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Why I Plan On Driving My Car Into The Ground

Who am I to turn down a better car and worry my parents? I said goodbye to Old Trusty and drove my brother's car to LA.

Maybe it's sappy and weird, but this car reminds me of home. My apartment and pretty much everything in it (even Brian) came from LA. My car is one of the few things from home that I still have with me.

Car payments scare me

“You wouldn't want a car with heated seats and a comfortable interior?” my friend asked.

Of course I would. But as comfortable as heated seats are, they don't feel nearly as good as  nothaving  car payments.

If my car was on its last leg, or if it was severely uncomfortable and I had a two-hour commute, it might be a different story. But for me, upgrading simply for the sake of upgrading isn't worth the expense.

I've always found it odd that many people consider car payments to be a constant. For lots of people, paying off their car loan means trading in their car for a newer one with all new payments. I guess if you can work it into your budget, maybe you  can afford it. But I've always been a fan of the Dave Ramsey  school of thought:

“When it comes to money, normal is broke. You want to be weird, and weird people don't have car payments.”

My cost of ownership is low

Last year, my auto maintenance expenses totaled $523, but that included a new set of tires. Granted, I don't drive much (mostly on weekends and road trips). But I still think this expense is relatively low. In fact, Edmunds shows that the total estimated cost of my car's annual maintenance (not including the tires) is  $150. For a Mercedes C-Class, it's  $260.

Let's say I  did buy a new car this year - even a new Corolla. At least until its  eighth birthday, depreciation is the car's biggest cost. At year one, the cost of depreciation is obviously at its highest - 57 percent of the total owner cost, according to Consumer Reports. Considering my current driving habits, my car would incur  higher-than-ever depreciation while it sits in a parking spot. Seems like a waste. At five years, depreciation is still my largest expense, but at least it's not depreciating as much (48 percent) while it mostly just sits there during the week.

This is a unique example, and perhaps it depends on perception, but the point is, the costs over time should be considered.

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