Car Payments Should Be Avoided Like The Plague


WOW! You’re certainly the exception in this Forum, but that’s why it’s called PERSONAL finance, right!? I bought a 2010 Nissan 370z in 2012, paid cash, and have driven it for 72k miles. Great commuter car, 28 MPG but still a blast to drive!


Somewhere in the middle of my car buying, they started to retain a good deal of equity so that when I would trade them in I would only have to finance like $10-14k with the trade-in, It helps that I pay them off early and quickly. In my early years it wasn’t unusual to be upside-down on a loan and then roll that into the new loan… yes very crazy. Now it makes more sense than a lease, having the equity and all but of course it would make more sense it I just quit doing this. LOL. Yes the 370z is a blast to drive and very good on gas, comfortable and powerful.


Right before Christmas, I ran into some car trouble with my 2008 Dodge Charger. Luckily, we have a good mechanic who very honestly told me to get out from under that car ASAP because the cooling system was a ticking time bomb. This was tough because Jan. 2018 was going to be the last payment on it.
Fast forward a week and I was able to trade in the Charger for a 2003 Toyota Camry with only 85k miles on it. With the trade-in value and moving around a small amount of cash, I do not owe anything on the Camry and have a much more reliable car in the process!
During the car finding process, I kept thinking back to posts like these to keep me from letting my emotions of wanting something nicer get the best of me! Glad to be a part of this community and cheers to making progress in 2018!


Congratulations! Once it gets in your head (and your blood) that car payments don’t make financial sense, you never even think about getting into car debt again! Not sure there’s such a thing as “reasonable” car payments!


I paid my car off in March 17 and it felt amazing! It was the first car that I had to make payments on, and I quickly got tired of spending between $300-$400 a month. My husband’s car crapped out less than a month after we paid mine off (don’t you love how that works?). We’ve toyed with the idea of taking out a small loan for a second car, but I’m so against the idea of car payments that we have just been sharing one car. We’ve done this for nearly a year, and it sucks sometimes, but I honestly prefer this over having another payment.

I wrote about my car buying experience (and all my mistakes) on my blog:


My current car I bought new 10 years ago. I will never make that mistake again.

I might be getting another vehicle in a year or so - something along the lines of a minivan (for reasons people typically need minivans!). I completely intend to buy used (unless I can somehow get new stupid cheap, but I highly doubt it) with little or no financing.


Avoid car payments at all costs! Especially if they’re not at 0%. I’m a big proponent of no recurring monthly costs if you can avoid it. That means no leasing. I wrote a blog post about buying vs leasing cars.


Totally agree… I made an animated video explaining why you shouldn’t! If anybody wants to use it for anything feel free to embed it.


Wow, that’s EXCELLENT!! Great skill you have there, and a great way to deliver the message! Be Like Ted. Be Awesome! Haha, Love It!!


Why thank you!


Cars are the biggest expense for most people outside of their home. My approach was to by hail damaged salvage models in cash from scrap yards. Pay full cash and it really lowers the insurance burden too.


2.9% seems blasphemous to me. I only paid 0.65% for my first ever car lease. Nowadays I just car share.


Congrats! And extra props for having your little girl hit the button! That makes a great accomplishment even more fun! :grinning:


I just did that last March. We have three kids and needed a minivan pretty badly. Bought a fairly late model year used Toyota Sienna with low miles for a great price. I figured if we’re going to make that big of a purchase, I want to make sure we’re getting a good deal, so I watched prices for around 5 months before finally taking the leap. Minivans are expensive to buy, but it has been awesome having it. It enabled us to take a really great road trip as a family last summer.


Great job on paying off the car loan. I agree with zendancer when it comes to now putting a “car payment” each month in an interest earning account for your next car. Planning is essential, otherwise debt comes back every time.