and they're talking about the monthly payments, they just don't make sense to me. It's like, ok, your monthly payment is less than $200. Great. But your down payment (on a rental?? I mean, they're not calling it a "deposit", presumably for a reason) works out to more than a year's worth of monthly payments ...and the lease-term on some of them is now down to only two years. Meaning that, to get that $200/month term, you're paying three years' worth of money and committing yourself to paying down-payments every other year.

Of course, the above ignores that the amount of mileage you're allowed to put on your rental is trifling (unless you commute the way I do)? And, if you live in a state like I do, just because you don't own the vehicle doesn't mean you're absolved of the tax-liability for the vehicle (VA has "personal property tax" that you have to pay whether you own or lease) Seriously: why do people lease any more?? I just don't understand the financial advantage of it.

Granted, the purchase options seem kind of silly, now, too. When I was first buying cars, typical notes were still three years long - though four-year notes were starting to become the norm. However, it seems like we're now into terms that are six years long ...and the typical warranties are lagging the notes' lifetimes even more than they used to.

And car-makers are wondering why those damned millennials have less interest in cars than previous generations. I mean, if I were forming my buying habits during the current market, I probably would have low interest in owning or leasing a car.

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